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Lambert and Close Named to Capital One Academic All-America First Team
Liberty senior pitcher Trey Lambert and junior first baseman Alex have been named to the 2014 Capital One Academic All-America® Division I Baseball first team, as chosen by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Lambert and Close become the second and third Liberty baseball players to be voted to a Division I Academic All-American. Infielder Jason Benham was selected to the 1998 Academic All-America Division I Baseball third team. The two become the 21st and the 22nd student-athletes in Liberty athletics department history to be voted to a CoSIDA Academic All-America® Division I team.
A total of 33 student-athletes earned inclusion on this year's Capital One Academic All-America® Division I Baseball team, divided up into three squads. The first team consists of 11 players. Of the 33 honorees, Lambert and Close are the lone representatives of the Big South Conference.
Both players serve as team captains for the Flames, who enter play at today's 2014 NCAA Charlottesville, Va. Regional with a 41-16 overall record. Lambert and Close have been key members for a Liberty team which set a program record for Big South Conference wins with a 23-3 record to capture the conference's regular season title.
Lambert graduated from Liberty with a degree in health promotion three weeks ago with a 3.94 GPA. The 2014 Big South Pitcher of the Year and Big South Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the senior leads the conference in wins with an 11-2 record. His 11 wins tie him for the most in a season in program history. In addition, Lambert ranks fourth in the Big South Conference with a 2.10 ERA and fifth with 102 2/3 innings pitched.
A two-time member of the Big South Presidential Honor Roll, the Tazewell, Va., native has been named a Dean's List member each of his six semesters at Liberty and earned the 2014 Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award, honoring the top graduating senior student-athlete at Liberty.
Close, one of two juniors on the Capital One Academic All-America Division I first team, has a 3.84 GPA as a business management major. A 2014 first team All-Big South infielder, he ranks third in conference in RBI (44) and home runs (8). He is also sixth in slugging percentage (.505). He enters the 2014 NCAA Charlottesville, Va. Regional with a .324 batting average in 56 games.
The Hoover, Ala., native has been named to the Dean's List six times and a 2012-13 Big South Presidential Honor Roll member. Close was a 2012 Louisville Slugger and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Freshman All-American and was named the 2012 Big South Freshman of the Year.
Lambert, Close and the Liberty Flames will play the Arkansas Razorbacks, tonight at the NCAA Charlottesville, Va. Regional. ESPNU will televise the contest from Davenport Field starting at 7 p.m.