More All-America Honors For CAA Baseball Players
Several CAA baseball players earned All-America honors from a variety of organizations after outstanding seasons.
UNCW senior second baseman Michael Bass was chosen to the Baseball America All-America second team and the NCBWA All-America third team. Earlier this month, he earned third-team honors on the Louisville Slugger All-America squad and was a Capital One Second-Team Academic All-America.
Bass was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 27th round of last week’s Major League Baseball draft and will begin his career with the Portland Beavers of the short-season Northwest League. He led the Seahawks to the NCAA tournament for the second straight year as UNCW earned an at-large berth and competed in the Charlottesville Regional. Bass led the Seahawks with a career-high .380 batting average and scored a team-high 62 runs. He also collected a team-leading 21 doubles and stole 26 bases in 27 attempts.
Delaware junior first baseman Jimmy Yezzo made the Baseball America All-America third team after previously receiving from first-team All-America honors from Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball. Yezzo was the 2013 CAA Player of the Year after compiling a .410 batting average and 28 doubles during the 2013 season and also ranked second in the league with 13 home runs and 64 runs batted in. He led the nation in batting for several weeks during the season and currently ranks No. 3 nationally in that category and No. 7 in runs batted in per game. He committed just one error in 515 chances at first base. Yezzo was a 7th-round draft pick of the Washington Nationals.
Old Dominion junior outfielder Ben Verlander was named a third team All-American by the NCBWA. Verlander, who was selected in the 14th round (426 overall pick) of last week’s Major League Baseball draft by the Detroit Tigers, was a first team All-CAA selection, and was a semifinalist for the Gregg Olson Award which is awarded to college baseball's top player who elevates his game to an elite level throughout the season. He ranked eighth in the CAA in hitting at .367, third in homers with 11 and led ODU in runs scored with 46, along with four triples and 13 stolen bases.
Towson junior designated hitter Kurt Wertz was also honored as a third team All-American by the NCBWA. A first-team All-CAA selection at designated hitter, Wertz played in 57 games for the Tigers and batted .338. The Tigers’ second-leading hitter, he led the team with 13 home runs and 65 runs batted in. His 65 RBI’s led the CAA and represented the fourth-highest single season total in school history.
Wertz, who scored 43 runs, also had 14 doubles and seven triples. He ranked second in the CAA in triples and his 142 total bases placed him third in the league. Wertz was also fourth in the CAA with a .640 slugging percentage.
Georgia State center fielder Josh Merrigan and pitcher-infielder Matt Rose were named to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America team, selected by Collegiate Baseball newspaper, and Merrigan also received second team Freshman All-America accolades from the NCBWA.
Merrigan enjoyed the most productive freshman season in Georgia State history with a .353 batting average, 84 hits, 52 runs scored and 36 runs batted in. He belted 15 doubles, five triples and four homers and was 12-for-12 on stolen bases. Merrigan was named CAA Rookie of the Year – the first for the GSU program -- and was tabbed to the All-CAA second team and the CAA All-Rookie team.
Rose, a right-handed pitcher who also played first base and third base, was selected as a multi-position player. The Melbourne, Fla., native (Palm Bay HS) posted a 3-2 record with five saves and a 2.55 earned run average, striking out 30 in 35.1 innings. He hit .283 with four homers and 32 RBI in 45 games while fielding at a .989 clip. Rose was named to the CAA All-Rookie team.
The CAA also dominated the ABCA/Rawlings All-East team with 15 players honored.
Eight players were selected to the All-East first team: William & Mary senior pitcher John Farrell, Towson senior catcher Andrew Parker, Delaware's Yezzo, UNCW's Bass, UNCW junior third baseman Ryan LaGrange, Delaware senior outfielder Nick Ferdinand, ODU's Verlander and Towson's Wertz.
Making the All-East second team were UNCW junior pitcher Mat Batts, Delaware junior pitcher Chad Kuhl, Hofstra senior catcher Matt Reistetter, William & Mary sophomore first baseman Michael Katz, William & Mary junior second baseman Ryan Lindemuth, James Madison sophomore outfielder Chad Carroll and Towson junior outfielder Dominic Fratantuono.