FRISCO, Texas – The 2008 All-Southland Conference Baseball teams were announced today by the league office as UTSA junior outfielder Michael Rockett was voted Player of the Year by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors. Eleven member institutions compose the 2008 All Conference teams with league champion UTSA claiming the most roster selections with seven.
Rockett, a Sugar Land, Texas native, finished the 2008 regular season in the top six in seven league offensive categories including third in hits (84), second in runs batted in (68) and tied for first in total bases (149). A Collegiate Baseball Newspaper player of the week recipient, Rockett is the first Roadrunner to claim the Southland’s highest accolade since Mark Schramek in 2002 and just the second all time.
Texas State compiles three of the five first team infield positions with first base selection and Hitter of the Year honoree Paul Goldschmidt taking home dual honors. The only sophomore on the league’s first team list, Goldschmidt ran away with post season honor receiving 16 of 24 first place votes. The Woodlands, Texas native finished the 2008 regular season in the top-10 in eight offensive categories including the Southland’s homerun leader (17) and slugging percentage (.693).
Joining Goldschmidt on the all-conference first team selections are teammates Thomas Field at shortstop and second baseman Adam Witek. Field, a junior from Hewitt, Texas led the conference in triples (7), was eighth in homeruns (10) and totaled 132 total bases for seventh overall. Witek anchored the Bobcats infield hitting .348, swiping 15 bases with 87 putouts for fifth in the SLC.
Pitcher of the Year honors fell to a familiar university as Lamar senior Tim Erickson claimed the team’s 10th such award in the program’s history. In 25 appearances the southpaw from Sour Lake, Texas, was the Southland’s leading pitcher, posting a league best 3.01 earned run average with an 8-2 record and was second in the SLC in saves (9). Joining Erickson on the first team is teammate and pitcher Brian Sisk. A Henderson, Texas, native, Sisk posted the league’s best record (9-2) was third in ERA (3.46) and second in opponents batting average (.239).
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi junior and second team selection Stephen Flora was voted Newcomer of the Year, the school’s first post season award recipient since joining the SLC in 2007. A Galveston College transfer, Flora was second in batting average (.385) and posted 67 hits with 17 doubles and 98 total bases.
Michael Choice of UT Arlington was voted Freshman of the Year. A second team outfielder, Choice posted impressive numbers in his first collegiates season. The Mansfield, Texas native swung a .376 batting average for third in the SLC, and is the only freshman in the top 10. In 48 games Choice pounded out 71 hits with 50 RBI and scored 39 runs.
For the second straight season the Coach of the Year selection was voted to UTSA skipper Sherman Corbett after leading the Roadrunners to their second consecutive regular season conference title and first seed in the SLC Tournament. Coach Corbett’s squad landed seven all conference players including Player of the Year selection Michael Rockett. Corbett’s 111 wins over the past three seasons leads the SLC.
Sam Houston State received three first team selections. Seth Hammock, third base, Bobby Verbick, DH, and Keith Stein, OF. Hammock led all third basmen in batting average (.372), tying for fifth in conference, and was ninth in slugging percentage (.633). Verbick tied for fourth in homeruns (12), was fifth in runs scored (58) and was sixth in total bases (133). Stein was one of the league’s best outfielders posting a .366 batting average (8th), was second in hits (87), third in runs scored (61) and third in total bases (148).
Rounding out the first team selections are Northwestern State catcher Anthony Jones, outfielder Kevin Crabtree of Stephen F. Austin and Southeastern Louisiana pitcher Wade Miley. Jones led all catchers hittng .352, slugging .517 and had 62 hits. Crabtree, a Hitter of the Year candidate finished in the top-10 in nine offensive categories including sixth in homeruns (11), fourth in total bases (134) and third in slugging percentage (.647). Miley led all pitchers in strikeouts tossing 110. Miley was the only pitcher to post over 90 free passes to the dug out this season.
1B Paul Goldschmidt Texas State So. The Woodlands, Texas
2B Adam Witek Texas State Jr. Schertz, Texas
3B Seth Hammock Sam Houston State Jr. Corpus Christi, Texas
SS Thomas Field Texas State Jr. Hewitt, Texas
C Anthony Jones Northwestern State Sr. Blackfoot, Idaho
DH Bobby Verbick Sam Houston State Sr. Angleton, Texas
OF Michael Rockett UTSA Jr. Sugar Land, Texas
OF Keith Stein Sam Houston State Sr. College Station, Texas
OF Kevin Crabtree Stephen F. Austin Sr. Sugar Land, Texas
P Tim Erickson Lamar Sr. Sour Lake, Texas
P Brian Sisk Lamar Sr. Henderson, Texas
P Wade Miliey Southeastern Louisiana Jr. Loranger, La.
1B Trent Lockwood UTSA Sr. Groesbeck, Texas
2B Josh Huffman Central Arkansas Jr. Carrollton, Texas
3B Lance Loftin Texas State Jr. Spring, Texas
SS James Keithley UTSA Jr. San Antonio, Texas
C Stephen Flora A&M-Corpus Christi Jr. Austin, Texas
DH Tim Palinscar UTSA So. College Station, Texas
OF Todd Sebek Sam Houston State Sr. Kerrville, Texas
OF Michael Choice UT Arlington Fr. Mansfield, Texas
OF Chase Wheaton A&M-Corpus Christi Sr. Brenham, Texas
P Omar Gutierrez A&M-Corpus Christi Sr. Sinton, Texas
P Zach Tritz Texas State Jr. Spring, Texas
P Zach Calhoon UTSA So. Spring, Texas
1B Mike Jaworski Northwestern State Sr. Houston, Texas
2B Chase Lyles Northwestern State So. Plain Dealing, La.
3B Ryan Rummel UTSA So. Uvalde, Texas
SS Ty Summerlin Southeastern Louisiana Jr. Vancleave, Miss.
C Taylor Freeman McNeese State So. Carney, Okla.
DH Justin O’Neal Northwestern State Jr. Ruston, La.
DH Danny Slinkman UT Arlington Sr. Arlington, Texas
OF Chase Williams A&M-Corpus Christi Sr. College Station, Texas
OF Tyler Link Lamar Jr. Houston, Texas
OF Chris Houk Central Arkansas Sr. Little Rock, Ark.
P Jimmy Heard Northwestern State Jr. Bossier City, La.
P Mike Hart Texas State Jr. Staten Island, N.Y.
P Bradley Chovanec UTSA Sr. Burton, Texas
Honorable Mention:1B–David McLeod, UTA; 1B–Steven Tucker, LU; 2B–Brian Taylor, LU; 2B–Jamie Rohlmeier, SHSU; 3B–Justin Roland, SFA; SS–Travis Dunson, LU; C–Zach Etheredge, UTSA; C–Ben Theriot, TXST; OF–Elliott Babcock, TXST; OF–Cass Hargis, SLU; OF–Laurn Randell, TXST; P–Clayton Cooper, NWLA; P–Reece Cross, UCA; P–Dallas Gallant, SHSU; P–Kris Ruepke, UTSA; P–Brent Varnado, SLU.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Michael Rockett, UTSA
HITTER OF THE YEAR: Paul Goldschmidt, Texas State
PITCHER OF THE YEAR: Tim Erickson, Lamar
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Stephen Flora, A&M-Corpus Christi
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Michael Choice, UT Arlington
COACH OF THE YEAR: Sherman Corbett, UTSA