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2011 CBD Conference USA Awards

By: John Lockwood
2011 CUSA Player of the Year – Chad Zurcher, Memphis

In a year when offensive numbers across the country plummeted—and the name “BBCOR” became commonly uttered next to any manner of expletive—Memphis’ Chad Zurcher didn’t seem to get the memo. The junior from Knoxville finished the season with an NCAA-best .443 batting average, and his .455 average to finish the regular season was eight points higher than the CUSA single-season record set by UCF’s Chris Duffy in 2010. Zurcher was a large reason that Memphis finished the season with the best team batting average in the conference, as he led the league in multi-hit games (28). As well, Zurcher displayed an uncanny knack for getting on base as his 33 walks to just 17 strikeouts added up to a league-best (and nation-best) .547 on-base-percentage.

2011 CUSA Pitcher of the Year – Seth Maness, East Carolina

Perhaps no pitcher in Conference USA had a more understated, stellar season on the mound than ECU’s Seth Manness. The senior from Pinehurst, NC finished the season with a team best nine wins and a lights out 1.88 ERA— best among CUSA starters and second overall behind teammate Brad Mincey (1.55). In his final collegiate campaign, Manness finished tied for first with the most strikeouts in ECU history (330) and a school record 37 career wins—second most in CUSA history. Manness was second in innings pitched (96), fifth in opposing batting average (.230), second in wins (9), and his four complete games were tops in the league with no one else even having three. Manness capped off his CUSA career with a stellar complete game shut-out of Southern Miss in which he only allowed three hits, one walk and struck out nine.

2011 CUSA Freshman of the Year – Austin Kubitza, Rice

Rice’s Austin Kubita is this year’s CBD CUSA Freshman of the Year. The big righty from Colleyville, TX, was one of the best pitchers in Conference USA in 2011. The only player to earn pitcher of the week honors twice, Kubitza led all freshmen in ERA (2.33), innings pitched (92.2 IP), strike outs (93), and was second in wins with six.

2011 CUSA Assistant Coach of the Year – Dan Roszel, East Carolina

In just his first year as the Pirates pitching coach, Dan Roszel steered the East Carolina pitching staff to the best ERA in the nation for the majority of the season and their final cumulative 2.58 team ERA was the best in Conference USA history. While offensive numbers were down across the country, East Carolina’s emergence as one of the most dominant pitching teams in the nation cannot simply be pinned on a change in bats. Under Roszel, formerly of the College of Charleston, the Pirates cut their earned runs allowed practically in half from 301 in 2010 to 151 in 2011, and decreased their hits allowed from 607 to 456. What’s more, Roszel has done so with the same staff as a year ago and the individual improvements have been dramatic: Seth Manness’ ERA dropped from 4.17 to 1.55, closer Seth Simmons improved from 4.39 to 2.56, lefty Kevin Brandt went from 5.21 to 2.26, and reliever Brad Mincey improved from 5.83 to 1.55. For this terrific achievement, Roszel is CBD’s 2011 CUSA Assistant Coach of the Year.

2011 CUSA Head Coach of the Year – Scott Berry, Southern Miss

In his second year at the helm of the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, head coach Scott Berry has already led his team to back-to-back CUSA titles. This year, the Golden Eagles were crowned first ever regular season co-champions, and won their first regular season title since 2003. In addition, USM remained ranked in the top 30 for most of the season and despite some key losses to their pitching staff in the Conference USA Tournament, and a resultant disappointing finish, the Golden Eagles still secured a #2 seed in the NCAA regionals.

2011 College Baseball Daily All-Conference USA Team

C Jr. Jeremy Schaeffer, Tulane (.343, 23 2B, 6 HR, 37 RBI)
1B Sr. Jonathan Griffin, UCF (.332, 18 HR, 53 RBI, .634 SLG)
2B So. Michael Ratterree, Rice (.322, 17 2B, 6 HR, 51 RBI)
SS Jr. Chad Zurcher, Memphis (.443, 19 2B, 34 RBI, .547 OBP)
3B Jr. B.A. Vollmuth, Southern Miss (.309, 12 HR, 48 RBI, 48 R)
UT So. D.J. Hicks, UCF (.343, 13 HR, 62 RBI, 11 2B)
DH Jr. Anthony Rendon, Rice (.327, 20 2B, 57 R, 6 HR, 35 RBI, 78 BB)
OF Jr. Jamal Austin, UAB (.351, 38 R, 28 RBI, 26 SB)
OF Sr. Marc Bourgeois, Southern Miss (.360, 7 HR, 38 RBI, .453 OBP)
OF Sr. Tyler Koelling, Southern Miss (.367, 18 2B, 4 HR, 46 RBI)
OF Jr. Rhett Stafford, Marshall (.320, 10 HR, 41 RBI, .560 SLG)

SP Sr. Seth Maness, East Carolina (9-3, 1.88 ERA, 4 CG, 96 IP, 15 BB, 76 K)
SP So. Geoffrey Thomas, Southern Miss (10-3, 3.09 ERA, 2 CG, 84.1 IP, 34 BB, 54 K)
SP Sr. Todd McInnis, Southern Miss (8-2, 2.61 ERA, 1 CG, 89.2 IP, 30 BB, 81 K)
SP Fr. Austin Kubitza, Rice (6-4, 2.33 ERA, 1 CG, 92.2 IP, 21 BB, 93 K)
SP Jr. Kevin Brandt, East Carolina (7-3, 2.26 ERA, 1 CG, 87.2 IP, 26 BB, 60 K)
RP Sr. Brad Mincey, East Carolina (5-4, 1.55 ERA, 3 SV, 63.2 IP, 16 BB, 52 K)
RP Jr. Collin Cargill, Southern Miss (6-4, 1.05 ERA, 8 SV, 43 IP, 28 K)
RP Sr. Tony Cingrani, Rice (4-2, 1.76 ERA, 12 SV, 56.1 IP, 10 BB, 65 K)
RP So. Tyler Duffey, Rice (8-1, 2.50 ERA, 2 SV, 57.2 IP, 17 BB, 73 K)
RP Sr. Nick Cicio, UCF (3-2, 2.32 ERA, 4 SV, 54.1 IP, 19 BB, 50 K)

2011 College Baseball Daily CUSA All-Freshman Team

C Jared Bales, Southern Miss (.298, 2 HR, 20 RBI, .429 OBP)
SS Jack Reinheimer, East Carolina (.323, 4 2B, 32 R, 21 RBI)
OF Ben Fultz, East Carolina (.301, 4 3B, 4 HR, 26 RBI)
OF Landon Appling, Houston (.265, 47 R, 31 RBI, 22 SB)
DH Chase McDonald, East Carolina (.302, 10 2B, 3 HR, 26 RBI)
SP Aaron Blair, Marshall (2-3, 2.72 ERA, 36.1 IP, 13 BB, 34 K)
SP Austin Kubitza, Rice (6-4, 2.33 ERA, 1 CG, 92.2 IP, 21 BB, 93 K)
SP John Simms, Rice (3-2, 3.32 ERA, 1 SV, 62.1 IP, 18 BB, 63 K)
S/RP Ben Lively, UCF (5-1, 4.74 ERA, 1 CG, 57 IP, 33 BB, 41 K)
RP Alex Facundus, Tulane (8-2, 3.43 ERA, 39.1 IP, 21 BB, 23 K)