The hits have come early and often for Northwestern State freshman Michael Dattalo in his first season as a Demon.
The awards have started to follow.
Dattalo, a freshman from Keller, Texas, was named Southland Conference Hitter of the Week for the first time in his career Monday, earning the honor in a vote of leaguewide sports information directors.
Dattalo batted .588 (10-for-17) with two home runs and seven RBIs as the Demons split four games, completing a season sweep of Louisiana Tech with a win in Ruston this past Tuesday before dropping two of three at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Dattalo had at least one extra-base hit in each game, doubling in Tuesday’s win at Louisiana Tech and Saturday’s game at Corpus Christi and hitting home runs in the series opener and the series finale against the Islanders.
His two-run, inside-the-park home run Sunday put the Demons ahead to stay in a 17-8 win that salvaged the final game of the series. The Southland Conference’s leader in hits (70) and batting average (.395), Dattalo slugged 1.059 and produced a staggering 1.678 OPS in the four games.
He becomes the third Demon hitter to earn the Southland honor this season, joining Daunte Stuart (March 6) and Jeffrey Elkins (March 20). It is the fifth Southland award for a Demon, joining Pitcher of the Week honorees Cal Carver (March 13) and Chase Prestwich (March 20).
Dattalo and the Demons return to action Tuesday night when they face No. 2 LSU at 6:30 p.m. in Baton Rouge in NSU’s final mid-week game of the season.