More All-America Honors For La Stella, Zebedis
Coastal Carolina second baseman Tommy La Stella became just the second Chanticleer to be a consensus All-American, earning second team honors by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA). In addition, Presbyterian College's Brad Zebedis earned third team All-America honors for the ABCA.
La Stella has also been tabbed second team All-America by Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA). He joins Mike Costanzo as a consensus All-American. Costanzo was a first team selection by Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America and NCBWA in 2005, while also earning second team recognition by USA Today Baseball Weekly that season.
La Stella, the 2011 Big South Player of the Year, was the fifth second baseman selected in the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, going in the eighth round to the Atlanta Braves.
La Stella ranks among the NCAA top 50 in batting average (.398, 18th); runs scored (59, 43rd); hits (92, 15th); home runs (14, 28th); RBI (70, 12th); slugging percentage (.690, 18th) and on-base percentage (.476, 43r3d). He also finished 2011 first in the Big South in runs, hits, home runs and RBI, while ranking second in batting average and slugging percentage as well as third in on-base percentage.
Zebedis was also named to the NCBWA All-America First Team, one of 18 First Team players selected after two rounds of voting. Zebedis appears on the 16th annual edition of the team as a designated hitter, another honor in a summer of recognition for the Blue Hose freshman. The announcement marks the first NCBWA First Team laurel in the Division I era.
The NCBWA also named Zebedis to the Freshman All-American team, one week after earning Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American honors from Collegiate Baseball. Collegiate Baseball also selected Zebedis, the Big South Freshman of the Year and a First Team All-Big South Conference selection, to its All-America team as well as a second-team honoree.
Zebedis tallied a Big South Conference freshman-record .425 batting average in 2011 and tied a League freshman mark with 13 home runs. He also led the Big South in batting average, slugging percentage (.717) and on-base percentage (.492) while ranking in the top five in hits (90), RBI (57), doubles (23), home runs (13) and total bases (152).
The Blue Hose went a Division I-era best 24-32 in 2011 with Zebedis in the lineup. He also recorded a modern era-best (since 1988) 23 doubles and his slugging percentage ranks fourth, his hits tie him for second, his on-base percentage (.492) ranks fifth and his total bases rank second in PC single-season history.
Meanwhile, La Stella and Zebedis were named to the ABCA All-Atlantic Region team as first-team selections. Coastal pitchers Anthony Meo and Matt Rein were named to the second team.
With La Stella, Meo and Rein making the ABCA All-Atlantic Region team, it marks the third consecutive year the Chants have placed three players on the prestigious team.
Meo, a second-round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks, ended 2011 as perhaps the hottest pitcher in the nation. Over his last six starts, he was named Big South Pitcher of the Week twice, threw a no-hitter in the Bog South Tournament to be National Tri-Player of the Week once and led CCU to a win over Connecticut versus first-round pick Matt Barnes in the NCAA Clemson Regional. Over those six games, he was 5-0 with a 1.20 ERA, pitching 45 innings with nine walks and 52 strikeouts.
Overall, Meo was a three-time Big South Pitcher of the Week who earned first team All-Big South for the third time in three years. He also set a Big South record with his 2.52 career ERA and is the only pitcher in CCU and Big South history to win at least 30 games in a three-year career, posting 32 to rank fourth on the CCU all-time list and third in League history. He also ranks on the CCU career lists for games started (8th; 45); innings pitched (10th; 281.2) and strike outs (6th; 277).
Rein, the 2011 Big South Pitcher of the Year, was also named third team All-American by Collegiate Baseball this season, while the senior earned first team All-Big South for the second consecutive season. This season, Rein led the Big South in ERA (2.07) - including an 0.82 ERA in League play, and opponent batting average (.210), while ranking second in wins. In the CCU record book, Rein's 2.07 ERA in 2010 ranks eighth all-time and second in the Division I era, while his .228 opponent batting average in 2010 ranks fourth in the Division I era. He ranks fourth all-time in career appearances (91), 11th all-time in career ERA (2.99) and 15th all-time in career wins (21).
Rein was a two-time Big South Pitcher of the Week in 2011 and sealed his Pitcher of the Year honor by being a part of three straight shutouts and having a personal scoreless innings streak of 24.0 that spanned five games with a complete-game shutout.