FRISCO, Texas – Texas State first baseman Paul Goldschmidt was named the Southland Conference Player of the Year by a vote of league coaches and sports information directors, the Southland Conference office announced Monday in conjunction with the release of its all-conference teams.
It was a near sweep of the individual awards for Texas State. Goldschmidt, who was also voted the Southland Conference Hitter of the Year, helped lead Texas State to its first outright regular season conference title and a No. 1 seed entering this week’s Southland Conference Baseball Tournament at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi, Texas. Bobcats’ senior right-hander pitcher Kane Holbrooks was named the Southland Conference Pitcher of the Year while Texas State junior outfielder Keith Prestridge was named the Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year. Their mentor, Bobcat coach Ty Harrington was named the league coach of the year. The lone individual superlative not claimed by Texas State was freshman of the year, which went to Lamar right-hander Eric Harrington.
Goldschmidt, who becomes the first Southland player to repeat as hitter of the year since McNeese State’s Ben Broussard in 1998 and 1999, ranks among the league’s top 10 in nine offensive categories and leads the league in runs batted in (77), walks (50) and sacrifice flies (nine). The junior from The Woodlands, Texas (The Woodlands), also finished the regular season second in home runs (16), third in runs scored (63), fifth in total bases (137), slugging percentage (.685) and on-base percentage (.745), and was tied for seventh in doubles (18). Goldschmidt picked up first-team all-conference honors this season after batting a modest .355, the fifth-best average on his team. In 31 conference games, the average improved to .377.
Holbrooks dominated on the hill for the Bobcats this season and was rewarded by being selected the conference pitcher of the year. He led the Southland with nine wins and boasted a 3.40 earned run average, the second lowest in the league. The senior from Fort Worth, Texas (Aledo), is second in innings pitched (87.1) and is tied for second with 13 starts. Holbrooks has struck out 56 batters this season and has limited his opponents to a .289 batting average. The first-team all-conference selection has pitched one complete game this season.
Prestridge, a junior college transfer from Angelina College in Lufkin, Texas, finished the regular season with a .384 batting average, which was Texas State’s second best. His batting average ranks 10th in the conference. In 46 games, the junior from Houston, Texas (Cy-Fair), has driven in 46 runs on 56 hits and earned second-team all-conference honors at designated hitter.
After guiding the Bobcats to their third conference regular-season championship, head coach Ty Harrington was named the Southland coach of the year for the first time in his 10-year career at Texas State. The Bobcats, which have climbed as high as No. 25 in the national polls this season, were 38-14 overall and 24-7 in league play to grab the top seed in this week’s conference tournament. He guided the Bobcats their third Southland tournament championship in 2000, his first season in San Marcos.
Eric Harrington was named the conference freshman of the year after leading the Southland in ERA for nearly the entire season. In 13 starts, he was 8-1 and finished the regular season with a conference-low 2.59 ERA. In 80.0 innings pitched, he fanned 59 batters, which ties him for ninth in the conference. The freshman right hander from Groves, Texas (Port Neches-Groves), has caught 24 batters looking at strike three to tie for fifth and his win total ranks second in the league while his innings pitched rank eighth.
In total, Texas State placed a league-best seven student-athletes on the three all-conference teams. Goldschmidt and Holbrooks earned first-team honors, while outfielders Spenser Dennis and Tyler Sibley, catcher Ben Theriot and Prestridge earned second-team honors. Outfielder Bret Atwood was named to the third team and the Bobcats had another three student-athletes earn honorable mention for receiving votes from at last 25 percent of the voters.
UTSA outfielder Michael Rockett, who was named one of three first-team outfielders, became a four-time all-conference selection. The 2008 conference player of the year earned first-team honors each of the last two years after earning second-team honors in 2006 and 2007. Other repeat selections include McNeese State shortstop Shon Landry and catcher Taylor Freeman, UT Arlington outfielder Michael Choice, Stephen F. Austin pitcher Erich Lehmann and Lamar outfielder Tyler Link. Landry, Freeman and Choice joined Rockett on the first team. Lehmann earned second-team honors and Link earned third-team honors.
Also earning first-team kudos were Sam Houston State second baseman Braeden Riley, UTSA third baseman Lance Brown and UT Arlington outfielder Matt Otteman, designated hitter Andrew Kainer and pitcher Nathan Long.
Lamar and UT Arlington, which had four of its players earn first-team honors, both had five all-conference selections, while McNeese State, Sam Houston State and UTSA had four garner honors. Stephen F. Austin had three selections, Northwestern State had two and Central Arkansas and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi each had one selection.
2009 All-Southland Conference Baseball Teams
Pos. Name University Class Hometown
1B Paul Goldschmidt* Texas State Jr. The Woodlands, Texas
2B Braeden Riley Sam Houston State So. Woodville, Texas
3B Lance Brown UTSA Jr. Richland Hills, Texas
SS Shon Landry* McNeese State Sr. Orange, Texas
OF Matt Otteman UT Arlington Sr. Lockport, Ill.
OF Michael Choice* UT Arlington So. Mansfield, Texas
OF Michael Rockett^ UTSA Sr. Sugar Land, Texas
C Taylor Freeman* McNeese State Jr. Carney, Okla.
DH Andrew Kainer UT Arlington Sr. Conroe, Texas
P Kane Holbrooks Texas State Sr. Fort Worth, Texas
P Eric Harrington Lamar Fr. Groves, Texas
P Nathan Long UT Arlington Sr. Fort Worth, Texas
1B Nick Zaleski Sam Houston State Sr. Sugar Land, Texas
2B Brian Taylor Lamar Sr. Cedar Park, Texas
3B Martin Parra Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Sr. Austin, Texas
SS Jeremiah Sammy Lamar Sr. Markham, Ontario
OF Spenser Dennis Texas State Sr. Baytown, Texas
OF Jose Hernandez UTSA Sr. Anaheim Hills, Calif.
OF Tyler Sibley Texas State Fr. Frisco, Texas
C Ben Theriot Texas State Jr. Houston, Texas
DH Keith Prestridge Texas State Jr. Houston, Texas
P Erich Lehmann* Stephen F. Austin Sr. Fort Worth, Texas
P Sean Weatherford Sam Houston State So. Bryan, Texas
P Ricky Testa Lamar Sr. Mesquite, Texas
1B Sean Meyers Stephen F. Austin Sr. Conroe, Texas
2B Ryan Hutson UTSA So. Round Rock, Texas
3B Jonathan Yerby Central Arkansas Sr. Winnfield, La.
SS Trent Grondin Northwestern State Jr. Round Rock, Texas
OF Tyler Link* Lamar Sr. Houston, Texas
OF Bret Atwood Texas State So. Katy, Texas
OF Lee Orr McNeese State Fr. El Campo, Texas
C Mark Wyatt Sam Houston State Sr. Houston, Texas
DH Ryan Brauninger McNeese State Sr. Nederland, Texas
P Ryan Robinson UT Arlington Sr. Southlake, Texas
P Jimmy Heard* Northwestern State Sr. Bossier City, La.
P Richard Folmer Stephen F. Austin Sr. Houston, Texas
* indicates two-time all-conference selection;
^ indicates four-time all-conference selection.
Honorable Mention – First Base: Justin O’Neal, NWLA; Second Base: Chase Lyles, NWLA; Third Base: Joe Urtuzuastegui, NWLA; Chris Dunkin, LU; Kyle Kubitza, TXST; Shortstop: Marshal Davis, UTSA; Tanner Hines, SFA; Jason Martinson, TXST; Outfield: Chris Murrill, NICH; Sam Merrill, MCN; Zach Gardner, SFA; Dillon Smith, UCA; Catcher: Stephen Flora, AMCC; Chad Comer, UTA; Designated Hitter: Beau Snodgrass, NWLA; Pitchers: Red Patterson, UTSA; Brian Borski, TXST; Chris Franklin, SLU; Ryan Boudreaux, SLU.
Player of the Year: Paul Goldschmidt, Texas State
Hitter of the Year: Paul Goldschmidt, Texas State
Pitcher of the Year: Kane Holbrooks, Texas State
Freshman of the Year: Eric Harrington, Lamar
Newcomer of the Year: Keith Prestridge, Texas State
Coach of the Year: Ty Harrington, Texas State