Braves Send Four To ABCA All-Region Laurels
SAVANNAH, Ga. - Matt McGovern became the first UNCP baseball player to earn region pitcher of the year laurels, while Kevin Dietrich, Seth Kivett and Jason Coker joined him on the all-region squads, with the release of the 32-member 2009 Rawlings All-Southeast Region team by the American Baseball Coaches Association on Friday afternoon.
Players from 17 different institutions graced the squads, with nine institutions – including a region-best four from UNCP – sending multiple selections to the distinguished listing. Shannon Wilkerson – the lone selection from Augusta State - was named the region’s player of the year after hitting .441 for the Jaguars this season with a PBC-best 24 home runs and 82 RBI. The first team squad will now be moved to the ABCA national ballot with the all-America teams expected to be announced later next week.
McGovern was 9-0 on the mound for the Braves this season, including a 7-0 mark against conference opponents. The junior from Ottawa, Canada, ranked third in the PBC with his 2.63 ERA in 75.1 innings pitched. He tossed two complete games, one of which was a shutout, while holding opponents to a .260 batting average and striking out 59. McGovern was 4-0 against nationally-ranked opponents and pitched seven or more innings in seven of his 12 appearances.
Dietrich, a Charlotte native, established new program bests for both hits (92) and home runs (16) in hitting .418 for the Braves this season with 68 RBI and 59 runs scored. Included in his numbers was team-bests in both multiple-hit (26) and multiple-RBI (20) outings, as well as 16 multiple-run (16) contests. He also finished his senior season with a perfect fielding percentage (1.000) in 107 total chances from his centerfield position.
Kivett, a junior from Bear Creek, hit .343 (72-for-210) with 27 extra-base hits (school record 16 HR), 50 RBI and 57 runs scored for UNCP in 53 starts at first base this season, with an additional start at third base as well. The newcomer was the only Brave to start all 54 games en route to registering 25 multi-hit and 13 multi-RBI outings, while also posting a team-best 16 multiple-run games. Kivett committed just three errors in 480 total chances in the field this season for a .994 fielding percentage.
Coker, a Charlotte product, hit .361 (65-for-180) in 50 games for the Black and Gold this season, complementing his outstanding average with a career-best eight home runs, 44 RBI and 42 runs scored. The sophomore turned in 19 multiple-hit and eight multiple-RBI games en route to turning in a .343 batting clip against PBC opponents in which he also registered 15 of his 24 extra-base knocks on the season. He was also among the team and conference leaders with a .594 slugging percentage and a .417 on-base percentage.
2009 RAWLINGS/ABCA ALL-SOUTHEAST REGION TEAM
1b - Daniel Kassouf, Belmont Abbey
2b - Chas Anthony, Erskine
3b - Craig Lyerly , Catawba
SS - Rich Racobaldo, Mount Olive
INF - Seth Kivett , UNC Pembroke
OF - Kevin Dietrich, UNC Pembroke
OF - Shannon Wilkerson, Augusta State
OF - Bryan Fogle, Erskine
OF - Mark Letchworth, Wingate
C - Ryan Query, Catawba
DH - Travis Howard, USC Aiken
SP - Matt McGovern, UNC Pembroke
SP - Cody Walden, Armstrong Atlantic State
SP - Nick Fogleman, Pfeiffer
SP - B.J. Dail, Mount Olive
RP - Martin Dewald, GCSU
1b - Ken Raborn , USC Aiken
2b - Jason Coker, UNC Pembroke
3b - Andre Airich, North Georgia
SS - Barrett Kleinknecht, Francis Marion
INF - Blair Carson, Anderson
OF - Cody McMorris, USC Aiken
OF - Alex Wyche, Armstrong Atlantic State
OF - Greg Huff, Erskine
OF - Nate Grabowski, Tusculum
C - Jared Barkdoll, Francis Marion
DH - Brian Williams, Mars Hill
SP - Blake Ketner, Catawba
SP - Josh Strawn, Lincoln Memorial
SP - Tyler Powell, Belmont Abbey
SP - C.J. Hillyer, Tusculum
RP - Rob Currie, Tusculum
Region Player of the Year: Shannon Wilkerson,
Region Pitcher of the Year: Matt McGovern, UNC Pembroke