Salem Garners National, SEC Player of the Week Honors



TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- University of Alabama junior center fielder Emeel Salem (Mountain Brook, Ala.) was rewarded for his four-game performance last week by being named the Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball newspaper.

He was also named the SEC Player of the Week by the Southeastern Conference Office on Monday for his performance against UAB and Auburn last week.

Salem is the Tide's first Player of the Week since Gabe Scott was honored by the SEC on April 11, 2005.  Salem also becomes the first UA player to earn national honors since Wade LeBlanc was tabbed National Player of the Week on March 7, 2005.

The junior had a phenomenal week at the plate in leading the Crimson Tide to a 3-1 record in four games and its sixth SEC series win this year. 

"Salem is a very good player," Alabama head coach Jim Wells said.  "He is having a real good year, not on a tear like this, but a good year.  He is doing his part to help this team win, that's for sure."

In four games, he batted .765 (13-for-17) with 12 runs scored, 12 extra base hits, three stolen bases and two RBI.  He compiled a whopping 1.294 slugging percentage (22 total bases) last week and a .818 on-base mark (reached base 18 time in 22 plate appearances).  He scored winning run in all three Crimson Tide wins against UAB and Auburn (2 times).

In the series win over arch-rival Auburn, Salem batted .727 (8-for-11) with eight runs scored, three extra base hits, two stolen bases and one RBI. 

Salem went 3-for-6 in the series opener against Auburn and his walk-off home run with two outs in the 10th inning gave UA the 6-5 win.  He also scored two runs in the win.  He was 1-for-1 with two runs scored and reached base all five times in game two of Auburn series. 

In the series-clinching finale, Salem was 4-for-4 and scored four runs in the 9-1 win.  He reached base all five times in the series finale.  Salem led off the third inning with a triple into the right field corner and scored the deciding run on Matt Downs' RBI single to give UA the 1-0 lead.

In the Crimson Tide's 14-8 over UAB at the Hoover Met on April 26, Salem went 5-for-6 and tied the Alabama single game record with five hits.  He scored three runs, including the winning run in the eighth inning as UA erased an 8-5 deficit.

Salem enters the Arkansas series having reached base safely 11 consecutive times (6 hits, 4 walks, 1 HBP), dating back to Friday night's walk-off home run.  The UA record 14 consecutive times on base and the NCAA is 18 straight times on base.
For the season, Salem is batting .382 (76-for-199) with two home runs and 22 RBI.  He is also 26-for-33 in stolen bases and has scored 52 runs in 47 games.

Salem leads the SEC in runs scored (52), hits (76), stolen bases (26), stolen base attempts (33) and at-bats (199).  He ranks second in plate appearances (228) and triples (5) and is third in hitting (.382) and seventh in on-base percentage (.456).

In SEC games only, Salem is first in plate appearances (106), second in triples (3), third in at-bats (92) and hits (37), fourth in runs scored (24), sixth in average (.402) and stolen bases (5) and eighth in on base percentage (.471).