The Citadel baseball team earned the Southern Conference Player and Pitcher of the Month awards for February on the strength of outstanding performances by right fielder Tyler Griffin and right hander Austin Pritcher.
Griffin went 15-for-35 in eight games during the opening month of the season for a batting average of .429. He had a double, a triple, four home runs and 12 RBI, led the SoCon with 30 total bases and tied for the league lead in round trippers. His hit total was the second-highest in the conference and he tied for third in RBI.
Griffin, a junior from Gainesville, Fla., had five multi-hit games including a monster series against North Florida when he had a career-high four hits and two RBI in the opener and three home runs and five RBI the following day. He drove in a pair of runs in the series finale to give him nine on the weekend.
His three-home run game was the first by a Citadel player since Richard Jones in 2009 and only the fourth in school history. For that effort, Griffin was recognized as one of three Louisville Slugger National Hitters of the Week by Collegiate Baseball.
In the opening weekend of the season, Griffin had three straight multi-hit games including three against Kansas State when he fell a double shy of hitting for the cycle.
Overall this season, Griffin is batting .404 with three doubles, two triples, 10 runs scored and 16 RBI while boasting a slugging percentage of .809. He has raised his career batting average to .265 and his home run total to nine over the early stages of the 2013 season.
Pritcher, a senior from James Island, did not allow a run in two starts covering 13 innings during February, picking up a win over George Mason in the season opener and a no-decision against North Florida.
He went six innings against George Mason and limited the Patriots to four hits while striking out six. He worked seven innings against North Florida, allowing six hits and fanning four, and left with a 3-0 lead in a game The Citadel eventually won 6-3 in 11 innings.
Including Friday's win over Pittsburgh, in which he blanked the Panthers on five hits in five innings, Pritcher is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in three starts this year. He has not allowed an earned run at Riley Park over his past 37 1/3 innings and has surrendered only 12 earned runs in his past 10 starts covering 65 innings for an ERA of 1.66 over that span.
Pritcher is the winningest active pitcher in the SoCon with 16, and his career ERA has dipped from 4.26 entering the 2013 season to 3.94.
The Citadel is 7-5 on the season after taking three of four games over the weekend at the Charleston Crab House Shootout presented by Homewood Suites. The Bulldogs are at Winthrop on Tuesday at 6 p.m. before opening SoCon this weekend at Riley Park against Samford.