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Baseball all-conference teams announced
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 05/21/2018
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UNCG's Andrew Moritz and Matt Frisbee, Mercer's RJ Yeager and Samford's Samuel Strickland
Courtesy: Southern Conference
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SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference coaches and SoCon Sports Media Association (SCSMA) have selected their all-conference baseball teams, with UNCG outfielder Andrew Moritz (Player of the Year), UNCG right-hander Matt Frisbee (Pitcher of the Year) and UNCG’s Link Jarrett (Coach of the Year) earning consensus individual honors. Mercer infielder RJ Yeager was named the coaches’ freshman of the year while Samford pitcher Samuel Strickland was named the SCSMA Freshman of the Year.

UNCG’s Moritz paced the league in batting average this season, hitting .421 for the Spartans, ranking second in the country behind Niagara’s Greg Cullen while matching the Spartans’ Christian Wolfe (2013) for highest single-season batting average by a UNCG player in the SoCon. The junior led the conference in on-base percentage (.489) and triples (10), while tying with Wofford’s Mack Nathanson for runs batted in with 55. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native racked up 83 hits, 52 runs scored and five home runs, slugging a team-high .635 for the season. The outfielder handled his position well, committing just one error and totaling 102 putouts in 50 games, boasting a fielding percentage of .990. Moritz racked up 27 walks, seven doubles and four sacrifice flies while getting hit by three pitches this season. In 21 league games, Moritz batted .414 with 31 RBIs and a slugging percentage of .644. Moritz is the first Spartan to be named player of the year for either the coaches or media team, helping the Spartans claim the regular-season SoCon title and the No. 1 seed in this week’s SoCon Baseball Championship presented by Holston Gases.

 Frisbee ranks in the top 10 in the SoCon in every major pitching category including, tying with Mercer’s Robert Broom for a league-high 10 wins. The right-hander was a perfect 10-0 for the season, with six wins coming against conference opponents, throwing 83 2/3 innings with an earned run average of 2.90 for the season. The Candler, North Carolina, native, struck out a team-high 107 batters, walked just 23 batters and held opposing hitters to just a .232 average. The junior fanned 11 or more batters on three occasions and eight or more batters seven times this season. Frisbee twice struck out 13 batters, including a complete-game win over Lipscomb on March 16. Against SoCon opponents, Frisbee tied for second with 60 strikeouts, posting an ERA of 3.45 while holding opposing hitters to a .246 average. Frisbee is the first UNCG player to be named pitcher of the year by the coaches and just the third to be named pitcher of the year by the media.

Yeager batted .335 with six home runs and 41 runs batted in, starting all 55 games for Mercer this season. The Lynn Haven, Florida, native ranked third on the team in batting average, runs scored (50) and slugging percentage (.483). The rookie racked up 68 hits and 98 total bases, smacking 12 doubles while drawing 25 walks. Yeager has an on-base percentage of .428 and was hit by 11 pitches in 2018.  Against SoCon opponents, Yeager batted .319 with three home runs and 13 RBIs, slugging .447 and posting an on-base percentage of .387.

Samford’s Strickland became the third Bulldog to be named SoCon freshman of the year by the media and the first since Austin Edens took home the award in 2015. The left-hander went 7-2 with an ERA of 2.05 and a team-best 72 strikeouts in his rookie campaign. The Birmingham, Alabama, native held opposing hitters to a SoCon-best .173 batting average, ranking second in the league with five wins in conference. Strickland was named SoCon Pitcher of the Week four times in 2018, 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. Strickland’s impressive freshman season helped Samford grab the No. 2 seed in the upcoming SoCon Baseball Championship.

The Spartans’ Jarrett earns his second Coach of the Year award in the last three seasons, as he also took the honor from both the coaches and the media in 2016. Jarrett guided UNCG to a 37-13 record overall, going 18-3 in SoCon play. The Spartans were able to lock up the regular-season title and No. 1 seed for the SoCon Baseball Championship on May 13. Jarrett, who is in his sixth season at the helm of the program, has now directed UNCG to 35 or more wins in three straight seasons and helped the 2018 squad win every league series, sweeping four SoCon opponents in the process.

In addition to voting for the individual awards, the coaches and media selected all-conference first and second teams and the coaches picked an all-freshman team. Due to ties in the voting, the media’s second team includes 13 players.

UNCG had a league-best four first-team selections and six total selections on both the coaches’ and media teams. ETSU earned three first-team selections while VMI earned two from both of the organizations.

Mercer boasted three second-team selections on the coaches’ second team while VMI had three players selected to the media’s second team. Western Carolina, which is represented by catcher Spencer Holcomb on both the coaches’ and media second team, leads the way with three all-freshman selections.

UNCG’s Austin Embler (second base) and Caleb Webster (third base) joined Moritz and Frisbee on the respective first teams, while Andrew Wantz (relief pitcher) and Cesar Trejo (outfield) were named to both the coaches’ and media second teams.

ETSU’s Christian Bailey (first base), Chris Cook (shortstop) and Caleb Longley (designated hitter) were named to both the coaches’ and media first teams, while Cullen Smith (second base) made both second teams. Furman’s Ben Anderson (outfield), Mercer’s Broom (relief pitcher) and VMI’s Peyton Maddox (catcher) and Matt Pita (outfield) round out the coaches’ first team. Broom, Maddox and Pita were all named to the media and were joined by Mercer’s Trey Truitt (outfield).

2018 SoCon Baseball Coaches All-Southern Conference Teams
Player of the Year – Andrew Moritz, Jr., OF, UNCG

Pitcher of the Year – Matt Frisbee, Jr., RHP, UNCG
Freshman of the Year – RJ Yeager, Fr., IF, Mercer
Coach of the Year – Link Jarrett, UNCG 

First team
SP                   Matt Frisbee, UNCG

SP                   Samuel Strickland, Samford
RP                   Robert Broom, Mercer
C                     Peyton Maddox, VMI
1B                    Christian Bailey, ETSU
2B                    Austin Embler, UNCG
SS                   Chris Cook, ETSU
3B                    Caleb Webster, UNCG
OF                   Ben Anderson, Furman
OF                   Andrew Moritz, UNCG
OF                   Matt Pita, VMI
DH                   Caleb Longley, ETSU 

Second team
SP                   Josh Winder, VMI

SP                   Adam Scott, Wofford
RP                   Andrew Wantz, UNCG
C                     Spencer Holcomb, Western Carolina
1B                    Jake Huggins, VMI
2B                    Cullen Smith, ETSU
SS                   RJ Yeager, Mercer
3B                    Nathan Eaton, VMI
OF                   Trey Truitt, Mercer
OF                   Cesar Trejo, UNCG
OF                   McClain Bradley, Wofford
DH                   Brooks Carlson, Samford 

All-freshman team
David Beam, ETSU

Ben Jackson, ETSU
Ben Anderson, Furman
Le Bassett, Mercer
RJ Yeager, Mercer

Brooks Carlson, Samford
Samuel Strickland, Samford
Justice Bigbie, Western Carolina
Will Prater, Western Carolina
Chase Walter, Western Carolina
Colin Davis, Wofford
Lawson Hill, Wofford 

2018 SoCon Sports Media Association Baseball All-Conference Teams
Player of the Year – Andrew Moritz, Jr., OF, UNCG

Pitcher of the Year – Matt Frisbee, Jr., RHP, UNCG
Freshman of the Year – Samuel Strickland, LHP, Samford
Coach of the Year – Link Jarrett, UNCG

 First team
SP                   Matt Frisbee, UNCG

SP                   Samuel Strickland, Samford
RP                   Robert Broom, Mercer
C                     Peyton Maddox, VMI
1B                    Christian Bailey, ETSU
2B                    Austin Embler, UNCG
SS                   Chris Cook, ETSU
3B                    Caleb Webster, UNCG
OF                   Trey Truitt, Mercer
OF                   Andrew Moritz, UNCG
OF                   Matt Pita, VMI
DH                   Caleb Longley, ETSU 

Second team (13 members due to a tie in voting)
SP                   Josh Winder, VMI

SP                   Adam Scott, Wofford
RP                   Andrew Wantz, UNCG
C                     Spencer Holcomb, Western Carolina
1B                    Jake Huggins, VMI
2B                    Cullen Smith, ETSU
2B                    Brandon Michie, Mercer
SS                   RJ Yeager, Mercer
3B                    Jackson Ware, Mercer
OF                   Ben Anderson, Furman
OF                   Cesar Trejo, UNCG
OF                   Will Malbon, VMI
DH                   Brooks Carlson, Samford

 

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