Ouachita Baptist University baseball tabbed Team of the Year in Arkansas

ARKADELPHIA – Natural State Baseball announced its 2008 All-Arkansas Collegiate Team and Awards with Ouachita Baptist earning several top honors, including being named Team of the Year.

The Tigers, who went 51-16 and lost in the NCAA Division II College World Series National Championship Game to Mount Olive, were selected Team of the Year over Division I programs Central Arkansas, Arkansas, Arkansas State and UALR.

Former Ouachita Baptist head coach Scott Norwood was named the Arkansas Coach of the Year, while Steve Smith was tabbed Pitcher of the Year and the winner of the “Natural” Award, given to the best player from the state of Arkansas. Smith, a 25th-round draft pick by the Cleveland Indians, was named the NCAA Division II College World Series Most Valuable Player. He was 10-1 on the season with a 2.00 ERA and a school-record 143 strikeouts.

Ouachita Baptist had five players selected to the All-Arkansas Team. Jim Streicher, who batted .425 with eight homers and 56 RBIs, got the nod at catcher. Gulf South Conference West Division Co-Player of the Year Destan Makonnen, who hit .338 with a career-high and school-record 22 home runs and 76 RBIs, was selected at first base. The last position player was right fielder Justin Pennell , who was named the All-South Central Region Tournament Most Outstanding Player, hit .359 with 15 homers and 77 runs batted in.

Besides Smith on the mound, Patrick Lemmond was named to the squad with a 2-1 record and nine saves.

Rudy Jovanovski, Blake Lockwood and Chase Baran earned honorable mention.

John Long of Southern Arkansas was tabbed Player of the Year, while Joey Winiecki of Arkansas-Fort Smith earned the Freshman of the Year honors.

All Arkansas Team
Catcher – Jim Streicher, OBU (.425 avg, 8 HR, 56 RBI)
First – Destan Makonnen, OBU (.338 avg, 22 HR, 76 RBI)
Second – Cannon Lester, SAU (.400 avg, 5 HR, 41 RBI)
Third – Logan Forsythe, UA (.351 avg, 7 HR, 34 RBI)
Shortstop – Cory Briggs, UO (.467 avg, 8 HR, 54 RBI)
Left field – John Long, SAU (.415 avg, 18 HR, 74 RBI)
Center field – Jeremy Sauceda, HSU (.396 avg, 11 HR, 51 RBI)
Right field – Justin Pennell , OBU (.359 avg, 15 HR, 77 RBI)
Designated Hiitter – Robby Finnell, UO (.374 avg, 13 HR, 56 RBI)

Starting Pitcher – Aaron Davidson, UAFS (10-4, 2.01 ERA, 117 strikeouts)
Starting Pitcher – Cobey Guy, UAFS (6-1, 2.53 ERA, 108 strikeouts)
Starting Pitcher – Curt Dixon, UO (9-1, 2.92 ERA)
Relief Pitcher – Jake Waddle, UAFS (3-2, 1.19 ERA, 6 saves)
Relief Pitcher – Patrick Lemmond, OBU (2-1, 3.00 ERA, 9 saves)
Pitcher – Steve Smith, OBU (10-1, 2.00 ERA, 3 saves, 143 strikeouts)
Pitcher – Hayden Simpson, SAU (10-0, 3.43 ERA)

Player of the Year – John Long, SAU
Pitcher of the Year – Steve Smith, OBU
Freshman of the Year – Joey Winiecki, UAFS
The Natural (Arkansan of the Year) – Steve Smith, OBU (Texarkana, Ark.)
Coach of the Year – Scott Norwood, OBU
Team of the Year – Ouachita Baptist Tigers

Honorable mention: Chase Leavitt (UA), Jantzen Black (ATU), Daniel Ward (Hendrix), Rudy Jovanovski (OBU), Blake Lockwood (OBU), Chase Baran (OBU), Pat Robey (SAU), James Schroeder (SAU), Tyler Maag (SAU), Jeremy Jenkins (SAU), Cody Jones (SAU), Blake Doty (UAFS), Jared Richmond (UAFS), Jordan Pratt (UAFS), Steve Carlin (UAFS), Matt Pace (UAPB), Jerome McCollum (UAPB), Bruce Cameron (UO), Justin Brown (Lyon), Sam Neal (Lyon), Nick Salahub (Lyon), Chris Houk (UCA), Josh Huffman (UCA).