Baseball Places Four on All-SAC Baseball First Team


ROCK HILL, S.C. ( -- Catawba placed four players on the All-South Atlantic Conference Baseball Teams as eight Indians earned post-season honors from the league.  Will Albertson, Bryan Blanton, Malachi Hanes and Dylan Richardson were the first team selections.  Chance Bowden and Russ Weiker were second team picks.  Luke Setzer earned honorable mention honors, while Richardson and Jeremy Simpson were awarded Gold Gloves.  Jim Gantt claimed Coach of the Year honors for the eighth time.

Albertson, a senior catcher, leads Catawba and stands second in the league with a .409 average, while topping the team in RBI (54), home runs (14), runs (55) and total hits (81).  He was walked 27 times and has an on-base percentage of .494.  Blanton, a sophomore, has a 2-1 record with eighth saves, which is second in the conference.  He has posted a 2.70 ERA with 34 strikeouts in 26 and two-thirds innings of work. 

Hanes, a junior designated hitter, is hitting .315 on the year with a dozen home runs and 47 RBI.  He has added nine double with three triples and has scored 40 runs.  Richards, a senior second baseman, has hit for a .325 average with 30 extra-base hits.  He has 15 doubles with four triples and 11 home runs.  Richardson has 51 RBI with 45 runs scored.  

Bowden, a sophomore first baseman, leads the league with 28 doubles and is second on the team with a .343 average.  He is second to Albertson with 71 hits, driving in 44 runs and scoring 47.  Weiker, a junior, leads the pitching staff with eight wins.  He has compiled an 8-2 record and a 4.09 ERA while striking out 45 in 66 innings.

Setzer, a sophomore outfielder, has a .305 average with nine homers and 36 RBI.  Richardson claimed his Gold Glove with a .962 fielding percentage, making eight errors at second base. and helping turn 32 double plays.  Simpson, a freshman shortstop, fielded at a .956 clip.  He committed nine errors in 44 games and took part in 26 double plays.

Gantt helped guide Catawba to its ninth regular season SAC championship during his 20 years.   Since 2012, Catawba has won a regular season or tournament title in 12 of the 15 years.  In one of the three years the Indians didn't win a SAC title, Catawba took the regional crown and advanced to the NCAA II National Finals.

All-SAC First Team
OF – Shane Billings, Wingate
OF – Kevin Victoriano, Tusculum
OF – Rayshelon Carolina, Mars Hill
1B – Steven Cooper, Anderson
2B – Dylan Richardson, Catawba
SS – Evan Rogers, Mars Hill
3B – Brandon Roberts, Carson-Newman
C – Will Albertson, Catawba
DH – Malachi Hanes, Catawba
SP – Placido Torres, Tusculum
SP – Vince Apicella, Carson-Newman
SP – Ethan Elliott, Lincoln Memorial
RP – Bryan Blanton, Catawba

 All-SAC Second Team
OF – Daymon Totherow, Newberry
OF – Will Winslow, Coker
OF – Bill Krebs, Wingate
1B – Chance Bowden, Catawba
2B – Zack Finchum, Tusculum
SS – Matthew De La Rosa, Lenoir-Rhyne
3B – Derek Olenchuck, Newberry
C – Jack Leech, Coker
DH – Bradley Brown, Wingate
SP – Dallas Baldwin, Coker
SP – Zack Kelly, Newberry
SP – Russ Weiker, Catawba
RP – Brock Goodling, Anderson
Honorable Mentions
OF – Wes Neiderland, Lincoln Memorial
OF – Luke Setzer, Catawba
OF – Ryan Addington, Carson-Newman
1B – Creighton Wilke, Tusculum
2B – Schuyler Martire, Brevard
SS – Jean Rodriguez, Lincoln Memorial
3B – Eric Kalman, Lincoln Memorial
C – LJ Newman, Anderson
DH – Dylan Powers, Mars Hill
SP – Daniel Nations, Newberry
SP – Christian Raasch, Tusculum
SP – Brandon Donahue, Wingate
RP – Marshall Rentz, Newberry

Gold Glove
RF – Garrett Bernardo, Anderson
CF – Shane Billings, Wingate
LF – Clint Allen, Coker
1B – Creighton Wilke, Tusculum
2B – Dylan Richardson, Catawba
SS – Jeremy Simpson, Catawba
3B – Brandon Roberts, Carson-Newman
C – Gooch Greer, Carson-Newman
P – Daniel Nations, Newberry
Player of the Year: Evan Rogers, Mars Hill
Pitcher of the Year: Placido Torres, Tusculum
Freshman of the Year: Ethan Elliott, Lincoln Memorial
Coach of the Year: Jim Gantt, Catawba

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