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Close Tabbed Coastal Plain League All-Star
Liberty junior Alex Close has been named to the East All-Star roster for the 2014 Coastal Plain League (CPL) All-Star Game, set for July 14 at Big Rock Stadium in Morehead City, N.C.
Close, who will be a reserve catcher on the squad, is batting .286 with three home runs and 15 RBIs in 20 games for the Peninsula Pilots, based in Hampton, Virginia. He has helped the Pilots post a 23-9 record thus far in 2014, in addition to a 7-5 win over the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team on June 29.
This will be the 16th CPL All-Star Game for the league which features 14 teams in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL gives college players the chance to refine their skills with the use of wooden bats.
Close, who played first base for Liberty this past spring, was picked as a catcher by the Kansas City Royals in the 27th round of the 2014 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft last month. However, he has since decided to return to the Flames for his senior season in 2015.
Close was named an All-Big South first team member, after the junior hit .324 with 34 runs scored and a team-leading 45 RBIs in 2014. He hit 14 doubles, belted eight home runs and posted a .505 slugging percentage. In addition, the team captain led the Flames with a .408 batting average with runners in scoring position. He finished the year third in the Big South in home runs and RBIs, while ranking sixth in slugging percentage.
Close was one of two juniors from across the country to be selected to the 2014 Capital One Academic All-America first team. The squad celebrates both on field and academic achievements. He is one of only three players in program history to be named to a CoSIDA Academic All-America team.