Southeast Missouri State baseball player Derek Gibson garners OVC honor

Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Gibson (Derek)

Southeast Missouri State sophomore left fielder Derek Gibson's incredible weekend was recognized by the Ohio Valley Conference when he was named the league's player of the week Monday.

Gibson batted .571 (12 for 21) in Southeast's four games last week. He had 10 hits, including three home runs and three doubles, while driving in 13 runs during the Redhawks' three-game OVC series at Tennessee-Martin.

Gibson tied a school record with three doubles against UT-Martin on Friday. He had a grand slam Saturday, then capped the series Sunday by going 4 for 5 with two homers and seven RBIs.

"He had a tremendous weekend, and he's really having a great season," Southeast coach Mark Hogan said.

Gibson, who originally came to Southeast as a football player before concentrating solely on baseball for the first time this year, has a 29-game hitting streak that is the OVC's longest current active streak.

Gibson is Southeast's third-leading hitter with a .356 average, which ranks seventh in the OVC. He is second on the Redhawks with 36 RBIs and third with seven home runs.

Gibson and the Redhawks will try to continue their recent strong play today when they visit Saint Louis University for a 6 p.m. nonconference game.

Southeast (16-29, 7-11) has posted two straight OVC series wins after losing its first four league series. The Redhawks have won eight of their last 13 games after previously dropping 14 of 15.

The Redhawks are tied for seventh place in the 10-team conference, but they are tied for sixth for OVC tournament purposes since SIU Edwardsville is not eligible for the event this year. The top six finishers qualify for the tournament.

SLU (29-14, 11-7) is having an impressive season. The Billikens, who beat the Redhawks 22-11 on March 6 in Cape Girardeau, are fifth in the 13-team Atlantic 10 Conference.

Southeast banged out a season-high five home runs in the earlier matchup with SLU but fell to the Bills' 18-hit attack.

"They've got a very good ballclub, and they put it to us the first time we played them this year," Hogan said.

While Gibson has a 29-game hitting streak, Southeast All-American senior third baseman Trenton Moses has reached base safely in a school-record 65 straight games. Neither the OVC nor NCAA keeps a record for that category.

Southeast resumes OVC play Friday with the start of a three-game series at second-place Jacksonville State following today's contest.

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