The GoBonnies.com Male Athlete of the Week presented by Valley View Dental for the week ending March 4 is baseball freshman Braydon Nelson.
In his first two starts, Nelson tossed 18 scoreless innings while striking out 15 and walking two for the Bonnies in Florida this past week.
The Brecksville, Ohio native made his collegiate debut on Feb. 27 and threw a complete game shutout as the Bonnies defeated Mount St. Mary's, 3-0. Nelson scattered eight hits and walked just one while striking out seven and never relinquished control. The Mount sent a runner past second base just once – that coming with two outs in the third. Nelson got stronger as the game wore on, striking out the side in the seventh, worked around a leadoff single but did not allow a runner past first in the eighth, and allowed just a harmless two-out single in the ninth but never allowed the tying run to the plate.
It was a tough act to follow, but Nelson was up for the challenge on Sunday. Against Western Michigan, he again did not surrender a run in nine innings of work. This time he struck out eight batters and his only walk was an intentional pass in the ninth. He threw 79 of his 110 pitches for strikes.
For the week, he gave up just one extra base hit – a double vs. Mount St. Mary's.
Nelson is the only true freshman pitcher in Division I to begin his career this season with at least 18 scoreless innings of work.