CHARLOTTE, N.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com) - High Point junior outfielder Nate Roberts (Spring Grove, Ill.) and Coastal Carolina head coach Gary Gilmore have been voted Big South baseball Player of the Year and Coach of the Year, respectively, by the League's head coaches, it was announced this afternoon at the 2010 Royal Purple Big South Baseball Championship. Coastal Carolina sophomore Anthony Meo (Cranston, R.I.) was unanimously voted the Big South's Pitcher of the Year, while VMI second baseman Cory Spangenberg (Clarks Summit, Pa.) earned Freshman of the Year honors. Coastal's Austin Fleet (Edmond, Okla.) was voted Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the Big South's sports information directors.
Roberts finished the regular-season as the Big South's leading hitter with a .423 batting average, tied for the League-lead with 18 home runs, and was third with 66 runs batted in. He enters the Big South Tournament second in the nation with 84 runs scored - tying the Big South single-season record, as well as the national leader in on-base percentage (.578). His current on-base clip is pacing ahead of the Big South single-season record of .550. In 27 Conference games, Roberts batted .456 (47-103) with nine home runs, 36 RBI, 47 runs scored and a .590 on-base percentage. Roberts drew 50 walks this season, had 27 multi-hit games with three five-hit contests, and had eight outfield assists. Roberts received five first-place votes and 23 points, edging out Coastal Carolina catcher Jose Iglesias, who received four first-place votes and 21 total points.
Meo amassed a 12-1 record during the regular-season to lead the Big South in wins. He also was tops in the Conference with a 1.73 earned run average - currently the second-lowest single-season ERA in League history. Meo held his opponents to a .217 batting average in 2010 to rank second in the Big South. He also is fifth in strikeouts (80) and fourth in fewest hits allowed (66 in 83.0 innings pitched). Named a Semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy, Meo has not allowed more than three earned runs in a start this season. In Conference games, Meo was a perfect 8-0 with a 1.27 ERA with 50 strikeouts in 49.2 innings of work. He has a 20-3 career record in his two years at Coastal and was a midseason addition to the College Baseball Foundation Pitcher of the Year Watch List.
Gilmore is now the first seven-time Coach of the Year recipient, and receives his fifth award in six years. Gilmore led his Chanticleers to their fourth consecutive regular-season title, the most in the Big South since Coastal Carolina won six-in-a-row from 1988-93. Gilmore's squad finished the Conference season with a perfect 25-0 mark, a record for Conference wins and just the second Big South team to go undefeated in League play. His club has been nationally-ranked all season, including the last five weeks in the top 5. Coastal Carolina is currently ranked as high as No. 4 in the nation by the National College Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA). As a team, Coastal Carolina ranks first in the Big South in slugging percentage (.540), home runs (88), walks (257), earned run average (3.11), opposing batting average (.237) and strikeouts (448). Gilmore recently earned his 600th career win at Coastal Carolina, led the team to a 47-7 overall record during the regular-season, and directed the Chanticleers to wins over nationally-ranked UC Irvine, North Carolina and San Diego during the year. Coastal Carolina is vying for its 11th Big South Tournament championship this week.
Spangenberg is VMI's first-ever Freshman of the Year recipient. He batted a team-high .376 during the regular-season to rank eighth in the Big South. He also was fifth in the Conference in hits (83), third in runs scored (61), tied for seventh in triples (3) and tied for fifth in home runs (11). He also knocked in 48 runs, stole 23 bases and posted a .421 on-base percentage. Spangenberg is the second Keydet ever with 10 home runs and 20 stolen bases in a season, he reached base safely in 25 of 27 League games, and his 18-game hitting streak earlier this season is tied for the longest in the Big South in 2010. Spangenberg, who set school record for hits, runs and total bases (136) this season, received nine of the 10 first-place votes for 28 total points, finishing ahead of Coastal Carolina's Ryan Connolly (13 points).
Fleet, the first Coastal Carolina player to be voted Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year since Brooks Marzka in 2000, was named a First-Team ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-American on Tuesday - the Big South's second-ever First-Team honoree in baseball. Fleet is 5-1 with seven saves, 50 strikeouts and a 1.99 ERA in 49.2 innings pitched this season.
The Conference also announced the 2010 All-Conference and All-Academic teams Wednesday, which are listed below. The First and Second All-Conference teams are voted by the head coaches, while the All-Academic Team consists of one student-athlete from each institution and is nominated and selected by the League's sports information directors. Coastal Carolina placed a League-record eight players on the First-Team.
2010 BIG SOUTH CONFERENCE BASEBALL ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS
SP - Anthony Meo, Soph., RHP, Coastal Carolina
SP - Cody Wheeler, Jr., LHP, Coastal Carolina
SP - Shawn Teufel, R-Sr., LHP, Liberty
RP - Matt Rein, Jr., LHP, Coastal Carolina
C - Jose Iglesias, Sr., Coastal Carolina
1B - Jordan Ballard, Sr., VMI
2B - Tommy La Stella, R-Soph., Coastal Carolina
3B - Scott Woodward, Jr., Coastal Carolina
SS - Taylor Motter, Soph., Coastal Carolina
DH - Matt Hillsinger, Soph., Radford
OF - Nate Roberts, Jr., High Point
OF - Rico Noel, Jr., Coastal Carolina
OF - Matt Gantner, Sr., High Point
SP - Tyler Thornburg, Jr., RHP, Charleston Southern
SP - Matteo D'Angelo, Jr., RHP, Winthrop
SP - Ryan Dull, Soph., RHP, UNC Asheville (tie)
SP - Jaime Schultz, Fr., RHP, High Point (tie)
RP - Ryan Connolly, Fr., RHP, Coastal Carolina
C - Nathan Thompson, R-Sr., Liberty (tie)
C - Alex Haitsuka, Jr., VMI (tie)
1B - Nick Chinners, R-Jr., Charleston Southern
2B - Cory Spangenberg, Fr., VMI
3B - Tyler Bream, Soph., Liberty
SS - Matt Williams, Soph., Liberty
DH - Eddie Rohan, Jr., Winthrop
OF - Curran Redal, Sr., Liberty
OF - Reggie Keen, Sr., Radford
OF - Graham Sullivan, Jr., VMI
Charlie McCready, Soph., Charleston Southern
Austin Fleet, R-Sr., Coastal Carolina
Aaron Miller, Jr., Gardner-Webb
Sal Pezzino, Soph., High Point
Nathan Thompson, R-Sr., Liberty
Nate Horton, Jr., Presbyterian College
Jason Patten, Soph., Radford
Justin Schumer, Sr., UNC Asheville
Alex Haitsuka, Jr., VMI
Matt Thielepape, Sr., Winthrop
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Nate Roberts, Jr., OF, High Point
PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Anthony Meo, Soph., RHP, Coastal Carolina (unanimous)
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Cory Spangenberg, 2B, VMI
COACH OF THE YEAR
Gary Gilmore, Coastal Carolina
SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Austin Fleet, R-Sr., Coastal Carolina