CCU

Lamando & Creel Get Big South Honors; 4 Earn All-Conference

Seth Lamando is just the third Chanticleer to be named Big South Freshman of the Year

       

Justin Creel (left) was named Big South Baseball co-Scholar-Athlete of the Year and Seth Lamando (right) was named Big South Baseball Freshman of the Year.

Justin Creel (left) was named Big South Baseball co-Scholar-Athlete of the Year and Seth Lamando (right) was named Big South Baseball Freshman of the Year.

May 20, 2013

LYNCHBURG, Va. - Coastal Carolina pitcher Seth Lamando was named Big South Freshman of the Year and Justin Creel added yet another honor to his resume by being named Big South Baseball co-Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Also at the annual awards banquet Monday on Liberty's campus, pitcher Ben Smith was awarded first team All-Big South while pitcher Ryan Connolly, catcher Will Remillard and outfielder Jacob May were recognized as second team all-conference.

Seth Lamando is just the third Chanticleer to win the Big South Rookie/Freshman of the Year Award, joining Brooks Marzka (1998) and Scott Woodward (2008). Lamando takes a 5-3 record with two saves and a 2.96 ERA into this week's Big South Tournament. Also, he ranked seventh in the Big South with a .220 opponent batting average and struck out an impressive 54 batters in 55.0 innings. The Hopewell Junction, N.Y., native, who appeared in 22 games and started seven, began the season as a closer and relief pitcher, earning a win and two saves in three of Coastal's first four games. In his first career start - March 5 versus Furman, he allowed just three hits and one run in 4.1 innings but was saddled with the loss. He later picked up wins in relief at Wake Forest (1.2 innings with no hits or walks) and versus in the second game versus Liberty (2.1 innings, 3 hits, 1 run, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts). Lamando was forced into the starting rotation for the final six weeks of the season due to injuries on the CCU staff. He earned the win at Winthrop in his new role, allowing three hits and one unearned run in 5.0 innings. He then had two quality starts in a three-game span, but was 0-2. He struck out a career-high nine with five hits and three runs in 6.0 innings in a 4-3 loss versus Radford. At suffering a loss at Presbyterian, he did not get a decision in a start at nationally-ranked Georgia Tech despite allowing one hit in five-plus innings pitched with a walk and six strikeouts. He closed the regular season by getting a win at Charleston Southern, pitching a career-high 7.1 innings and allowing five hits (two solo home runs) in a 6-2 victory.

Justin Creel was named co-Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year as well as being selected to the Big South All-Academic Team. The Baton Rouge, La., product graduated summa cum laude with a degree in biology and will continue his studies at medical school. His perfect 4.0 cumulative GPA also paved the way for Creel to earn the Big South most prestigious academic honor - the Christenberry Award for Academic Excellence - and Coastal Carolina's most prestigious academic honor - the President's Award for Academic Achievement.

Ben Smith (Wichita Falls, Texas) started the year as Coastal's number two weekend starter, but he worked his way into the Friday starter as Coastal opened league play. Smith had 14 starts, was 4-3 with a 2.12 ERA and an opponent batting average of .216. In a team-best 80.1 innings, Smith posted a team-best 69 strikeouts. Smith did not receive great offensive support as he did not figure in the decision in five games which he allowed only one earned run and he allowed one or zero earned runs in nine of his 14 starts. Most notably, he pitched 7.1 innings of one-hit, one-run baseball with a career-high 12 strikeouts, but was he would not get the win. Also, at Winthrop, he pitched 7.1 innings, scattering five hits and allowing two runs (one earned) but got a no decision. Also he would not factor in the decision when he struck out nine over 6.0 scoreless innings, allowing one hit, in a 15-inning, two-day affair with Radford. Early in the year, he struck out nine in a win over Ohio State and followed that with a win over Michigan, pitching a total of 11.1 scoreless innings over the two games.

Ryan Connolly earns his third second team All-Big South honor. The senior from Charleston had an exceptional season that will make Connolly go down as one of the best pitchers in Big South history. This season in 27 games, he was 6-3 (six wins ranked ninth-best in the league) with a Big South best 11 saves and posted a 1.70 ERA to rank second in the league. In 68.2 innings, he registered 62 strikeouts and opponents batted a minuscule .192 off the right-hander. In league play, Connolly was 4-1 with six saves - figuring in 10 of the team's 16 wins - with a 1.01 ERA. The preseason All-American was named the NCBWA "Stopper of the Year" mid-season watch list and he was a Big South Pitcher of the Week once. Connolly, currently with a 2.12 career ERA, will end his career as the Big South's all-time leader in ERA, bettering the previous mark of former teammate Anthony Meo (2.52). (Also, current teammate Aaron Burke will finish second on the league career ERA list, currently at 2.35.) Connolly has also shattered the CCU and Big South record for appearances - previously at 117 by Byron Binda - now with 134 games pitched to rank ninth on the NCAA all-time list. Connolly has been instrumental in CCU posting a 15-5 record in one-run games and 5-2 mark in extra-inning games. In one-run games, Connolly is 5-2 with five saves and a 0.82 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 33.0 innings. Also, he has inherited 28 base runners this season with just two scoring. For his career, he has inherited 128 runners with only 28 scoring. While he is technically a "closer" his role is to pitch multiple innings. In fact, he has pitched at least 2.0 innings in 16 of his 27 outings and pitched at least a full inning in all 27. One of his more memorable games was when he pitched a "complete game" in CCU's 15-inning, two-day 1-0 win over Radford. With the game suspended in the middle of the eighth and resumed the next day, Connolly "started" the second half of the contest and pitched a career-high 7.0 innings of scoreless baseball in the 1-0 win. He also tied a career-high with seven strikeouts in 5.2 innings in a 3-2, 11-inning win over UNC Asheville. Nationally, Connolly ranks 27th in ERA, 29th in saves, 22nd in fewest hits allowed per nine innings (6.03), 107th in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.88) and 15th in WHIP (0.9 walks/hits per inning pitched).

Jacob May (Liberty Township, Ohio) was a two-time Big South Player of the Week this season and was Coastal's most productive player, leading the team in batting (.321), hits (63), triples (2), home runs (6), slugging percentage (.490), sacrifice bunts (14) and stolen bases (15). He additionally ranked among the nation's top 10 in outfield assists with seven and made two highlight-reel catches this season. Notably, he robbed a two-run home run in the bottom of the first at Georgia Tech then hit a two-run home run in the top of the second as Coastal would win the weekend series. After a slow start to the season, May has a hit in 36 of his last 42 games - batting .340 over the span - and has reached base safely (hit/walk/hit by pitch) a career-best, 21-straight games to end the season.

Will Remillard sat out last season after transferring from Temple where he was the Big Five Freshman of the Year. The Cohoes, N.Y., native drove in 39 - 12 more than the next closest Chant - to rank sixth in the Big South and led the team with 13 doubles to rank 10th in the Big South. Of his 39 RBI, 17 have come with two outs and he is batting .329 with runners in scoring position. He additionally ranked fourth in the league by throwing out 18 base runners and second with five pickoffs. He additionally handled a pitching staff that led the Big South in strikeouts and ranked second in ERA. In a 14-inning win over College of Charleston, Remillard set a CCU single-game record with 20 putouts and 23 defensive fielding chances. He ranked first on the team with 11 multi-RBI games, third on the team with 13 multi-hit games and had the team's best hitting streak this season with 16 straight.

2013 Big South Conference Baseball Award Winners

First-Team All-Conference OF: Rob Dickinson, VMI
OF: Bobby Ison, Charleston Southern
OF: Ben McQuown, Campbell
1B: Spencer Angelis, High Point
2B: Michael Felton, Campbell
3B: Elijah Trail, Campbell
Alex Owens, Longwood
SS: Jeff Kemp, Radford
C: Trey Wimmer. Liberty
DH: Zack Hagaman, Charleston Southern
SP: Ryan Mattes, Campbell
SP: Ben Smith, Coastal Carolina
SP: Matt Fraudin, Gardner-Webb
RP: Ryan Thompson, Campbell

Second Team All-Conference OF: Jacob May, Coastal Carolina
OF: Ryan Retz, High Point
OF: Clayton Brown, Campbell
1B: Brad Zebedis, Presbyterian
2B: Bryan Aanderud, Liberty
3B: Chad Smith, Winthrop
SS: Brent Graham, Campbell
C: Will Remillard, Coastal Carolina
Matt Winn, VMI
DH: David Olson, Campbell
SP: Jacob Newberry, High Point
SP: Heath Bowers, Campbell
SP: Tory Schroff, Charleston Southern
RP: Ryan Connolly, Coastal Carolina

All-Academic Team
Justin Creel, Coastal Carolina
Brad Zebedis, Presbyterian College
Andrew Barnett, Gardner-Webb
Trey Lambert, Liberty
David Olson, Campbell
Alex Tomasovich, Charleston Southern
Will Resnik, High Point
Max Vogel, Winthrop
Tyler Costello, Radford
Dillon Tabar, UNC Asheville
Drew Bryan, VMI
Brandon Vick, Longwood

Player of the Year
Rob Dickinson, VMI

Pitcher of the Year
Ryan Thompson, Campbell

Freshman of the Year
Seth Lamando, Coastal Carolina

Co-Scholar-Athletes of the Year
Justin Creel, Coastal Carolina
Brad Zebedis, Presbyterian College

Coach of the Year
Greg Goff, Campbell