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Seiz, Lambert, Bean and Toman Garner Conference Honors, 7 Flames Named All-Conference
Liberty second baseman Ryan Seiz was named the Player of the Year, right-hander Trey Lambert was selected the Pitcher of the Year and the Scholar-Athlete of the Year, right-hander Parker Bean was tabbed the Freshman of the Year and head coach Jim Toman was named the Coach of the Year, as the Big South Conference announced its baseball awards and all-conference team this afternoon.
It is the first time in Big South Conference history that one school has won all four awards.
Liberty, 39-14 overall, captured the 2014 Big South regular season title with a 23-3 conference mark. The Flames' 23 conference wins are a program record.
Seiz becomes the third Liberty player to be named the Big South Player of the Year. He joins outfielder Keith Butler (2000) and infielder Jason Benham (1998) as Flames who have won the award.
Also named to the all-conference first team, Seiz has hit .373 with 40 RBIs and 52 runs scored this season. The junior second baseman has collected 16 doubles, 11 home runs and 131 total bases, while posting a .453 on base percentage and .627 slugging percentage.
Seiz finished the season ranked No. 1 in the Big South in four offensive categories. The second baseman leads the conference in runs scored, home runs, total bases and slugging percentage. He completed the year second in the conference in batting average in Big South games only. In addition, he finished among the top 10 in the conference in hits, on base percentage, RBIs and doubles.
The second baseman was twice named the Big South Player of the Week this season and was selected as the NCBWA National Hitter of the Week for the week ending March 2. This past week, he became the first-ever Liberty player to be named a Dick Howser Award Semifinalist. The award is given yearly to college baseball's top player. In addition, he has been listed on the Gregg Olson "Breakout Player" Award Watch list.
Lambert becomes the first Liberty pitcher to be named the Big South Pitcher of the Year. The senior right-hander also was named the Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year, joining former Liberty Flames Brian Harrell (2000) and Matt Stewart (2001) as winners of the award.
Lambert, also an all-conference first team member, enters the week with a 10-2 record and a 2.18 ERA over 91 innings pitched. In 13 starts, the right-hander has struck out 59 and walked 17.
A member of the National Pitcher of the Year Watch List, Lambert lead the Big South with 10 wins and recorded a pair of shutouts to rank second in the Big South and finished the season ranked fourth in the league with three complete games. His opponent batting average of .219 and innings pitched were both good for sixth in the Big South. He was named the Big South's Pitcher of the Week on March 31 as he turned in a one-hit complete game win over Presbyterian College.
Lambert was named a CoSIDA Academic All-District III selection this season and is a two-time member of the Big South Presidential Honor roll. He also garnered the 2014 Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award, honoring the top graduating senior student-athlete at Liberty.
Bean becomes the fourth Flame to be selected the conference's Freshman of the Year. The pitcher joins pitcher Tim Harrell (1995), outfielder Keith Butler (2000) and teammate Alex Close (2012) as Flames who have received the conference honor.
Also selected to the all-conference first team, Bean was named an NCAA.com Top Performer and Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week after posting a career-best 16 strikeouts and coming within two outs of a no-hitter in the win over VMI on April 6. He followed that effort with 11 strike outs in a complete-game win over Longwood on April. 13.
Bean posted a 7-2 record with a 2.64 ERA over 71 2/3 innings during his freshman season. His seven wins during 2014 rank fifth in the Big South and his 75 strikeouts currently rank No. 6 in the conference. He held his opponents to a .224 average at the plate to be among the top 10 in the Big South in the category.
Toman guided his squad to the Big South North Division title and No. 1 overall seed in the Big South after posting a 23-3 and 39-14 overall record. His Flames are currently ranked No. 21 in the nation as Liberty picked up its first Big South regular season title since 2000.
Liberty ranks No. 1 in the Big South Conference with a combined 2.59 ERA, while batting .280 to rank second. The Flames' pitching staff has held opponents to a conference-low .220 average at the plate, while posting a conference-best 403 strike outs. Offensively, Liberty is tops in the league with 32 home runs and is second with 99 doubles and 513 hits. The honor marks his first Big South Coach of the Year plaudit for his career. Toman was a unanimous selection as he finished with 36 points from the panel.
He becomes the second Liberty skipper to be named the Big South Coach of the Year. Dave Pastors was the conference's Coach of the Year in 1998.
First baseman Alex Close and catcher Danny Grauer were voted onto the all-conference first team, while shortstop Dalton Britt and relief pitcher Ashton Perritt were selected to the all-conference second team.
Close enters the week with a .321 batting average, 32 runs scored and a team-leading 44 RBIs. The first baseman has also collected 13 doubles and hit seven home runs. The junior has posted a .495 slugging percentage and has 97 total bases. Close is third in the Big South in RBIs, fourth in home runs and eighth in slugging percentage and total bases.
Grauer has hit .282 with a 27 runs scored and 40 RBIs this season. The catcher has collected a career-high 15 doubles and belted seven home runs. He is currently fourth in the conference in home runs and seventh in RBIs. The senior also ranks ninth in the Big South with a .484 slugging percentage.
Britt, a sophomore, has bettered his hitting numbers at the plate this season over his freshman campaign in 2013. The shortstop has hit .296 with 24 runs scored and 31 RBIs. One of only two Flames to start every game this season, he has five doubles, two triples and six stolen bases. In addition, he had a 14-game hitting streak, the longest by a Liberty hitter this season.
Perritt has posted a career-high 11 saves this season, the second most in a year in program history. The junior right-hander, who also plays center field for the Flames, has a 1-1 mark with a 1.73 ERA over 26 innings in 18 appearances. He has struck out 26 and walked five batters.
The No. 1 seed Liberty Flames will square off with No. 8 seed Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs, Tuesday in Game 3 of the Big South Baseball Championship at the Winthrop Ballpark in Rock Hill, S.C. First pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
2014 Big South Conference Baseball Awards
Player of the Year
Ryan Seiz, Jr., Liberty
Pitcher of the Year
Trey Lambert, Sr., Liberty
Freshman of the Year
Parker Bean, RHP, Liberty
Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Trey Lambert, RHP, Liberty
Coach of the Year
Jim Toman, Liberty
Bobby, Ison, Jr., Charleston Southern
TJ Olesczuk, R-Jr, Winthrop
Patrick Marshall, Jr, Radford
Ryan Seiz, Jr., Liberty
Alex Tomasovich, Sr., Charleston Southern
Spencer Angelis, Jr., High Point
Alex Close, Jr., Liberty
Danny Grauer, Sr., Liberty
Connor Owings, Coastal Carolina
Andrew Windell, Jr., Charleston Southern
Trey Lambert, Sr., Liberty
Parker Bean, Fr., Liberty
Aaron Myers, Jr., Longwood
Ryan Thompson, Sr., Campbell
Brandon Angus, Jr., VMI
Nick Berry, Sr., Charleston Southern
Dane McDermott, Jr., High Point
Matt Dickason, Sr., Longwood
Alexander Lee, Sr., Radford
Hunter Higgerson, Jr., Radford
Dalton Britt, So., Liberty
Josh Spano, Jr., High Point
Matt Simmons, Fr., Gardner-Webb
John McGillicuddy, Jr., High Point
Heath Bowers, Jr., Campbell
Reed Garrett, Jr., VMI
Ashton Perritt, Jr., Liberty
Honorable Mention (in no particular order)
Josh Green, OF, Fr., High Point
John Reilly, INF, Sr., Campbell
Chase Shelton, INF, Jr., Charleston Southern
Ryan Koopman, RHP, Sr., Campbell
Matt Fraudin, RHP, Jr., Gardner-Webb
Matt Parrish, Jr., OF, Campbell
Alex Tomasovich, Grad. Student, 3B, Charleston Southern
Tyler Chadwick, So, C, Coastal Carolina
Andrew Barnett, Sr., RHP, Gardner-Webb
John McGillicuddy, Jr., RHP, High Point
Trey Lambert, Sr., RHP, Liberty
Kyri Washington, So., OF, Longwood
Brad Zebedis, Sr., 1B, Presbyterian College
Patrick Marshall, Jr., OF, Radford
Eli Miller, Sr., INF/OF, UNC Asheville
David Geary, So., 3B, VMI
TJ Olesczuk, R-Jr., OF, Winthrop