CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The Appalachian League announced that Elizabethton's Owen Carapellotti and Kingsport's Matthew Cornelius were named the season's first Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively.
Carapellotti hit .455 (5-for-11) with three home runs and seven RBI in three games for the River Riders. He also scored five runs and walked twice. Carapellotti hit a two-run home run on Opening Day on Thursday, then went 2-for-5 with two home runs and five RBI on Friday night in Johnson City. The River Riders catcher leads the Appalachian League in home runs, RBI, slugging (1.273) and OPS (1.873). The 19-year-old from Canton, Mich., just finished his freshman season at Georgetown University. Carapellotti was the 2022 Big East Freshman of the Year.
Cornelius struck out nine over 4.2 scoreless innings pitched for the Axmen on Sunday in Bluefield. Kingsport's left-hander allowed just one hit and walked two to help the Axmen improve to 4-0 to start the season. Cornelius' nine strikeouts are tied for the most in the Appalachian League and his .067 batting average against is the best in the league. The 19-year-old from Zuni, N.M., just finished his freshman year at Pima Community College in Tucson, Ariz. Cornelius finished with 43 strikeouts in 33.1 innings pitched at Pima this spring.