USA South Baseball Awards Announced

(FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.) - The USA South Athletic Conference has announced its All-Conference awards for baseball.  A total of 38 student-athletes have been named to the USA South All-Conference teams for baseball. Ferrum College's Brett Thomas has been named the Player of the Year while teammate Lincoln Garner has been named the Rookie Pitcher of the Year. Averett University's Ahmed Shelton is the Pitcher of the Year, his teammate Eric Sibrizzi is the Rookie of the Year and their coach, Ed Fulton, is the Coach of the Year.   

Thomas, senior from Danville, Virginia, led the conference in slugging percentage (.756), home runs (11) and RBI (54). The third baseman tallied a .379 batting average with 34 runs scored, eight doubles and three triples. Thomas also led the league in slugging percentage and RBI during conference competition. This is Thomas' third appearance on the All-Conference Team as he has earned first-team honors this spring, second-team honors last spring and first-team accolades in 2005.

A freshman from Lynchburg, Virginia, Shelton posted an 8-0 record, a 2.33 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 81 innings pitched this spring. Shelton's innings pitched and wins were conference highs. In conference play, Shelton was 5-0 while opponents batted just .206 against him. He led the Cougars in wins, innings pitched, complete games and strikeouts. For his efforts, Shelton received First-Team All-Conference honors.

Sibrizzi, a freshman from Clayton, North Carolina, played a key role in the Cougars season as he batted .354 with 46 hits, four doubles, 22 RBI and a team-high 31 runs scored. In conference-only action, Sibrizzi led the league in plate appearances (60) and was third in walks (8). For his efforts, Sibrizzi received First-Team All-Conference honors at second base.

A freshman from Ferrum, Virginia, Garner posted a 4-3 record and a 4.76 ERA in nine appearances. Garner tossed a team-high 56.2 innings while striking out a Panther-best 46 batters. Garner's strikeout total for the spring was good for third in the USA South.

In his tenth season at Averett, Head Coach Ed Fulton becomes the first Cougar skipper to be named USA South Conference Baseball Coach of the Year. Fulton led Averett to a 6-6 conference record, good for a fourth-place tie, and a 30-10 overall mark which is a dramatic improvement from their 13-27 overall record last spring. Those 30 victories by Averett this season set a new program-record.

Player of the Year
Brett Thomas, Ferrum

Pitcher of the Year
Ahmed Shelton, Averett

Rookie of the Year
Eric Sibrizzi, Averett

Rookie Pitcher of the Year
Lincoln Garner, Ferrum

Coach of the Year
Ed Fulton, Averett

The 2007 USA South All-Conference Baseball Teams follow:

First Team
1B - Mark Wooten, N.C. Wesleyan
2B - Eric Sibrizzi, Averett
3B - Brett Thomas, Ferrum
SS - David Jenkins, Shenandoah
C - Justin Batts, N.C. Wesleyan
DH - Adam Kessel, Shenandoah
Util - Pat Burgess, Greensboro
OF - Matt Smith, N.C. Wesleyan
         Ryan Anderson, Shenandoah
         Kyle Bolick, Greensboro
P - Ahmed Shelton, Averett
      Kenny Moreland, Christopher Newport
RP - Brian Bowles, Ferrum
Second Team
1B - Joey Garry, Averett
2B - Wes Means, N.C. Wesleyan
3B - Seth Kivett, Methodist
SS - Trae Bailey, Christopher Newport
C - Nick Baker, Ferrum
DH - Pierce Steinruck, Averett
Util - Ryan Cooper, Ferrum
OF - Matt Gammon, Ferrum
         Brent Sowers, Ferrum
         T. J. Bray, Averett 
P - Ben Pearson, N.C. Wesleyan
      Chris Toth, Methodist
RP - Kevin Moreland, Christopher Newport

Honorable Mention
1B -  Ryan McDougal, Christopher Newport
2B -  Dan Ziccardy, Shenandoah
3B -  James Hone, Greensboro
SS - Scott Russell, Methodist
C - Taylor Kennedy, Greensboro
DH - Parker Neal, Christopher Newport
OF - Luke Williford, N.C. Wesleyan
        Mike Giarrizzi, Christopher Newport
        Brad Davis, Methodist
P - Jimmy Holm, Ferrum
      Taylor DuFrene, Shenandoah
RP - Fred Geisinger, Methodist