(FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.) - The USA South Athletic Conference has announced its 2015 All-Conference awards for baseball. A total of 43 student-athletes have been named to the All-Conference teams. Maryville College's Nick Dean was named Player of the Year and Methodist University's Josh Howard collected Pitcher of the Year honors while his coach, Tom Austin, picked up Coach of the Year accolades. Covenant College's Caleb Bloye was named Rookie of the Year while Huntingdon College's Jared Gonzalez earned Rookie Pitcher of the Year honors. Also, the USA South recognized an All-Sportsmanship Team, consisting of one member from each competing school.
All honors were determined by votes from the baseball coach at each institution.
Dean, a senior shortstop from Mineral Bluff, Georgia earns his second consecutive Conference Player of the Year honor. He led the League in batting average (.454), on-base percentage (.526), slugging percentage (.718), hits (74), RBI (51) total bases (117) and assists (159). Dean was also in the top-three of the Conference in games played, plate appearances, at-bats, runs scored, doubles and home runs. In USA South games only, Dean continued to lead the League in hits, RBI, total bases and slugging percentage. For his efforts, he earns his third consecutive All-Conference honor as he was a first team shortstop for the second straight spring after earning second team accolades two years ago. Finally, Dean was named USA South Player of the Week twice this season.
Howard, a senior pitcher from Suffolk, Virginia is currently tied for the USA South lead with eight wins after posting an 8-1 record so far this season. In a League-high 81.2 innings pitched, Howard has established a 2.87 ERA and leads the USA South with 66 strikeouts. In USA South-only action, he compiled a 5-1 record and a 3.10 ERA with a League-high 61 strikeouts. This season, he collects his first All-Conference honor as he earns first team accolades as a starting pitcher.
Bloye, a freshman first baseman from Dallas, Georgia, becomes the first Scot to be named USA South Rookie of the Year in the sport of baseball. He compiled a .347 batting average, a .386 on-base percentage and a .415 slugging percentage this season. Bloye totaled 28 RBI, 13 runs scored, seven doubles and one home run. In USA South-only action, he led all rookies with a .382 batting average which ranked ninth overall. Finally, Bloye was named USA South Rookie of the Week once this season.
A freshman pitcher from Navarre, Florida, Gonzalez becomes the first Hawk to be named USA South Rookie Pitcher of the Year in the sport of baseball. He posted a 7-2 record in 11 appearances, nine starts, with a 4.98 ERA in 59.2 innings pitched this season. Gonzalez's seven total wins currently rank third in the Conference. Against USA South competition this spring, he tied for the League-high in wins with seven as he posted a 7-1 record. For his efforts this season, Gonzalez earned Honorable Mention All-Conference honors. Finally, he was selected as the USA South's Rookie Pitcher of the Week four times this spring.
In his 36th season at Methodist as head coach, Austin collects his 11th career Conference Coach of the Year honor and first since 2006. He continues to have earned the most baseball coach of the year accolades in League history. Austin led the Monarchs to a 24-6 USA South record, earning the program its 18th regular season title which is now the most in Conference baseball history. The 24 League victories this spring establishes a new USA South record for a single-season. In the USA South Preseason Coaches Poll, Methodist was picked to finish fourth. Overall, the Monarchs are 32-8, surpassing the 30-win plateau for the first time since 2007 and earning the most wins since 2002's 39-9-1 campaign. Currently, Methodist is ranked 12th in the latest D3Baseball.com Top-25 Poll and are awaiting the announcement of its opponent and location for the upcoming NCAA Regional Tournament.
|Player of the Year||Pitcher of the Year||Rookie of the Year||Rookie Pitcher of the Year||Coach of the Year|
The 2015 USA South Baseball All-Conference Team:
|First Team||Second Team||Honorable Mention|
|1B - Timothy Coston, Averett
2B - Will Skidmore, Piedmont
3B - Jordan Freeman, Huntingdon
SS - Nick Dean, Maryville
C - Chris Power, Methodist
DH/Util. - Ray Lanners, Methodist
OF - Adam Duncan, Ferrum
OF - Evan Gresham, Piedmont
OF - Anthony Spivey, Huntingdon
SP - Josh Howard, Methodist
SP - Travis Johnson, Methodist
RP - Josh Thomas, Piedmont
|1B - Zack Blonder, Maryville
2B - Matt Reynolds, Ferrum
3B - Kevin Alvarez, Averett
SS - Ciro Norzagaray, N.C. Wesleyan
C - Hank Parsley, Ferrum
DH/Util. - Taylor Davis, Averett
OF - Scott Gillespie, Covenant
OF - Patrick Kucera, Huntingdon
OF - Alec Raley, Huntingdon
SP - Taylor Davis, Averett
SP - Jake Perkins, Ferrum
RP - Tyler Hopkins, Maryville
|1B - Matt Jack, Methodist
2B - John McDermott, Maryville
3B - Michael Barnes, Piedmont
SS - Jordan Powell, Greensboro
C - Nic Futrell, Averett
OF - Justin Disanto, N.C. Wesleyan
OF - Logan Jenkins, Maryville
OF - Alex Rodriguez, Methodist
SP - Jared Gonzalez, Huntingdon
|Jeff Younkins, Averett
Will Cleland, Covenant
Hank Parsley, Ferrum
Kristopher Peeden, Greensboro
Victor Taylor, Huntingdon
Josh Bricker, LaGrange
Jacob Frost, Maryville
Pete Wildeboer, Methodist
Will Graves, N.C. Wesleyan
Tyler Marcinko, Piedmont
JT Howington, William Peace