HICKORY, N.C. - Newberry College's Josh McElwee has been named the South Atlantic Conference Freshman of the Year in baseball, the league announced at its annual baseball banquet tonight. Brandon Petty and Nick Martin were also named to the all-South Atlantic Conference second team, it was announced.
McElwee, a freshman right-handed pitcher from Andrews, S.C., earned Freshman of the Year honors with a spectacular inaugural season. He was named the SAC Statistical Champion for strikeouts per game with an average of 11.55 punchouts per nine innings and a total of 86 K's entering the South Atlantic Conference Tournament matchup with Carson-Newman. In his collegiate debut, he struck out 10 batters in five no-hit innings in the first-ever game at the new Smith Road Complex. Against Brevard, he established a new Indians record with 17 strikeouts over nine innings.
Petty, a senior right-handed pitcher from Melbourne, Fla., earns his second straight all-SAC award after being named to the first team in 2007. In 2008, he has collected a 5-7 record with a 5.09 ERA in 12 starts. He has two complete game shutouts against Carson-Newman and Lincoln Memorial, and collected SAC Pitcher of the Week laurels twice. He is second on the team in strikeouts with 53 K's.
Martin, a senior from Morehead City, N.C., earned second team all-SAC honors at designated hitter. In his final season at Newberry, Martin led the Indians in nearly every offensive category with a .342 average with four homeruns, 30 RBIs, 11 doubles and a total of 53 hits. This marks Martin's first all-SAC honor.
Catawba College senior outfielder David Thomas, who helped lead the Catawba Indians to the conference championship, and Carson-Newman College senior Brett Hontz took the South Atlantic Conference's top baseball awards, the league announced today.
Thomas was named the league's Player of the Year after leading the conference with a .790 slugging percentage. He hit .442 with 15 home runs and 44 RBI. Hontz was named the league's Pitcher of the Year after going 9-1 with a 1.99 earned run average. He had one complete game shutout and struck out 82 in 81.1 innings of work.
The awards were presented Wednesday night on the campus of Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, N.C. The Food Lion SAC Baseball Tournament begins Thursday with three games at Lenoir-Rhyne's Bears Field.
Catawba Coach Jim Gantt, who guided the Indians to their fourth conference championship in the past five years, was named Coach of the Year. He wins the award for the fourth time in his career.
Newberry freshman pitcher Josh McElwee, who led the conference in total strikeouts and strikeouts per game, was named Freshman of the Year.
Catawba led the way with nine All-Conference selections, including six on the First Team. Joining Thomas on the First Team are pitcher Blake Ketner, relief pitcher Tim Holmes, shortstop Chris Ahearn, outfielder Jerry Sands, and designated hitter Brett Hatley.
Tusculum had seven All-Conference selections, with four making the First Team. Pitcher Boo Morrow, catcher Christian Rosa, first baseman Dustin Morrow and second baseman Maikol Gonzalez all earned First Team honors.
Carson-Newman placed five on the All-Conference squad, with Hontz and outfielder Nick Achberger selected to the First Team.
Lenoir-Rhyne third baseman Dan Ford rounds out the First Team.
Mars Hill placed two on the Second Team, and Lincoln Memorial had one Second Team selection.
The South Atlantic Conference All-Conference teams are selected by the league's head coaches.
Tusculum first baseman Dustin Morrow was named the SAC's Scholar Athlete for baseball.
Morrow is a two-time All-Conference selection and had a 21-game hitting streak in 2007.
In the classroom, he has a 3.93 GPA as an secondary math education major. He was selected to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District second team in 2007 and is a member of Alpha Chi Honor Society.
On campus and in the community, Morrow serves as secretary and budget committee chair of the Pioneer Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. He has helped raise money for Make-a-Wish and Tsunami relief, and has worked to provide food baskets and g ifts at Christmas for needy families. He has helped with cleaning and painting at a therapeutic horseback riding center and a river picnic area.
Regular season statistical champions and senior awards were also announced.
2008 SOUTH ATLANTIC ALL-CONFERENCE BASEBALL TEAM
Catcher - Christian Rosa, Tusculum
Pitcher - Brett Hontz, Carson-Newman
Pitcher - Blake Ketner, Catawba
Pitcher - Boo Morrow, Tusculum
Relief Pitcher - Tim Holmes, Catawba
First Base - Dustin Morrow, Tusculum
Second Base - Maikol Gonzalez, Tusculum
Shortstop - Chris Ahearn, Catawba
Third Base - Dan Ford, Lenoir-Rhyne
Outfielder - David Thomas, Catawba
Outfielder - Jerry Sands, Catawba
Outfielder - Nick Achberger, Carson-Newman
Designated Hitter - Brett Hatley, Catawba
Catcher - Ryan Query, Catawba *
Catcher - Mi k e Dobre, Mars Hill *
Pitcher - Raymond Ruggles, Tusculum
Pitcher - Alex Fairweather, Catawba
Pitcher - Brandon Petty, Newberry
Relief Pitcher - Mat Galens, Tusculum
First Base - Derek Long, Carson-Newman
Second Base - Langdon Potts, Carson-Newman
Shortstop - Derek Treece, Lincoln Memorial
Third Base - Craige Lyerly, Catawba
Outfielder - Carlos Rivera, Tusculum
Outfielder - Austin Boehme, Mars Hill
Outfielder - Jason Gray, Carson-Newman
Designated Hitter - Nick Martin, Newberry
COACH OF THE YEAR - Jim Gantt, Catawba
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR - Josh McElwee, Newberry
PITCHER OF THE YEAR - Brett Hontz, Carson-Newman
PLAYER OF THE YEAR - David Thomas, Catawba
SCHOLAR-ATHLETE - Dustin Morrow, Tusculum
BASEBALL STAT CHAMPIONS
Maikol Gonzalez, Tusculum, Batting Average, .475
Christian Rosa, Tusculum, On-Base Percentage, .536
Christian Rosa, Tusculum, Runs Scored Per Game, 1.4
Langdon Potts, Carson-Newman, Triples Per Game, .160
Jerry Sands, Catawba, RBIs Per Game, 1.39
Jerry Sands, Catawba, Home Runs Per Game, .370
David Thomas, Catawba, Slugging Percentage, .787
TeWayne Willis, Lincoln Memorial, Stolen Bases Per Game, .750
Boo Morrow, Tusculum, Earned Run Average, 1.47
Brett Hontz, Carson-Newman, Pitching Victories, 9
Josh McElwee, Newberry, Strikeouts Per Game, 11.55
Mars Hill, Team Batting Average, .352
Catawba, Slugging Percentage, .529
Lincoln Memorial, On-Base Percentage, .426
Catawba, Runs Per Game, 8.15
Mars Hill, Doubles Per Game, 2.68
Tusculum, Triples Per Game, .62
Catawba, Home Runs Per Game, 1.39
Catawba. RBIs Per Game. 7.57
Catawba, Stolen Bases Per Game, 1.76
Tusculum, Earned Run Average, 3.23
Lenoir-Rhyne, Stikeouts Per Game, 7.47