Harding named Team of the Year by Natural State Baseball

From Harding University

The Harding University baseball team was named Arkansas Team of the Year on Wednesday by Natural State Baseball, a website devoted to collegiate baseball in Arkansas. The site also named Dr. Patrick McGaha Arkansas Coach of the Year.

Harding junior second baseman Chase Presley, senior third baseman Jason Nappi, and junior relief pitcher Marc McRae were named to the All-Arkansas Team. Sophomore starter Logan Holthaus and sophomore first baseman Billy Ninemire were honorable mention.

McGaha, also the Gulf South Conference West Division Coach of the Year, led the Bisons to a 42-14 record, its best in program history. Harding won the GSC West Division regular season championship, advanced to the finals of the GSC Tournament, and made its first-ever appearance at the NCAA Division II Tournament.

Presley, a native of Jackson, Tenn., hit .335 with a school-record 22 doubles. Nappi, a native of Birmingham, Ala., led Harding with with a .384 average, nine home runs and 54 RBI, and McRae, of Murfreesboro, Ark., had a 4-1 record and a 1.35 ERA out of the Harding bullpen.

All-Arkansas Team

Catcher – Lester Clark, North Ark (.527, 24 doubles, 13 HR, 74 RBI)

First – Brock Green, OBU (.381, 21 doubles, 39 RBI)

Second – Chase Presley, Harding (.335, 22 doubles, 4 HR, 38 RBI)

Third – Jason Nappi, Harding (.384, 9 HR, 54 RBI)

Shortstop – Cesar Abreu, ABC (.459, 44 stolen bases)

Left Field – Madison Beaird, ATU (.341, 14 doubles, 41 RBI)

Center Field – Matt Johnson, ATU (.454, 22 doubles, 9 HR, 50 RBI)

Right Field – Todd Baumgartner, ASU (.340, 18 doubles, 48 RBI)

Designated Hitter – Kentrell Hill, ABU (.402, 11 doubles, 11 HR, 36 stolen bases)

Starting Pitcher – DJ Baxendale, UA (10-2, 1.58 ERA, 77 strikeouts)

Starting Pitcher – Dan Bream, SAU (12-3, 2.49 ERA, 98 strikeouts)

Starting Pitcher – Doug Shields, SAU (8-2, 2.35 ERA, 75 strikeouts)

Relief Pitcher – Barrett Astin, UA (5-2, 2.75 ERA, 3 saves)

Relief Pitcher – Marc McRae, Harding (4-1, 1.35 ERA)

Pitcher – Trent Daniel, UA (2-0, 2.91 ERA, 4 saves)

Pitcher – Andy Ferguson, ASU (7-4, 3.57 ERA, 80 strikeouts)

Player of the Year – Matt Johnson, ATU

Pitcher of the Year – DJ Baxendale, UA

Freshman of the Year – Lester Clark, North Arkansas

The Natural (Arkansan of the Year) – DJ Baxendale, UA

Coach of the Year – Patrick McGaha, Harding

Team of the Year – Harding University Bisons

Honorable mention: Kolby Moore (OBU), Josh Wesson (Henderson), Logan Holthaus (Harding), Tyler Hardin (ABU), Davin Houser (North Ark), Ryan Nevels (North Ark), David Copeland (North Ark), Colby Suggs (UA), Nolan Sandburn (UA), Clark Sims (Hendrix), Collin Radack (Hendrix), Jordan May (UAFS), Wayne Hawkins (UAM), Nick Makris (ATU), Gip Hendrix (Henderson), Logan Williams (SAU), Trey Buck (SAU), Billy Ninemire (Harding), Jonathan Davis (UCA), Michael Long (ABU), Ryan Bridges (ABU), Clint Howard (North Ark), Patrick Phillips (North Ark), Dominic Ficociello (UA), James McCann (UA).