Bassett, Strickland honored by Baseball America
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 07/11/2018
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Courtesy: Mercer Athletics

DURHAM, N.C. – Mercer designated hitter Le Bassett and Samford starting pitcher Samuel Strickland earned spots on Baseball America’s Freshman All-America second team, the organization announced Wednesday.

It is the third Freshman All-America honor earned by Bassett, a rising sophomore from Tifton, Georgia, since the conclusion of the 2018 campaign. Bassett was additionally named a Freshman All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and Collegiate Baseball.

Bassett emerged as the Southern Conference’s top power threat just 48 games into his collegiate career this spring. The left-hander thrived in the designated hitter role for Mercer, leading the league with 17 home runs and 60 runs batted in, which ranked second. His 17 home runs were a program freshman record. Bassett batted .282 overall and slugged a team-best .678, which also ranked 15th nationally.

Previously this postseason, Strickland has received first-team Freshman All-America honors from the NCBWA, Collegiate Baseball and and second-team accolades by Perfect Game/Rawlings.

Strickland was named the Southern Conference's Freshman of the Year earlier this season. He became just the third Samford player to be named SoCon Freshman of the Year in school history.

Samford's hard-throwing left-hander went 8-2 with an ERA of 2.33 and a team-best 87 strikeouts in his rookie campaign. A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Strickland held opposing hitters to a SoCon-best .177 batting average, ranking second in the league with five wins in conference play. Strickland only allowed a total of 15 walks over 81 innings of work.

Earlier this season, he was also named SoCon Pitcher of the Week four times, including May 14 after throwing a complete-game, four-hit win against Western Carolina on May 12. Against SoCon opponents, Strickland went 5-1 with a 2.01 ERA and 37 strikeouts.

To view Baseball America’s first and second Freshman All-American teams, click here.

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