Eight players named All-TSAC, Hunt voted Coach of the Year
LEBANON, Tenn. – Cumberland placed eight players on the All-TranSouth baseball teams and head coach Woody Hunt was voted TSAC Coach of the Year, as announced by the conference office during the TranSouth Championships this past week. CU opens play in the NAIA Baseball Championship Opening Round Tuesday at Noon in Hattiesburg, Miss., against Brescia University.
The Bulldogs were the most represented school on the two 18-member teams, with four CU players on both the First and Second Team. Cumberland finished third in last week’s TSAC Championships, ending a string of three consecutive conference tournament titles.
Juniors Sam Kikla, Matt Holliman and Robert Post were all voted to the First Team along with senior Michael Wheeler, while seniors Kyle West and Richard Timbrook and juniors Shawn Schaefer and Max Kautz garnered Second Team recognition.
Cumberland had two players who received Gold Glove awards as the best defensive players at their position in the league – West at catcher and Matt Greener at third base.
CU also had 12 players selected as TSAC Scholar-Athletes, the most of any team in the conference – Clint Alexander, Matt Burton, Will Curry, Briggs Dixson, Chris Fanning, Kautz, Jeremy Malmendier, Corey Merrill, Post, Blake Simmons, Matt Vance and Lee Verweel.
Kikla leads the Bulldogs in seven offensive categories, including hits (64), home runs (11), RBIs (49), runs scored (44) and stolen bases (9). The Malabar, Fla., native has 16 multi-hit and 10 multi-RBI games this season.
Holliman is tied for the team lead with 13 doubles and ranks second with nine home runs while driving in 34 runs and scoring 39 times. The Germantown, Tenn., native hit home runs in four straight games from April 30-May 5 and has started 48 of the team’s 55 contests.
Wheeler is tied with Holliman for second on the club in home runs and has 12 doubles, 40 RBIs and 31 runs scored. The Mt. Juliet, Tenn., native put together a team-best 14-game hitting streak earlier in the season from March 14-April 10. He also ranks second on the club in hits (61) and is second in RBIs and tied for third in doubles.
Post has been almost unhittable at times this season for the Bulldogs, yielding just 41 hits in 72.2 innings of work. The Mt. Juliet, Tenn., native boasts a 6-3 record with a 1.98 ERA and a .166 opponent batting average. He ranks fourth nationally in opponent batting average and hits allowed per nine innings (5.08) and also ranks eighth in ERA.
West has provided the Bulldogs a quality backstop in 2009, catching 40 contests, including 22 of the last 24 games dating to April 1. The Marietta, Ga., native has eight doubles, three home runs and 15 RBIs while batting .287.
Kautz leads the Bulldogs with a .419 batting average in 38 contests this season and has been on fire over the last six weeks. The Palo Alto, Calif., native went 10-for-21 with four runs scored and seven RBIs in four contests at last week’s TranSouth Championships and is batting .511 (23-for-45) with six extra-base hits, nine RBIs and 15 runs scored during a current 10-game hitting streak.
Schaefer has been just what the doctor ordered for an inexperienced Bulldog pitching staff – tough, consistent and an innings-eater on Fridays in conference play. The lefthander struck out a career-best 13 in last week’s complete-game victory over Lyon College. The Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, native is 6-2 this season with a 4.16 ERA and 64 strikeouts in a team-high 80.0 innings of work. Opponents are batting just .247 against him. He has worked six innings or more in nine of his 10 starts and nine or more innings four times.
Timbrook has posted the most victories for the Bulldogs this season, sporting an 8-2 mark and a 3.42 ERA in 73.2 innings of work with 40 strikeouts and a .278 opponent batting average. The Independence, Mo., native won eight consecutive decisions from February 21-April 18 and six straight starts from March 15-April 18. He has worked at least six innings in seven of his last nine starts and posted seven quality starts during the stretch.
First Team All-TranSouth
C – Leo Alvarez, Freed-Hardeman
C – Brian Dirheimer, Trevecca
1B – Cody Heggie, Trevecca
2B – Sam Kikla, Cumberland
3B – Andrew Maddox, Bethel College
SS – Matt Holliman, Cumberland
OF – Willy Hernandez, Freed-Hardeman
OF – Chris Lowe, Trevecca
OF – Sam Neal, Lyon College
OF – Michael Wheeler, Cumberland
P – Tim Dunn, Trevecca
P – Carl Harken, Union Univ.
P – George Lorie, Freed-Hardeman
P – Robert Post, Cumberland
RP – Nick Salahub, Lyon College
DH – Michael Clayton, Freed-Hardeman
UT – Evan Segler, Lyon College
Second Team All-TranSouth
C – Kyle Kallsnick, Lyon College
C – Kyle West, Cumberland
1B – Brian Bullard, Freed-Hardeman
2B – Ross Muirhead, Trevecca
3B – David Maristany, Union Univ.
SS – Angel Nicolas, Freed-Hardeman
OF – Nick D’Amico, Lyon College
OF – Johnathan Deberry, Bethel College
OF – Max Kautz, Cumberland
OF – Corey Rudolph, Union Univ.
OF – Zach Wallace, Lyon College
P – Cliff Hardy, Martin Methodist
P – Johnathan Keck, Bethel College
P – Shawn Schaefer, Cumberland
P – Richard Timbrook, Cumberland
RP – Nick Shoop, Trevecca
DH – Matt Tidwell, Trevecca
UT – Sean Aldrich, Mid-Continent
Player of the Year: Tim Dunn, Trevecca
Coach of the Year: Woody Hunt, Cumberland