Baseball Puts Six on NCCSIA All-State Teams


SALISBURY, N.C. -- Six players from the 2015 Catawba College baseball team have earned spots on the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) College Division All-State Baseball Teams.  The announcement of the twenty-six players, which represent 10 different North Carolina College and Universities, was announced on Wednesday.

Catawba, the 2015 NCAA Division II national runner-up, highlighted the field with four first-team All-State selections.  Earning first team honors were Craig Brooks (Monroe, N.C./Parkwood HS), Ryan McClintock (Matthews, N.C./Providence HS), Will Albertson (Sophia, N.C./Randleman HS/Campbell) and T.J. Wharton (Lutz, Fla./Bishop McLaughlin HS/Guilford Tech).  Blake Houston (Mt. Ulla, N.C./S. Rowan HS) and Shaefer Shepard (Boca Raton, Fla./Boca Raton HS/Francis Marion) were second team honorees.

Brooks of Catawba and Mount Olive’s Gunnar Kines were selected as the first-team starting pitchers.  Brooks finished 9-1 on the year with a 1.45 earned run average, 158 strikeouts and three saves on his way to being named the National Pitcher of the Year and Gold Bat Player of the Year by ABCA/Rawlings.  Brooks, who also played third base and batted .300 with six home runs and 43 runs batted in, earned First-Team All-American honors by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and won the Brett Tomko and Josh Willingham Awards this spring.  In addition, Brooks was named the South Atlantic Conference and Southeast Region Pitcher of the Year.  Kines was named the Conference Carolinas Pitcher of the Year and an honorable mention All-American after going 9-2 on the season with a 3.26 earned run average and 121 strikeouts (third in the nation).

Catawba’s McClintock and UNC Pembroke’s Alex Britt both made the first-team as relief pitchers in 2015.  McClintock was 6-0 with a 2.90 earned run average and eight saves while being named an honorable mention All-SAC performer and was selected to the SAC Baseball Championship All-Tournament squad.  Britt was a second-team All-Peach Belt Conference selection and a semifinalist for the Brett Tomko Award after fashioning a 5-3 record this year with a league-best 2.12 earned run average and 57 strikeouts.

Albertson joined his Catawba teammates on the first-team after being selected as the All-State catcher.  Albertson ranked first in batting average (.467), third in home runs (26) and second in runs batted in (91) nationally this year and was named the National Position Player of the Year by the ABCA and the National Player of the Year by the NCBWA and Daktronics for D-II.  Additionally, Albertson earned 2015 South Atlantic Conference and Southeast Region Player of the Year honors.

Catawba’s Wharton is the fourth and final player from Catawba to be named to the first-team after being selected at designated hitter.  Wharton started all 62 games for the Indians and finished with a .349 batting average, 10 home runs and 58 runs batted in.  He was a 2015 First-Team All-SAC and Second-Team All-Southeast Region pick.

Houston was second on Catawba in batting with a .355 average and scored a team-high 79 runs in being named All-Southeast Region and a honorable mention All-American by the NCWBA.  Among his 82 hits were 21 doubles, a triple and nine home runs.  Houston collected 44 RBI with 16 stolen bases.  Shepard, who was a second team All-SAC and honorable mention all-region pick, complied an 11-4 record on the mound which marked the third most wins in school history.  Over 98 and a third innings he struck out 80 batters and finished with a 3.94 ERA.

The first team All-State infield includes two players out of UNC Pembroke in Collins Cuthrell and Zade Denton along with Wingate’s Shane Billings and Mount Olive’s Justin Manning.

Cuthrell earned All-American honors by three publications – NCBWA, Daktronics and ABCA – and was named the Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year.  The senior led the league in 10 different offensive categories including batting average (.438), doubles (22), home runs (25), runs batted in (75) and total bases (188).  Denton earned All-American accolades by the NCBWA and All-Region and All-Conference honors after hitting .363 for the year with 59 runs scored, 10 home runs and 65 runs batted in. Denton, who started all 51 games, was also a 2015 Capital One Academic All-American.

Billings was an NCAA Division II First-Team All-American (NCBWA and Daktronics) thanks to a season which saw him rank second in the country in runs scored (79) and hits (104).  Billings also batted .408 with 10 home runs, 43 RBI and 26 stolen bases.  Manning was a first-team All-Conference Carolina’s selection after hitting .400 with 54 runs scored and 57 RBI. The senior hit 15 doubles and seven home runs for the Trojans.

Wingate’s Thomas Spitz, Mount Olive’s Jason Morozowski and UNC Pembroke’s Drew Cole combined to form the first-team outfield for 2015.  Spitz was a second-te am All-American and first-team All-League and All-Region selection this spring.  He batted .372 with a national-leading 80 runs scored in addition to 17 home runs, 77 runs batted in and 22 stolen bases.  Morozowski was a first-team NCAA Division II All-American by the ABCA, Daktronics and NCWBA after finishing third in the nation in RBI (82) to go along with a .424 batting average, 78 runs scored and 21 home runs.  Morozowski was also named the 2015 Conference Carolinas Player of the Year.  Cole was an All-League and All-Region pick after starting all 51 games for the Braves and finishing with a .375 batting average, 63 runs, six home runs, 41 RBI and 21 stolen bases.

Nominees were submitted by North Carolina sports information professionals and selected by the NCCSIA members.

The NCCSIA All-State second-team is comprised of Catawba’s Houston and Shepard, UNC Pembroke’s Ben Schmucker and Dalton Knight, Lenoir-Rhyne’s Ryan Perkins and Brantley Rumford, Belmont Abbey’s Anthony Dimino, Brevard’s Bennett Hixson, Guilford College’s Justin Morrison, Mars Hill’s Evan Rogers, Methodist's Josh Howard, Pfeiffer’s Izzy Perez and Wingate’s Bradley Brown.

Founded in 2002, the NCCSIA is comprised of sports information professionals from NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA and independent institutions from the state of North Carolina. The purpose of the organization is to promote collegiate athletics at all schools. Membership is open to anyone affiliated with a college, university or confere nce located in North Carolina, and whose area of responsibility lies within sports information.

NCCSSIA selects all-state teams in the University (Division I) and College (Division II, III, NAIA) divisions for men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, softball and baseball.

North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association
2015 College Division All-State Baseball Teams
First Team     
SP - Craig Brooks&, Sr. Catawba, Monroe, N.C.
SP - Gunnar Kines, Sr. Mount Olive, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
RP - Alex Britt, So. UNC Pembroke, Lumberton, N.C.
RP - Ryan McClintock&%, Sr. Catawba, Matthews, N.C.
C - Will Albertson, Jr. Catawba, Sophia, N.C.
IF - Collins Cuthrell, Sr. UNC Pembroke, Rocky Mount, N.C.
IF - Zade Denton%, Sr. UNC Pembroke, Dallas, N.C.
IF - Shane Billings, So. Wingate, Kernersville, N.C.
IF - Justin Manning, Sr. Mount Olive, Apex, N.C.
OF - Thomas Spitz%, Sr. Wingate, West Chester, Pa.
OF - Jason Morozowski, Jr. Mount Olive, Pembroke Pines, Fla.
OF - Drew Cole&, Sr. UNC Pembroke, Peachland, N.C.
DH - T.J. Wharton&, Sr. Catawba, Lutz, Fla.
Second Team     
SP - Josh Howard, Sr. Methodist, Suffolk, Va.
SP - Shaefer Shepard&, So. Catawba, Boca Raton, Fla.
RP - Justin Morrison, Sr. Guilford, High Point, N.C.
RP - Bennett Hixson, Sr. Brevard, Greensboro, N.C.
C - Anthony Dimino, Jr. Belmont Abbey, Cumming, Ga.
IF - Ryan Perkins, Jr. Lenoir-Rhyne, Woodruff, S.C.
IF - Dalton Knight&, Sr. UNC Pembroke, Morehead City, N.C.
IF - Brantley Rumford&, Sr. Lenoir-Rhyne, Rock Hill, S.C.
IF - Evan Rogers, Sr. UNC Asheville, Kernersville, N.C.
OF - Blake Houston, Sr. Catawba, Mount Ulla, N.C.
OF - Ben Schmucker, Sr. UNC Pembroke, Greensboro, N.C.
OF - Izzy Perez, Sr. Pfeiffer, Miami, Fla.
DH - Bradley Brown, Fr. Wingate, Rockingham, N.C.

& - Named to 2014 All-State Team
% - Named to 2013 All-State Team

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