ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. - NC Wesleyan College senior baseball player Brad Pennington was named as the 2020-21 Male Athlete of the year, the NCWC athletics department announced on Thursday.
*This award honors an athlete's athletic achievements only and is separate from the Student-Athlete of the Year award which was announced last week.
Pennington was the leader and captain in numerous categories on the East Division Champion and national qualifying 33-win baseball team while also keeping a 3.5 GPA majoring in Business Administration over his stellar Wesleyan career. He was also named to the USA South All-Academic Team during four of his five years as well.
"ROCK of this program for the last five years!" commented head coach Greg Clifton. "We thank Brad for all he has done for this program and especially what he did this year in leading us to a NCAA Regional Appearance. He bought in and was first class on and off the field."
In leading the team to a 33-10 record and a 17-1 coneference record, he helped Wesleyan acheive their first NCAA Regional appearance since 2009 and thier most wins in a season since 1999. He also led the team to the championship game of the conference tournament where they fell in a competitive series to West Champ LaGrange.
The First Team All-Conference and First Team All-South Region catcher led the team in hits (58), average (.358), fielding percentage, RBIs (46), home runs (5), extra-base hits (23), walks (35) and on-base % (.490) and slugged at a clip of .580. He also made only two errors all year and had a fielding % of .995. He was named team MVP and named to the USA South Tournament Team and the Marietta Regional Tournament Teams as well.
Pennington also finished his Wesleyan career as a 4-time all-conference player playing in 180 games recording 227 hits, with 21 home runs, 145 RBIs, 156 runs scored and a .333 career average.
Pennington graduated with his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration in May of 2020 and is currently in the NCWC M.B.A. Degree program where he will finish with his Master's Degree in Business in August.
"Being named a leader and captain of the team was something that I loved," commented Pennington. "I loved that because of the word respect. I carry myself to earn respect from all people and being called Captain made me feel like I was successful in that category."
"The pandemic gave me the opportunity to get my MBA, which I will have in August," Pennington continued. "Also, it gave me the opportunity to play another year of the sport I love. This past year has been one of the best years of my life. This year my team was able to get back on the winning track like I knew we could. I can officially say that I believe I left Wesleyan making it a better place and program than when I showed up."