SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Four Southern Conference student-athletes earned spots on the Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American team, powered by Diamond, which was announced Tuesday.
Mercer first baseman Angelo DiSpigna, Samford first baseman Sonny DiChiara and Wofford starting pitcher Hayes Heinecke and third baseman John Dempsey earned the honor. All four were SoCon all-freshman selections.
Mercer’s DiSpigna, an All-SoCon second-team (media), played in all 64 games with 62 starts. He batted .289 at the plate and was sound defensively with a .992 fielding percentage.
This marks the fifth straight year that Mercer has had a player named to Collegiate Baseball’s Freshman All-American Team; DiSpigna joins Le Bassett (2018), RJ Yeager (2018), Zach Graveno (2017), Robert Broom (2016) and Trey Truitt (2015) as Bears who have earned the honors since Mercer joined the SoCon.
A native of Lawrenceville, Georgia, DiSpigna’s slugging numbers were a key component in Mercer’s SoCon championship-winning season in 2019; he ranked second on the team with 13 homers, 43 runs batted in and a .509 slugging percentage. Eight of his home runs came against league opponents.
Samford’s DiChiara hit 21 home runs, tying him for second on the school's single-season home run list. He also led the team with 55 RBIs on the season. He earned first-team All-SoCon honors from the league’s coaches and media and was the media’s pick for SoCon Freshman of the Year.
DiChiara hit .293 for the season and had a team-best .646 slugging percentage. During the season, the Hoover, Alabama, native had 15 multi-hit games and a team-high 15 multi-RBI games.
Samford finished the 2019 season with 41 wins, tying the school record for victories. The Bulldogs earned the program's first Southern Conference regular-season title.
Wofford’s Dempsey, from Potomac, Maryland, started 60 games at third base. He finished fourth on the team with a .324 batting average, tied for second with seven home runs, and fourth with 41 RBIs. Among Southern Conference leaders, he was first in doubles (22), ninth in hits (72) and ninth in slugging percentage (.536). He was named All-Southern Conference second team by the media and coaches.
Heinecke, from Fayetteville, Georgia, posted a 10-2 record in 15 starts this season. He had 84 strikeouts in 88 1/3 innings with only 15 walks. His ERA of 2.65 ranked fifth in the Southern Conference. He led the league in wins with 10, which also ranked 11th in the nation. He was named All-Southern Conference second team by the media and coaches and was named the SoCon Freshman of the Year by the coaches.
Dempsey and Heinecke bring the total number of Terriers to earn Freshman All-America honors to seven, joining Matt Lein (2002), J.D. Melton (2006), Michael Gilmartin (2007), Jake Williams (2008) and Colin Davis (2018). This marks the first time the Terriers have had two players honored in the same season.
For the complete Collegiate Baseball release, click here.