Fayetteville, N.C. - The USA South has announced its 2017 All-Conference awards in the sport of baseball, and North Carolina Wesleyan is pleased to announce that seven Battling Bishops have earned recognition.
Wesleyan had three players garner Second Team accolades as senior Tony Sanchez, sophomore Nate Gardner, and senior Ryan Grant were honored at first base, utility, and starting pitcher, respectively. Sanchez led NCWC with a team-high five homers and 30 RBIs during the regular season while boasting an impressive .997 fielding percentage with just one error in 308 chances. Gardner, who started at several positions in USA South play, batted .320 at the plate and posted a 3-2 record with a 2.76 ERA on the mound. Grant rounded out Wesleyan's Second Teamers after a banner season that saw him post a career-best 5-1 record and a solid 1.81 ERA.
The Bishops also had a trio of players earn Honorable Mention accolades as freshman Brad Pennington, senior Luis Palencia, and sophomore Brandon Wheat were recognized at second base, outfield, and catcher, respectively. Pennington led the team in hits (41), doubles (15), triples (4), and runs scored (32), while Palencia picked up his second career All-Conference honor after batting .343 with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage on the year. Wheat earned his second straight nod after leading the team with nine sacrifice hits and ranking second with 11 doubles, while also throwing out nine would-be basestealers.
The final Bishop player earning recognition was freshman Donielle Totten as a member of the USA South All-Sportsmanship team.
Elsewhere around the league, LaGrange College nearly swept the individual awards as Casey Bell was named Player of the Year, Ryan Broaderick earned Pitcher of the Year, Richie Post collected Rookie Pitcher of the Year, and David Kelton was named Coach of the Year. Rounding out the individual honors was Ferrum College's Dominick Claxton who grabbed Rookie of the Year honors.
To view the entire 2017 All-Conference team in the sport of baseball, please visit www.usasouth.net.