CLEBURNE, Texas – Jake Martin of Trinity University was voted the Offensive Player-of-the-Year and Austin Smith of Southwestern University was selected the league’s Pitcher-of-the-Year in exclusive 2019 all-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) voting by the conference’s head coaches. Complete Release
In the same balloting, Joe Jimenez of Texas Lutheran University was named the conference’s Freshman-of-the-Year, while TLU head coach Greg Burnett earned SCAC Coach-of-the-Year honors.
As for the All-SCAC team, Trinity earned a league-high five First Team selections while Southwestern followed with three. Centenary College and Texas Lutheran had two each. Trinity led the way with most combined selections (First/Second Team) with eight.
Martin, a senior outfielder from Edmond, Okla., led the SCAC during the regular season in hits (59), was top five in the league in runs scored (41 – fifth), doubles (15 – second), home runs (seven – tied for third) and total bases (99 – second) and was top 10 in the conference in batting average (.339 – 10th), slugging (.569 – seventh), runs batted in (35 – ninth) and triples (two – tied for eighth). Martin was an even bigger factor for the Tigers during conference play, hitting .434 in league play (second in the SCAC) with league-highs in hits (33), doubles (10), home runs (7), total bases (64) and slugging percentage (.842). His .842 slugging percentage in league play is the third-highest for a single-season for any player in the SCAC since the 2013 season. Martin is the seventh different Trinity student-athlete to earn Offensive Player-of-the-Year recognition and the first since Jeremy Wolf took home top honors following the 2016 season.
In SCAC Player-of-the-Year balloting that saw five different players earn consideration, Martin’s three first-place votes from the coaches led the way. Junior Tyler Cauley of Texas Lutheran, sophomore first baseman Preston Ludwick of Centenary College, junior third baseman Daniel Montgomery Jr., of Southwestern and senior shortstop Brett Taff of Austin College all received one vote each.
Smith, a sophomore right-hander from Cedar Park, Texas, heads into this weekend’s SCAC tournament with seven wins (tied for second in the SCAC), a 3.14 earned run average (fourth in the SCAC) and leads the league in strikeouts (100), complete games (five), shutouts (two) and strikeouts per nine innings (12.56). Fifth in the nation in strikeouts, he is already one of just 13 pitchers in league history to hit the 100-strikeout milestone for a single season and his strikeouts per nine innings ratio is on pace to be the fourth-highest in league history. A three-time SCAC Pitcher-of-the-Week, Smith threw a complete game no-hitter in Southwestern’s series opener against Dallas on April 19, recording his fifth double-digit strikeout game in a row and seventh of the season. Smith becomes the fourth Pirate to earn SCAC Pitcher-of-the-Year honors and the first since Forrest Martin in 2000.
Smith received five votes in the SCAC Pitcher-of-the-Year balloting while sophomore right-hander Corey Cater of Trinity received the remaining two first-place votes.
Jimenez, a first-year shortstop from San Antonio, Texas, provided a huge boost for the Bulldogs after entering the starting lineup at the beginning of league play. In conference-only action, Jimenez led all first-year players and was third overall in both batting average (.429) and hits (30) and was fifth in on-base percentage (.506). For the season, he hit .388 in 28 games with five doubles, two triples and a home run among his 38 hits with 27 runs scored and 22 runs batted in. Jimenez is the third Texas Lutheran player in the last four years to receive Freshman-of-the-Year honors, joining current teammates Nathan Malinovsky (2016) and Tyler Cauley (2017) as honorees.
Jimenez was the coaches’ clear favorite in the Freshman-of-the-Year balloting, receiving five first-place votes. First-year second baseman Chance Goins of Schreiner University and first-year outfielder Michael Jaquez of the University of Dallas received one vote each.
Texas Lutheran head coach Greg Burnett led the Bulldogs to a share of the SCAC regular season title – the program’s second in the last four years – and the top seed in this weekend’s postseason tournament. The Bulldogs are 29-10 and ranked ninth in the nation heading into this weekend’s play and look to defend their 2018 SCAC tournament title which jumpstarted last year’s run that ended as national runner-up at the NCAA Division III College Baseball World Series. In his 12th year at the helm of the TLU program, Burnett is 335-182 overall headed into this weekend’s conference tournament. He is third all-time in TLU career baseball wins and second all-time in TLU career baseball win percentage. His 77-31 (.713) record in SCAC play is the fifth-highest all-time among those who have coached five or more years in the league. This is the second SCAC Coach-of-the-Year honor for Burnett as he also took home the honor following the 2016 season.
2019 SCAC Player-of-the-Year
Jake Martin, Trinity University, Senior, Outfielder, Edmond, Okla.
2019 SCAC Pitcher-of-the-Year
Austin Smith, Southwestern University, Sophomore, Pitcher, Cedar Park, Texas
2019 SCAC Freshman-of-the-Year
Joe Jimenez, Texas Lutheran University, Freshman, Shortstop, San Antonio, Texas
2019 SCAC Coach-of-the-Year
Greg Burnett, Texas Lutheran University, 29-10 Overall Record (14-4 SCAC) / Top Tourney Seed
For the complete 2019 SCAC All-Conference baseball team, click here.
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May 3, 2019 SCAC Announces 2019 All-Conference Baseball Team
April 29, 2019 SCAC Baseball Recap - Tournament Edition
April 22, 2019 SCAC Baseball Recap - Week Eleven
April 15, 2019 SCAC Baseball Recap - Week Ten
April 8, 2019 SCAC Baseball Recap - Week 9
April 3, 2019 Dallas' Wallace Named to D3Baseball.com Team of the Week
April 1, 2019 SCAC Baseball Recap - Week 8
March 27, 2019 Centenary's Ludwick Collects National Honor
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February 6, 2019 SCAC Baseball & Softball Media Days
February 1, 2019 Texas Lutheran & Trinity Deadlocked Atop Baseball Preseason Poll