2016 USA South Baseball Awards Announced

2016 USA South Baseball Awards Announced

(FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.) - The USA South Athletic Conference has announced its 2016 All-Conference awards for baseball. A total of 43 student-athletes have been named to the All-Conference teams. LaGrange College's Blake Butcher was named Player of the Year and N.C. Wesleyan College's Trey Croom earned Rookie of the Year accolades. Rounding out the individual honors was a Ferrum College trio which included Pitcher of the Year Jake Perkins, Rookie Pitcher of the Year Hunter Peck and Coach of the Year Ryan Brittle. Also, the USA South recognized an All-Sportsmanship Team, consisting of one member from each competing school.

All honors were determined by votes from the baseball coach at each institution.

Butcher, a junior third baseman from Watkinsville, Georgia becomes the first Panther to earn an individual USA South award in the sport of baseball. He currently leads the Conference in several offensive categories including batting average (.420), slugging percentage (.707), hits (66), doubles (18), total bases (111) and RBI (42). He was also in the top-five of the League in home runs, triples, at bats, plate appearances and sacrifice flies. In USA South games only, Butcher continued to lead the League in slugging percentage, RBI and total bases. For his efforts, he earns his first All-Conference honor as he was a first team third baseman.

Perkins, a senior pitcher from Appomattox, Virginia collects his second career USA South Pitcher of the Year honor after first earning the award in 2014. He becomes the first Panther to earn the award twice. Perkins is currently tied for the USA South lead with seven wins with a 7-2 record. In 63.0 innings pitched, Perkins has established a 2.57 ERA and is second in the USA South with 74 strikeouts while opponents are batting a League-low .161 against him. In USA South-only action, Perkins compiled a 5-1 record and a 2.00 ERA with a League-high 48 strikeouts. This season, he collects his third All-Conference honor as he earns first team accolades as a starting pitcher for the second time in his career (2016 & 2014) after earning second team honors last spring. Finally, Perkins was named National Pitcher of the Week once and USA South Pitcher of the Week twice this season. 

Croom, a freshman third baseman from Wilmington, North Carolina, has compiled a .324 batting average, a .378 on-base percentage and a .460 slugging percentage this season. He has totaled 33 RBI, which ranked seventh in the Conference, 24 runs scored, ten doubles and three home runs. In USA South-only action, he raised his batting average to .333 and his on-base percentage to .412. For his efforts, Croom collects honorable mention accolades at third base. Finally, he was named USA South Rookie of the Week three times this season.

A freshman pitcher from Franklin, Virginia, Peck has posted a 1-1 record with two saves in 14 appearances, all out of the bullpen. In 26.2 innings, he has allowed just three earned runs, struck out 54 batters and established a 1.01 ERA. Peck's 18.23 strikeouts per nine innings currently lead the League. Against USA South competition this spring, he did not allow an earned run in 11.2 innings pitched and collected two saves while striking out 27 batters. For his efforts this season, Peck earned First Team All-Conference honors as a relief pitcher.

In his third season at Ferrum as head coach, Brittle collects his second career Conference Coach of the Year honor after earning the award during his rookie campaign in 2014. Brittle led the Panthers to a 15-3 USA South record, earning the program its eighth regular season title and first since 2007. In the USA South Preseason Coaches Poll, Ferrum was picked to finish fifth. Overall, the Panthers are 25-10 and head to the USA South tournament as the top-seeded team.


Player of the Year Pitcher of the Year Rookie of the Year Rookie Pitcher of the Year Coach of the Year

Blake Butcher

Jake Perkins

Trey Croom
N.C. Wesleyan

Hunter Peck

Ryan Brittle

The 2016 USA South Baseball All-Conference Team:

First Team Second Team Honorable Mention
1B - Zack Blonder, Maryville
2B - Joe Pradat, LaGrange
3B - Blake Butcher, LaGrange
SS - Ciro Norzagaray, N.C. Wesleyan
C - Chad Pigg, LaGrange
DH/Util. - James Lovett, N.C. Wesleyan
OF - Johnny Carpenter, Maryville
OF - Patrick Kucera, Huntingdon
OF - Alex Rodriguez, Methodist
SP - Ryan Broaderick, LaGrange

SP - Jake Perkins, Ferrum
RP - Hunter Peck, Ferrum
1B - Cain Sauls, LaGrange
2B - Hunter Ashworth, Averett
3B - Lucas Scott, Methodist
SS - Tavin Thompson, LaGrange
C - Brandon Wheat, N.C. Wesleyan
DH/Util. - Casey Bell, LaGrange
OF - Luke Harvey, Covenant
OF - Trenton Nobles, Covenant
OF - Keith Sims, LaGrange
SP - Garrett Kriston, Covenant
SP - Eric Morell, LaGrange
RP - Allen Tokarz, Piedmont
1B - Breck Davidson, Piedmont
2B - Ty Comer, Ferrum
3B - Trey Croom, N.C. Wesleyan
SS - Kyle Vidano, Averett
C - Z Arima, Covenant
OF - Davis Cass, Methodist
OF - Lane Deaver, Ferrum
OF - Evan Gresham, Piedmont
SP - Dillon Weaver, Ferrum
  Noah Greenblatt, Averett
Luke Harvey, Covenant
Clay Massie, Ferrum
J.P. Lisk, Greensboro
Landon Sessions, Huntingdon
Keith Sims, LaGrange
Dan Oaklief, Maryville
Adam Gunn, Methodist
James Kornegay, N.C. Wesleyan
Josh Thomas, Piedmont
Trevor Nanney, William Peace

Be sure to follow the USA South (#usasouth) on the following social media platforms: Twitter   Instagram   YouTube