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Quartet Claims First Set of Big 12 Weekly Awards
February 17, 2014
Mark Payton (Texas), Brandon Finnegan (TCU), Darryn Sheppard (Baylor) and Aaron Hernandez (Kansas) have garnered the first set of Big 12 baseball weekly awards for the 2014 campaign. For games played February 14-16, Payton is the Big 12 Player of the Week while Finnegan earned Pitcher of the Week honors. Sheppard and Hernandez share the Newcomer of the Week distinction.
This marks the first career Big 12 weekly award for all four players.

Mark Payton, Texas, Sr., OF, Chicago, Ill./St. Rita
The 2013 Big 12 batting champ, Payton had a torrid start to the 2014 season, going 9-for-17 (.529) in a four-game series at Cal. The senior had a double, triple and home run on the weekend to go along with four RBI and three runs. Payton extended his reached-base streak to 44 games dating back to last year by recording multiple hits in all four games. He finished the weekend with a .882 slugging percentage and also added 12 putouts in center field.

Brandon Finnegan, TCU, Jr., LHP, Fort Worth, Texas/Southwest
Finnegan tossed seven shutout innings, allowing three hits, three walks and striking out a career-high 13 batters in TCU’s home opener on Friday against Jacksonville. He dominated the first time through the order, fanning eight of the first nine batters he faced, including seven in a row. In seven innings, he faced just 27 batters and didn’t allow a runner past second base.
Darryn Sheppard, Baylor, Fr., OF, Sugar Land, Texas/Dulles
In his first collegiate weekend, Sheppard had at least one hit in all three games at No. 19 Arizona State as he went 5-for-13 (.385) with three RBI, two runs scored and hit his first career home run. In his first game on Friday, he helped Baylor to a win by going 2-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored. In his second game on Saturday, he was 2-for-4 with a solo home run. In Sunday’s series finale, he was 1-for-4. On the weekend, he led the team in batting average and hits while tying for the team lead in RBI.

Aaron Hernandez, Kansas, Jr., 3B, Antioch, Calif./Diablo Valley
Junior transfer Hernandez started all three contests for the Jayhawks at third base against BYU on opening weekend. In 12 at-bats, he recorded five hits (.417) and five RBI, including a one-out RBI double during the seventh inning of Saturday’s game one doubleheader to break-up the no-hitter Brigham Young’s pitcher Kolton Mahoney was throwing. That RBI hit put KU on top 1-0 and proved to be the difference maker as Kansas shutout the Cougars 2-0.
 Down 10-9 in the bottom of the 10th inning with one out and bases loaded in the night cap, Hernandez found himself in a spot to tie the game with one swing, as he hit a deep sacrifice fly to left field, scoring the runner on third to tie the game and put the Jayhawks in a position to win.

Date Player of the Week Pitcher of the Week Newcomer of the Week
Feb. 17 Mark Payton, Texas, Sr., OF Brandon Finnegan, TCU, Jr., LHP Darryn Sheppard, Baylor, Fr., OF;
Aaron Hernandez, Kansas, Jr., 3B
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