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Monday, April 24, 2006


MEDFORD -- During a week in which the Tufts University baseball team reversed its fortunes, senior CF Jim O'Leary (North Easton, MA/Roxbury Latin) continued to be an offensive leader for the Jumbos. After hitting .625 in four Jumbo victories, O'Leary has been awarded as the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Co-Player of the Week.

In a week when a number of Jumbos could have been recognized with this honor, O'Leary was at the top of the batting statistics with 10 hits in 16 at bats, six doubles, six RBIs, three walks (.700 on-base percentage) and three runs scored. He also stole a base and fielded nine chances cleanly.

A 6'4", 225-pounder who bats third for the Jumbos, O'Leary had multiple hits in all four games this week. He was 3 for 3 with two doubles, a home run, two runs scored and two walks in a 7-2 victory at UMass Dartmouth on Tuesday. On Friday afternoon in the opener of a NESCAC East Division series against Trinity, he was 2 for 5 with two RBIs, including the game-winning hit in the bottom of the eighth inning. That capped a 7-6 comeback victory from a 6-1 deficit. On Saturday against Trinity, O'Leary was a combined 5 for 8 with three doubles and three RBIs in a double-header.

At week's end, O'Leary was hitting .479 (35/73) with 11 doubles, two home runs, 21 runs batted and 18 runs scored. After missing seven games with a thumb injury to start the season, he's just shy of playing in the necessary percentage of games to qualify for the conference batting title. His .740 slugging percentage and .563 on-base percentage lead the Jumbos.

Tufts had entered the week as losers in seven of their previous eight ballgames. After winning at UMass Dartmouth, they entered the weekend against Trinity needing to win two out of three to stay alive for a conference tournament berth. By sweeping the Bantams, they instead secured a spot in the NESCAC Tournament and eliminated Trinity from contention. The Jumbos are now 16-11 overall.

O'Leary shares the award this week with Bowdoin shortstop Chris McCann. The Tufts senior has overcome an injury-plagued career to be a key contributor to the Jumbos this year and last. He finished last season at .337 with five home runs, 33 runs batted in and 23 runs scored.