CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Coastal Carolina senior first baseman David Anderson and Chanticleers 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 evening prior to the third game of the 2009 Royal Purple Big South Baseball Championship. Coastal Carolina sophomore Cody Wheeler was unanimously voted the Big South’s Pitcher of the Year, while Radford shortstop Jeff Kemp earned Freshman of the Year honors. Gardner-Webb’s Jonathan Ahearn was voted Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the Big South’s sports information directors.
Anderson finished the regular-season with League-bests of 19 home runs and 72 runs batted in. He ranks eighth in batting (.379), is first in slugging percentage (.737), walks (40) and total bases (140), and second in on-base percentage (.491) and 10th in hits (72). In League games, Anderson batted .420 (37-88) in 26 appearances, with 10 home runs and 38 RBI. He also slugged .818 against Conference opponents, drew 25 walks and posted on on-base percentage of .534. Anderson recorded seven game-winning RBI in 2009 and had 17 multi-hit games and 21 multi-RBI performances during the season. He is the second-leading home run hitter in Big South Conference history with 48 career home runs, which is tied for first in Coastal Carolina history.
Wheeler amassed a perfect 10-0 record during the regular-season to lead the Big South in wins. He also was tops in the Conference with 91 strikeouts in 84 innings and walked just 24 batters. Wheeler’s .208 opponents’ batting average against is first in the Big South, while his 3.11 earned run average is fourth. In Big South games, Wheeler was 7-0 with 63 strikeouts in 57 innings pitched. He was named Big South Pitcher of the Week three times in 2009, and his highlight of the season came on March 26, when he threw a complete game no-hitter in a 4-0 win at Hawai’i. He struck out 10 Rainbows and was named National Pitcher of the Week for his effort. During the season, Wheeler had three outings of seven innings where he permitted one hit or less. He also struck out seven-or-more batters in eight of his 13 starts and had a streak of 17.2 consecutive innings without giving up a hit from March 20-April 3.
Gilmore is now the first six-time Coach of the Year recipient, and receives his fourth award in five years. Gilmore led his squad to the No. 1 seed in the 2009 Royal Purple Big South Baseball Championship with a 21-5 League mark, which tied the Big South record for most Conference wins in a season. His club has been nationally-ranked most of the 2009 season and is currently ranked as high as No. 18 in the nation by the National College Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA). As a team, Coastal Carolina ranks first in the Big South in batting average (.335), slugging percentage (.535), on-base percentage (.420), runs scored (467), hits (637), runs batted in (424), home runs (76), doubles (129), walks (254), and has been among the national leaders with its 3.90 ERA. Gilmore recently earned his 800th career win, led the team to a 42-13 record during the regular-season, and directed the Chanticleers to wins over nationally-ranked North Carolina, Elon and Kentucky during the year. Coastal Carolina is vying for its 10th Conference tournament championship this week.
Kemp is Radford’s first-ever Freshman of the Year recipient. He batted .341 during the regular-season to rank second on the squad, with eight doubles, two triples and five home runs. He also knocked in 35 runs, posted a .408 on-base percentage and was 13-of-15 in stolen bases to rank seventh in the Big South. Kemp posted 20 multi-hit games, including nine in League action, and opened his collegiate career with a 10-game hit streak. In Conference games, Kemp hit .337 in 24 contests and was among the League leaders with seven stolen bases. During the season, Kemp was named to the Brooks Wallace Award Watch List as one of the College Baseball Foundation’s candidates for the nation’s Shortstop of the Year award – the only Big South player on the list.
Ahearn is the first Gardner-Webb player to be voted Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and was recently awarded the Big South’s Bob McCloskey Graduate Fellowship. He was named an ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District III First-Team selection earlier this month and is on the national ballot for Academic All-America. Ahearn batted a career-high .328 this season and ranked among the League leaders with 19 stolen bases.
The Conference also announced the 2009 All-Conference and All-Academic teams Wednesday, which are listed below. The First and Second All-Conference teams, as voted by the head coaches are comprised of 13 players each. The All-Academic Team consists of one student-athlete from each institution and is nominated and selected by the League’s sports information directors.
2009 BIG SOUTH CONFERENCE BASEBALL ALL-CONFERENCE
SP: Cody Wheeler, Soph., LHP, Coastal Carolina
SP: Shawn Teufel, R-Jr., LHP, Liberty
SP: Anthony Meo, Fr., RHP, Coastal Carolina
RP: Nick McCully, Jr., RHP, Coastal Carolina
C: Billy Alvino, Sr., High Point
1B: David Anderson, Sr., Coastal Carolina
2B: A.J. Yoder, Sr., VMI
3B: Justin Loyd, Sr., Gardner-Webb
SS: Alfie Wheeler, Sr., High Point
DH: Eddie Rohan, Soph., Winthrop
OF: Curran Redal, Jr., Liberty
OF: Rico Noel, Soph., Coastal Carolina
OF: Brock Miller, Sr., Gardner-Webb
SP: Matteo D’Angelo, Soph., RHP, Winthrop
SP: Travis Smink, R-Jr., LHP, VMI
SP: Aerik Taylor, Jr., RHP, Radford
RP: Tyler Mizenko, Fr., RHP, Winthrop
C: Errol Hollinger, Sr., Liberty
1B: Alex Gregory, Sr., Radford
2B: Bryn Henderson, Sr., Winthrop
3B: Tyler Bortnick, Sr., Coastal Carolina
SS: Kevin Nolan, Jr., Winthrop
DH: Adam Rice, Jr., Coastal Carolina
OF: Daniel Cooke, Sr., Gardner-Webb
OF: Daniel Bowman, Fr., Coastal Carolina
OF: Cory Lyda, Sr., Presbyterian
Mark Perry, Sr., Charleston Southern
Austin Fleet, Sr., Coastal Carolina
Jonathan Ahearn, R-Sr., Gardner-Webb
Alfie Wheeler, Sr., High Point
Errol Hollinger, Sr., Liberty
Mitchell Odom, Sr., Presbyterian
Alex Gregory, Sr., Radford
Justin Schumer, Jr., UNC Asheville
Adam Kruithof, Soph., VMI
Bryn Henderson, Sr., Winthrop
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
David Anderson, Sr., 1B, Coastal Carolina
PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Cody Wheeler, Soph., LHP, Coastal Carolina
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Jeff Kemp, SS, Radford
COACH OF THE YEAR
Gary Gilmore, Coastal Carolina
SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Jonathan Ahearn, R-Sr., Gardner-Webb