Sun Belt Conference announces end-of-season baseball honors

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LAFAYETTE, La. – Troy senior outfielder, Joey Denison, has been voted the Sun Belt Conference Baseball Community Coffee Player of the Year by the league’s 12 head coaches, while Louisiana’s Colten Schmidt was tabbed as the league’s Community Coffee Pitcher of the Year. The announcement was made Monday.

Arkansas State junior Kyle MacDonald was voted as the Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year and Troy’s Rigsby Mosley was picked as the league’s Freshman of the Year. Coastal Carolina’s Gary Gilmore was tabbed as the Ron Maestri Coach of the Year in CCU’s second year in the Sun Belt.

Denison led the Sun Belt in batting average with a .390 average in 56 games played this season. That average is the second highest average in the conference since 2010. During league only games, Denison hit .395. He finished the regular season ranked third in the Sun Belt with 58 runs and led the league with 70 runs batted in, which also ranked sixth in the NCAA. His 85 hits were second in the league.

Louisiana’s Schmidt is the second consecutive Ragin’ Cajun to earn Pitcher of the Year honors. Gunner Leger was tabbed as the league’s Pitcher of the Year in 2017. Schmidt leads the Sun Belt in both overall and conference ERA and innings pitched. He currently owns a 1.93 ERA in 102.1 innings pitched. He struck out 86 batters in 15 appearances, going 7-0 and allowing just 24 runs. He has walked just nine batters.

A-State’s MacDonald has been a steady offensive force for the Red Wolves all season and his 11 home runs are the most by an A-State player since 2010. Much of MacDonald’s success came during conference play where he collected 39 of his 50 RBI. His .679 slugging percentage is the fifth best in school history and highest for an A-State player since 2007. MacDonald leads A-State in nine offensive categories and ranks in the top ten in the Sun Belt in those same nine categories (batting average, slugging pct., on-base pct., runs, hits, runs batted in, home runs, total bases and walks).

Troy’s Mosley ranks fourth in the league in hitting with a .339 average, topping all freshmen in the league. He has driven in 44 runs and tied for fourth in the league in triples with five. He has committed just one error in the outfield with 80 total chances. Mosley reached base in 42 of the 50 games played this season.

Coastal’s Gilmore earned his first Sun Belt Coach of the Year honor after leading his Chanticleers to a 38-17 overall record with a 23-7 Sun Belt mark. The 23 conference wins for CCU was the second highest in the league since 2007. CCU ranks second in the league in hitting with a team average of .285 but led the league in runs scored (430) and runs batted in (384). The Chanticleers hit 69 home runs and had 127 doubles to lead the league in both categories.

Coastal Carolina led the league with seven total All-Conference selections. South Alabama and Troy were second with five each and Louisiana and Georgia Southern tied for third with three overall selections.

The Sun Belt Conference Baseball Championship begins on Tuesday in Lafayette, La., with single-elimination games between No. 7 Little Rock (27-26, 15-14) and No. 10 Georgia State (26-28, 10-19) at 3:00 p.m. (CT). In Tuesday night’s finale, No. 8 UTA (21-33, 11-19) takes on No. 9 Arkansas State (20-31, 11-19) at 6:30 p.m. (CT).

All games of the championship will be broadcast live on ESPN+.

All-Sun Belt Baseball First Team
Jason Bilous (Coastal Carolina, Junior, SP)
Brian Eichhorn (Georgia Southern, Junior, SP)
Colten Schmidt (Louisiana, Senior, SP)
Justin Garcia (Little Rock, Senior, RP)
Nick Gatewood (Georgia State, Junior, C)
Kevin Woodall, Jr. (Coastal Carolina, Senior, 1B)
Cory Wood (Coastal Carolina, Sophomore, 2B)
Seth Lancaster (Coastal Carolina, Senior, SS)
Drew Frederic (Troy, Sophomore, 3B)
Dylan Hardy (South Alabama, Junior, OF)
Travis Swaggerty (South Alabama, Junior, OF)
Joey Denison (Troy, Senior, OF)
Jeremy Brown (Arkansas State, Senior, UTIL)
Zach Biermann (Coastal Carolina, Junior, DH)

All-Sun Belt Baseball Second Team
Hunter Gaddis (Georgia State, Sophomore, SP)
Tyler Carr (South Alabama, Senior, SP)
Andrew Crane (Troy, Senior, SP)
Matt Eardensohn (Coastal Carolina, Junior, RP)
Carter Perkins (South Alabama, Junior, C)
Kyle MacDonald (Arkansas State, Junior, 1B)
Jonathan Ortega (Texas State, Junior, 2B)
Matt Sanders (Troy, Senior, SS)
Brendan Donovan (South Alabama, Junior, 3B)
Parker Chavers (Coastal Carolina, Freshman, OF)
Daniel Lahare (Louisiana, Junior, OF)
Rigsby Mosley (Troy, Freshman, OF)
Kennon Fontenot (Louisiana, Senior, UTIL)
Ryan Glass (Georgia State, Freshman, DH)

Community Coffee Player of the Year
Joey Denison (Troy, Senior, OF)

Community Coffee Pitcher of the Year
Colten Schmidt (Louisiana, Senior, SP)

Community Coffee Freshman of the Year
Rigsby Mosley (Troy, Freshman, OF)

Community Coffee Newcomer of the Year
Kyle MacDonald (Arkansas State, Junior, 1B)

Community Coffee Ron Maestri Coach of the Year
Gary Gilmore, Coastal Carolina

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