Three Big South Baseball Players Earn All-America Honors
Presbyterian College freshman C/1B Brad Zebedis has named to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American Team by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, the organization announced earlier this week. In addition, Zebedis and Coastal Carolina teammates Tommy La Stella and Matt Rein were named All-Americans by the publication. Zebedis and La Stella were Second-Team honorees, while Rein was named a Third-Team All-American.
Zebedis is the first All-American for PC since moving to Division I in 2008. He appears on the Freshman All-American team as one of two catchers on the squad. The 2011 Big South Conference Freshman of the Year and a First Team All-Big South selection, Zebedis posted a Conference freshman-record .425 batting average and tied a League freshman mark with 13 home runs. The freshman was also named a Dick Howser Trophy semifinalist for a season that saw him lead 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). He was just the second freshman in Big South history to lead the Conference in batting average.
Zebedis also recorded a modern era-best (since 1988) 23 doubles and failed to hit in only five games all season. Additionally, 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. He currently leads the Strasburg (Va.) Express of the Valley Baseball League in nearly every batting category through the team's first four games. Zebedis has racked up a .563 batting average, an .875 slugging percentage, a .632 on-base percentage and has driven in three runs on nine hits while amassing 14 total bases.
La Stella and Rein become the 21st and 22nd Chanticleers to earn All-American honors.
La Stella, the 2011 Big South Player of the Year and semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy as the nation's top collegiate player, just missed becoming the first player in Big South history to win the League's Triple Crown, finishing second in batting average (.398), first in home runs (14) and first in RBI (70). La Stella would also led the Big South in hits (92), runs scored (59) and total bases (157), while ranking third (tied) in triples (4), sixth in walks (32), third in on-base percentage (.476) and second in slugging percentage (.680). In Conference games, La Stella led the League in batting average (.452), hits (47), home runs (8), total bases (81), on-base percentage (.533) and slugging percentage (.779). La Stella batted at least .400 in seven of the nine Big South series in 2011.
La Stella was named to the NCAA Clemson Regional All-Regional Team after batting .545 (6-for-11) with five runs scored, seven RBI, one double, three home runs, three walks and two sacrifice flies. In game one against UConn, La Stella was 3-for-4 with three runs scored, three RBI and two home runs. He additionally gave Coastal an early 1-0 lead in the first with a sacrifice fly, setting the stage for the opening-round win. In game two against Clemson, La Stella was 3-for-5 with three RBI and run scored, hitting a double and a home run. In the second game versus UConn, he was 0-for-2 with a run scored and sacrifice fly, while walking twice. He was drafted in the eighth round of the 2011 MLB Draft by the the Atlanta Braves.
Rein led the Big South and ranks 40th in the NCAA and first in the Big South with a 2.07 ERA. He additionally led the Big South with a .210 opponent batting average while ranking second in the League and 45th nationally with nine wins (9-2). Rein was a two-time Big South Pitcher of the Week and was key in Coastal setting a Big South and school record with four consecutive shutouts. He was the only pitcher with two starts in the four games, getting a win in 5.2 innings versus VMI and 5.0 innings versus Radford. Rein also had a personal scoreless innings streak of 24 innings, which spanned 0.2 innings at High Point, 10.2 innings versus VMI and Radford, a complete-game shutout at Winthrop, a scoreless inning in the regular-season finale and threw 2.2 innings in the a win over Winthrop in the Big South Tournament quarterfinal.