SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference baseball coaches have selected their 2009 All-Conference teams, highlighted by Co-Players of the Year Joey Bergman of College of Charleston and Chase Austin of Elon along with Pitcher of the Year Wes Wrenn of The Citadel.
Bergman, also chosen as the first-team third baseman, currently leads the nation in hitting with a .465 batting average. The junior has scored a SoCon-record 86 runs this season and his 99 hits put him one shy of becoming just the 10th player in league history to reach the 100-hit plateau in a single season. A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Bergman currently leads the Southern Conference in batting average (.465), on-base percentage (.561), runs (86), hits (99), doubles (24) and total bases (170).
Austin was a key performer in helping Elon win its second straight SoCon regular season crown by batting .379 with 19 home runs and 68 RBIs. Austin was even better in conference play, pacing the league in runs and RBIs in SoCon games as the Phoenix reeled off a 17-game SoCon win streak to close the regular season. The junior from Charlotte, N.C., was voted as the second-team third baseman.
Wrenn, a senior right-hander from High Point, N.C., compiled a 9-2 record to go along with a 3.84 ERA and 78 strikeouts. He logged a league-high 93.2 innings on the mound including three complete games. In his last eight starts, Wrenn has pitched at least 7.1 innings in each outing while holding opponents to four earned runs or fewer in each of those appearances.
Wrenn was joined by three teammates on the first team, giving The Citadel the most first-team selections with four. Catcher Richard Jones was honored along with first baseman Chris McGuiness and outfielder Sonny Meade. The Bulldogs Drew Mahaffey was voted as the second-team relief pitcher.
Regular season champion Elon placed five members on the all-conference team, including three on the first and two on the second. Relief pitcher Thomas Girdwood and outfielders Pat Irvine and Cory Harrilchak were first-team honorees while Austin and pitcher Jimmy Reyes were named to the second team.
College of Charleston had the most players honored as seven Cougars earned all-conference distinction. On the first team, second baseman Brandon Sizemore and designated hitter Ryan Daniels joined Bergman while the Cougars’ second-team selections included pitcher Jesse Simpson, first baseman Joash Brodin and outfielders Matt Mansilla and Clay McCord.
Other first-team all-conference selections included Georgia Southern pitcher Chris Mederos, whose 10 wins were a league-high in 2009, and Western Carolina shortstop Brent Greer. Appalachian State’s Zach Quate, a relief pitcher with a 1.19 ERA and 11 saves, was tabbed for first-team honors as well.
Included on the second team were Georgia Southern catcher Griffin Benedict, Appalachian State second baseman Wes Hobson, Wofford shortstop Michael Gilmartin, Appalachian State outfielder Rand Smith and Davidson designated hitter Danny Weiss.
Elon’s Mike Kennedy was voted by his peers as Coach of the Year for the second season in a row and the third time in four years. Kennedy led the Phoenix to a 37-14 overall record and a 23-4 mark in league play. Elon is currently ranked 22nd nationally in the latest Baseball America poll, and it entered the week as the nation’s leader in home runs.
The league’s coaches also chose the first-ever All-Freshman team, led by Freshman of the Year Ross Heffley from Western Carolina. Heffley’s .392 batting average was tops among SoCon freshmen and it placed him eighth overall in the conference. In addition, the Snellville, Ga., native had 87 hits, 48 RBIs, 47 runs scored and 18 doubles.
Joining Heffley on the All-Freshman team were David Peterson (College of Charleston), David Greene (The Citadel), Nick Orvin (The Citadel), Drew Gadaire (Davidson), Jordan Darnell (Elon), Zeth Stone (Elon), Matt Murray (Georgia Southern), Eric Phillips (Georgia Southern), Colin Snow (Georgia Southern), Konstantine Diamaduros (Wofford) and James Foster (Wofford).
Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players.
2009 Coaches All-Southern Conference Baseball Team
P Wes Wrenn, The Citadel
P Chris Mederos, Georgia Southern
RP Zach Quate, Appalachian State
RP Thomas Girdwood, Elon
C Richard Jones, The Citadel
1B Chris McGuiness, The Citadel
2B Brandon Sizemore, College of Charleston
SS Brent Greer, Western Carolina
3B Joey Bergman, College of Charleston
OF Sonny Meade, The Citadel
OF Pat Irvine, Elon
OF Cory Harrilchak, Elon
DH Ryan Daniels, College of Charleston
P Jesse Simpson, College of Charleston
P Jimmy Reyes, Elon
RP Drew Mahaffey, The Citadel
C Griffin Benedict, Georgia Southern
1B Joash Brodin, College of Charleston
2B Wes Hobson, Appalachian State
SS Michael Gilmartin, Wofford
3B Chase Austin, Elon
OF Matt Mansilla, College of Charleston
OF Clay McCord, College of Charleston
OF Rand Smith, Appalachian State
DH Danny Weiss, Davidson
Co-Players of the Year – Joey Bergman, College of Charleston and Chase Austin, Elon
Pitcher of the Year – Wes Wrenn, The Citadel
Freshman of the Year – Ross Heffley, Western Carolina
Coach of the Year – Mike Kennedy, Elon
David Peterson, College of Charleston
David Greene, The Citadel
Nick Orvin, The Citadel
Drew Gadaire, Davidson
Jordan Darnell, Elon
Zeth Stone, Elon
Matt Murray, Georgia Southern
Eric Phillips, Georgia Southern
Colin Snow, Georgia Southern
Ross Heffley, Western Carolina
Konstantine Diamaduros, Wofford
James Foster, Wofford