Northwestern State’s David Fry named Southland Conference Baseball Player of the Year

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Northwestern State’s David Fry Named Baseball Player of the Year

Four-time all-conference honoree earns highest award in 2018; Bears, Demons, Islanders all earn five all-conference picks

FRISCO, Texas – Northwestern State’s David Fry is the 2018 Southland Conference Baseball Player of the Year, the league announced Monday along with all-conference selections. Southland yearly awards are presented by Ready Nutrition.

The four-time all-conference selection led the way for the Demons, notching 11 home runs and 51 RBIs on 75 hits – all team-highs. The senior out of Colleyville, Texas, also earned first team first baseman honors.

Freshman of the Year Ridge Rogers of UIW paced the conference’s best team batting average at .292. He registered a .350 batting average along with 19 multi-hit games. The Flower Mound, Texas, native set a program record this season with a 5-for-5 outing against Northern Illinois on March 4 and had a 19-game reached base streak and a 14-game hitting streak in 2018.

Northwestern State earned another individual accolade in right-handed pitcher Jerry Maddox, the 2018 Newcomer of the Year. The junior transfer from San Jacinto Community College (TX) led the team with a 2.11 ERA and a 7-3 record on the mound. His performances also landed him an all-conference spot on the second team.

Senior Matt Heck earned Hitter of the Year honors for Houston Baptist. The outfielder from Midlothian, Texas, led the Huskies with .362 overall batting average, posting 45 RBIs and nine home runs. He racked up 76 hits in 210 at-bats for 10 doubles and 33 runs scored.

Tyler Gray of Central Arkansas had a strong year on the mound to earn the 2018 Pitcher of the Year award. The senior right-hander from Fort Smith, Ark., tallied a 2.91 ERA and a 6-1 record. In 92.2 innings pitched he allowed just 30 total earned runs, 68 hits and struck out 113 batters while tossing two complete games.

Sam Houston State’s Dakota Mills is the Relief Pitcher of the Year, tallying 14 saves on the season. The senior right-hander out of Meadows Place, Texas, comfortably led the league in the saves category in 49.1 innings pitched, registering a 3.10 ERA.

Bobby Barbier garnered the 2018 Clay Gould Coach of the Year accolade after leading an impressive turnaround season for Northwestern State in just his second season at the helm. In his maiden season last year, the Demons finished 10-20 in league play, good for just 11th in the conference and last of then-tournament eligible teams. In 2018, his team pulled nearly a full 180, finishing 18-12 against league opponents and securing the No. 3 seed in the Southland tournament.

UCA led the way on the All-Defensive Team with three selections, including first baseman Tyler Smith, third baseman Rigo Aguilar and catcher William Hancock. Nicholls garnered a pair of all-defensive spots in second baseman Ethan Valdez and left fielder Chet Niehaus.

Central Arkansas, Northwestern State and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi lead the way with five all-conference picks each. Houston Baptist, Sam Houston State and Southeastern Louisiana each garnered four spots while New Orleans earned three total all-conference spots. Abilene Christian, UIW and Nicholls each grabbed a pair of spots while Lamar, McNeese and Stephen F. Austin have lone honorees.

The All-Southland Conference teams are nominated and voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors. Voting for oneself or one’s own athletes is not permitted. To receive honorable mention, a player must appear on 25 percent of ballots.

Player of the Year: David Fry, Northwestern State

Freshman of the Year: Ridge Rogers, UIW

Newcomer of the Year: Jerry Maddox, Northwestern State

Hitter of the Year: Matt Heck, Houston Baptist

Pitcher of the Year: Tyler Gray, Central Arkansas

Relief Pitcher of the Year: Dakota Mills, Sam Houston State

Clay Gould Coach of the Year: Bobby Barbier, Northwestern State

2018 All-Southland Conference First Team

Pos. Name School Cl. Hometown
1B David Fry4 Northwestern State Sr. Colleyville, Texas
2B Kyle Bergeron UIW So. Bridge City, Texas
3B Owen Magee New Orleans Sr. Metairie, La.
SS Andrew Fregia2 Sam Houston State Jr. Liberty, Texas
C William Hancock Central Arkansas Jr Little Rock, Ark.
DH Dalon Farkas Abilene Christian Jr. Milton, Ga.
OF Matt Heck Houston Baptist Sr. Midlothian, Texas
OF Drew Avans2 Southeastern Louisiana Sr. Alabaster, Ala.
OF Spencer Halloran Houston Baptist Sr. Sheffield, Iowa
P Tyler Gray Central Arkansas Sr. Fort Smith, Ark.
P Bryan Warzek2 New Orleans Jr. Clifton Park, N.Y.
P Matthew McCollough Houston Baptist Sr. Katy, Texas
U Jackson Owens Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Sr. Corinth, Texas

2018 All-Southland Conference Second Team

Pos. Name School Cl. Hometown
1B Harrison Dinicola Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Jr. Kemah, Texas
2B Cody Grosse Southeastern Louisiana Jr. Plainfield, Ill.
3B Rigo Aguilar Central Arkansas Sr. El Paso, Texas
SS Joey Morales Nicholls Sr. Fort Myers, Fla.
C Beau Bratton New Orleans So. Biloxi, Miss.
DH Jackson Owens Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Sr. Corinth, Texas
OF Hunter Strong2 Central Arkansas Jr. Sheridan, Ark.
OF Eddy Gonzalez UIW Jr. Laredo, Texas
OF Itchy Burts Texas A&M-Corpus Christi So. League City, Texas
P Carlisle Koestler Southeastern Louisiana Jr. Vicksburg, Miss.
P Jerry Maddox Northwestern State Jr. Dayton, Texas
P Dakota Mills Sam Houston State Sr. Meadows Place, Texas
U Cole Coker Lamar So. Huffman, Texas

2018 All-Southland Conference Third Team

Pos. Name School Cl. Hometown
1B Tyler Smith Central Arkansas Jr. Deer Park, Texas
2B Joe Provenzano3 McNeese Sr. Downers Grove, Ill.
3B Jake Georgiades Stephen F. Austin Jr. College Station, Texas
SS Tyler Depreta-Johnson2 Houston Baptist Sr. Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.
C Drake Osborn Texas A&M-Corpus Christi So. Sandia, Texas
DH J.P. Lagreco Northwestern State Jr. Pearl River, La.
OF Chet Niehaus Nicholls Sr. Hammond, La.
OF Hunter Hearn Sam Houston State Jr. Crosby, Texas
OF Kwan Adkins Northwestern State Sr. Brusly, La.
P Corey Gaconi2 Southeastern Louisiana Jr. Metairie, La.
P Ridge Heisler Northwestern State Jr. Mangham, La.
P Hayden Wesneski Sam Houston State So. Cypress, Texas
U Derek Scott Abilene Christian Jr. Abilene, Texas

2018 Southland Conference All-Defensive Team

Pos. Name School Cl. Hometown
1B Tyler Smith Central Arkansas Jr. Deer Park, Texas
2B Ethan Valdez Nicholls Jr. San Antonio, Texas
3B Rigo Aguilar Central Arkansas Sr. El Paso, Texas
SS Tyler Depreta-Johnson Houston Baptist Sr. Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.
C William Hancock Central Arkansas Jr. Little Rock, Ark.
LF Shane Selman McNeese Jr. Lake Charles, La.
CF Chet Niehaus Nicholls Sr. Hammond, La.
RF Nick Anderson Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Jr. Sugar Land, Texas
P Ridge Heisler Northwestern State Jr. Mangham, La.

Honorable Mention: 1B: Blake Chisolm, Sam Houston State. 3B: Enrique Sanchez Jr., Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. SS: Josh Somdecerff, Central Arkansas. C: Dustin Duhon, McNeese; Kyle Knauth, Nicholls. DH: Colby Leblanc, Central Arkansas; Logan LeJeune, Lamar. OF: Clayton Harp, Sam Houston State; Matt Munoz, Abilene Christian; Ridge Rogers, UIW. P: Ryan Erickson, Lamar; John Barr, New Orleans; Josh Green, Southeastern Louisiana; Seth Ballew, Sam Houston State. U: Collin Morrill, New Orleans; Josh Campbell, Stephen F. Austin.

2 Two-time all-conference selection

3 Three-time all-conference selection

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