NEWBERRY, S.C. - The Newberry College baseball team held their end of the season awards dinner last week to honor the accomplishments of the 2009 season.
Josh McElwee (Andrews, S.C.) was given the Cy Young Award as the team's top pitcher, while Thomas Berryhill (Aynor, S.C.) was named the team's most valuable player. The pair were also named to the 2009 all-South Atlantic Conference second team.
Senior shortstop Casio Grider (Hephzibah, Ga.) earned the Gold Glove award for superior fielding, while John Kirkland (Orlando, Fla.) was given the Dirtbag Award for his all-out play throughout his career. Michael Morin (Miami, Fla.) earned the Charlie Hustle award and Jovan Rohena (Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico) was named the team's Silver Slugger.
Catcher Jose Rosa (Keystone Heights, Fla.) was named the team's Most Improved Player and Ernie Castellano (Homestead, Fla.) was named the team's Most Improved Pitcher. Jim Pollack (Homer, Alaska) was given the Purple Heart award for fighting through extenuating circumstances throughout the season to help the team.
Head coach Bob Rikeman announced the final award would be a new award that he would give for each of the years he still coached, even if he is not coaching at Newberry. The new Jayme Thomas Award will be given to a player who displays loyalty to the team above and beyond the call of duty. Thomas, a senior from Clinton, S.C., was sidelined at the beginning of the 2009 season with a career-ending injury, but was still involved with every aspect of the team's operations. He was with the team for every game this season, despite being unable to play because of doctor's orders.
Coach Rikeman also congratulated the team on an impressive run in the South Atlantic Conference Tournament. Newberry was predicted to finish out of the tournament placings and had to win the final game of the regular season to make the tournament. The team proceeded to win its first tournament game in four years and won multiple tournament games for the first time since 1999.