May 21, 2012
HIGH POINT, N.C. - After winning its sixth straight Big South regular season baseball championship, Coastal Carolina was honored with four of the league's five top individual awards - Player of the Year Daniel Bowman, Co-Pitcher of the Year Aaron Burke, Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year Tucker Frawley and Coach of the Year Gary Gilmore- and placed eight on the All-Big South team, including first team picks Bowman, Burke, Frawley and Rich Witten as well as second team selections Alex Buccilli, Ryan Connolly, Josh Conway, and Tyler Herb.
This marks the 11th time a Chanticleer has earned Big South Player of the Year and, since starting the award in 2007, the fifth time in six years a Chant has been voted Pitcher of the Year. Gilmore was named Big South Coach of the Year for the eighth time in his career.
Bowman (Bridgewater, Va.) has set numerous Coastal Carolina records and is approaching some Big South marks as well. He is just the second player on the league history to amass 200 career RBI and 200 runs scored. Also, he is four hits shy of becoming the only player in Big South history with 200 RBI, 200 runs scored and 300 hits. He was the Big South Player of the Week twice and he earned the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association National Hitter of the Week once. Bowman had hit streaks of 11, nine and eight games, while having a team-best streak of 32-straight games of reaching base safely (by hit/walk/hit by pitch). He scored the game-winning run a team-best eight times and drove in the game winner on six occasions.
Through the regular season, Bowman ranks second in the league in overall batting average (.383) and he batted a league-best .400 in conference games only,. Overall, he was first in total bases (121), second in hits (82), second in triples (5), second in slugging percentage (.565), third in runs scored (52), fourth in on base percentage (.464), ninth in stolen bases (13) and 10th in RBI (38). Versus Big South competition, Bowman not only led the league in batting average, but he ranked first in hits (38), first in triples (4), second in total bases (58), third in runs scored (24), third in slugging percentage (.615), third in on base percentage (.467) and fifth in RBI (20).
In his career, Bowman is the CCU all-time leader in games played (239), games started (236), at bats (940), RBI (204) and total bases (510). He is additionally second in hits (296 - seven shy of the record), second in triples (12 - one shy of the record), third in runs scored (205), third in home runs (46) and fifth in doubles (52). On the Big South career lists, Bowman is second in at bats (five shy of the record), third in RBI (12 shy of the record), third in total bases (seven shy of the record), fourth in home runs, fifth in games played, fifth in runs scored, ninth in triples and 23rd in doubles.
Burke was named Co-Pitcher of the Year, along with Radford's Eddie Butler, after dominating the Big South, both overall and in league games, in ERA and wins as well as ranking among the leaders in saves. The junior from Shawnee Mission, Kan., posted a league-best 1.22 ERA, while having a league-best 0.31 ERA versus conference foes. The 1.22 ERA is currently a Big South record, a CCU record in the Division I era and ranks third-best overall. (Note: Burke's final ERA will not be determined until after the postseason.)
Burke is tied for the league lead in overall wins (8) and his three wins versus league opponents is the second-best total. His seven saves overall ranks fifth, while his four saves versus league opponents were third. He and Connolly both had 32 appearances to lead the league. Burke ranked eighth in the Big South in opposing batting average (.245) and second versus conference opponents, behind Connolly, in opposing batting average (.190).
Burke had an impressive run late in the season to help secure the prestigious honor as well as help the Chants win the Big South Championship, collecting three wins and two saves in a five-appearance span. First, Burke pitched four innings to get the win at Clemson. At Liberty, he collected a win and save, pitching 8.1 scoreless innings. The next weekend, Burke helped CCU sweep a doubleheader over Campbell by getting the win in game one, pitching 3.2 scoreless innings, and getting the save in game two, getting the only batter he faced out with bases loaded for the 6-5 win.
Frawley (Lexington, S.C.), who was named first team catcher for his first All-Big South honor, becomes the third Chanticleer to earn the Big South Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award, joining Brooks Marzka (2000) and Austin Fleet (2010). Frawley graduated magna cum laude on May 5 with a 3.94 cumulative GPA in physics. The two-time Capital One Academic All-Region and Academic All-Big South pick is one of 12 semifinalists for the prestigious Johnny Bench Award, which annually goes to the nation's best collegiate catcher. This year, Frawley has thrown out an amazing 55.8 percent (24 of 43) of base runners - including 12 of his last 17, while picking off an additional seven runners from the base paths. The 24 runners thrown out ties for the league lead and the 43 attempts are the fewest attempted versus an everyday catcher. An "Iron Man" behind the plate, he is batting .308 and has reached base safely in 44 of 53 games started this season despite being called upon to catch 88.2 percent of the team's innings and having only had one full game's rest this season. One of three team captains, Frawley has shown his leadership by handling a pitching staff that has led the NCAA in ERA for the last six consecutive weeks and the team has ranked no lower than third in ERA in 10 of the 12 ranking periods this season.
Gilmore has led Coastal to a 37-17 record to-date and the Chanticleers did not have a losing streak of more than two games this season. Gilmore's squad posted an 18-5 record in Big South play and did not lose a Big South series this season, sweeping VMI, Liberty and Charleston Southern and taking two-of-three from Gardner-Webb, High Point and Campbell. Coastal split a two-game series with Winthrop as the third game was rained out. The Chants returned only five position players and four pitchers from last year's team but still lived up to the expectations as the preseason favorite to win the league title. Coastal was led by its pitching staff, which leads the NCAA with a 2.49 ERA and set a Big South record with 25 saves. Those statistics are even more impressive considering Conway was lost for the second half of the season due to an elbow injury.
Witten (Danville, Ky.) was one of three team captains this season and unselfishly played third base, first base and catcher. A December 2011 CCU cum laude graduate with a 3.613 GPA in exercise science, Witten earns his first All-Big South honor. He was the Big South Player of the Week once and, later in the year, was tabbed a Primetime Performer by CollegeBaseball360.com. He leads the team and is tied for the Big South lead with 54 RBI, including a team-best nine-game-winning RBI. Witten closed the season on a tear, including a CCU record-setting 6-for-6 performance at Charleston Southern, to push his season batting average to a career-high .348 - sixth-best in Big South and .388 in league play - and second-best behind teammate Bowman. Witten also ranks third in the Big South in walks (30), sixth in on base percentage (.443), seventh in hits (71), seventh in doubles (15) and ninth in total bases. In Big South game only, he led the league with a .473 on base percentage was second in RBI with 25. Witten ranks seventh on the CCU career list with 47 doubles and 11th in the school's career RBI list with 146.
Buccilli (Murrysville, Pa.) earns second team honors after starting the season as one of the last reserves on the bench. However, he battled his way into the lineup and, once he got his chance, he never surrendered his spot as Coastal was 34-12 with him as a starter. He finished the season batting .323 - third-best on the team, with 35 doubles - second-best on the team, and a team-low 13 strikeouts. Thanks to 30 walks - second-best on the team, the junior ranks seventh in the Big South with a .434 on base percentage. Buccilli was responsible for the game-winning run being scored seven times and he drove in the game-winner six times, both ranking second on the team. In league games, his on base percentage rose to .461, ranking third in the conference, and his batting average was .365, ranking ninth. Also, he drove in 21 versus league opponents, ranking fourth-best in the conference, while his slugging percentage was 10th-best at .529. What is most impressive about the year Buccilli had is the fact he was so productive while having the unenviable task of batting between Bowman and Witten most of the season.
Conway (Smithsburg, Md.) was voted second team All-Big South, marking his first all-league honor. The 2012 Preseason Big South Pitcher of the Year as voted by the league's coaches and Baseball America, Conway was dominant at times, but ultimately missed the last month due to Tommy John surgery. In his first seven starts, Conway posted a 4-1 record. In his last two starts, the junior pitched only 3.2 innings versus High Point and 4.0 at Liberty, striking out eight despite the injury. He was 2-0 in Big South games, producing two impressive performances. First, facing off against Radford's Eddie Butler (the Co-Pitcher of the Year), Conway got the win, allowing four hits and two runs (a two-run home run in the seventh) with no walks and six strikeouts in seven innings. The following week, he struck out 10 in seven innings, allowing five hits and two runs. Perhaps his best performance of the year came in a loss versus Virginia Tech in week two of the year. Conway struck out 10, walked none over seven innings, and allowed two runs. The following week, he pitched his first complete game to beat Ohio State, surrendering just three hits and one run. Conway still ranks third in the conference in ERA (2.14) and third in opposing batting average (.222). This season, Conway was 4-1 and he struck out 50 in 54.2 innings. In 40 career games, Conway was 14-3 with four saves and a 2.68 ERA. In 178.0 career innings, he struck out 153 with only 56 walks. His 2.68 career ERA ranks sixth on the CCU career list during the Division I era and eighth overall.
Herb (Lykens, Pa.) was named second team All-Big South after posting an 8-2 record overall, 4-1 versus league opponents. His eight wins are tied for the league lead (with co-Pitcher of the Year Burke and first team pick John Niggli), while his four wins in league play also tied for the lead (along with teammate Austin Wallace). Herb also ranks second in opposing batting average (.215), seventh in ERA (2.56) and eighth in strikeouts (63). In Big South action, he ranked sixth in opposing batting average (.219), seventh in strikeouts (34) and 10th in ERA (3.02). He had three superb outings in league play. He struck out seven in five innings in a win at Gardner-Webb and followed that with a career-high eight shutout innings with seven strikeouts in a win over VMI. At Liberty, he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and got the win. He exited after 6.2 innings, allowing three hits and two runs with seven strikeouts. Prior to league play, he pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits in seven complete in a 1-0 win over Iowa and struck out a career-high eight in 6.2 innings in a win over Michigan.
Connolly (Charleston, S.C.) earns second team All-Big South for the second time in his three-year career. For the third year in a row, the junior leads the league in appearances with 32, tying teammate Burke, while leading the league with 11 saves. His 2.49 ERA overall ranks sixth in the conference, while his .245 opposing batting average ranks ninth. Versus conference foes, Connolly led the league with an opposing batting average of .182, while his ERA of 0.34 was just behind leader and teammate Burke (0.31). He was the Big South Pitcher of the Week once, as he recorded two saves (a 1-0 win over Iowa and 3-2 win over N.C. State) and allowed no earned runs in three appearances. Later, he helped Coastal to three wins in a week as he picked up the save in the midweek versus The Citadel (1.1 innings, allowed two hits and no runs or walks), got the save in the second win over VMI (1.0 inning, retired all three batters faced) and earned the win in game three versus VMI (1.2 innings, allowing no hits, runs or walks with three strikeouts) as CCU completed a series sweep. At Michigan late in the year, he got the win and saved the bullpen by pitching a career-high 6.2 scoreless innings, scattering four hits, allowing one walk and tying a career-high with seven strikeouts.
Coastal Carolina will look to add a sixth-straight tournament title to go along with its sixth-straight regular-season title starting Tuesday at approximately 1 pm. The top-seeded Chanticleers will face eighth-seed Charleston Southern in the first round of the 2012 Big South Baseball Championship, presented by Brookwood Farms BBQ and Triangle Rent-A-Car. The Big South Championship will be May 22-26 at High Point University. The championship game will be May 26 at 4 pm and will be televised on ESPN3.
2012 BIG SOUTH CONFERENCE BASEBALL ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS
OF Daniel Bowman, Sr., Coastal Carolina
OF Matt Hillsinger, Sr., Radford
OF Ian Parmley, Sr., Liberty
C Tucker Frawley, Sr., Coastal Carolina
1B Kenny Bryant, Sr., Presbyterian
2B Michael Felton, Jr., Campbell
3B Rich Witten, Sr., Coastal Carolina
SS Jeff Kemp, R-Jr., Radford
DH Jake Kirkland, Jr., Campbell
SP Eddie Butler, Jr., Radford
SP John Niggli, Sr., Liberty
SP Matt Sergey, Sr., Campbell
RP Aaron Burke, Jr., Coastal Carolina
OF Jacob Morley, Sr., VMI
OF Chase Shelton, Fr., Charleston Southern
OF Bobby Ison, Fr., Charleston Southern
C John Harris, R-Jr., Gardner-Webb
1B Matt Mack, Sr., Radford
2B Bryan Aanderud, Jr., Liberty
3B David Olson, Jr., Campbell
SS Zack Haley, Sr., Liberty (tie)
SS Ryan Hodge, Fr., Gardner-Webb (tie)
DH Alex Buccilli, R-Jr., Coastal Carolina
SP Ryan Dull, Sr., UNC Asheville
SP Josh Conway, Jr., Coastal Carolina
SP Tyler Herb, Soph., Coastal Carolina
RP Ryan Connolly, Jr., Coastal Carolina
Josh Holskey, Sr., Campbell
Charlie McCready, Sr., Charleston Southern
Tucker Frawley, Sr., Coastal Carolina
Dusty Quattlebaum, R-Sr., Gardner-Webb
Sean Wilson, Jr., High Point
Ian Parmley, Sr., Liberty
Andrew Williams, R-Jr., Presbyterian College
Jason Patten, Sr., Radford
Cody Buch, Sr., UNC Asheville
Max Vogel, Jr., Winthrop
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Daniel Bowman, Sr., OF, Coastal Carolina
CO-PITCHER OF THE YEAR (tie)
Aaron Burke, Jr., Coastal Carolina
Eddie Butler, Jr., Radford
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Alex Close, 1B, Liberty
COACH OF THE YEAR
Gary Gilmore, Coastal Carolina
SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Tucker Frawley, Coastal Carolina