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Linza Earns All-Big South First Team Honors

May 25, 2011
|  Lexington, Va.
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Keegan Linza

Liberty starting pitcher Keegan Linza was named to the Big South all-conference first team, while four other Flames, starting pitcher Steven Evans, shortstop Matt Williams, outfielder Doug Bream and relief pitcher Garrett Baker received second-team honors. The league announced and presented the awards before Game 4 of the 2011 Big South Baseball Championship, between the No. 2 seed Liberty Flames and No.5 seed Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs. Linza was also selected to the conference's all-academic team.

Linza was voted to the Big South all-conference first team by the conference's coaches. The senior right-hander leads the Big South with 10 wins and 99 innings pitched. He is second in the conference with a 2.18 ERA. The Salisbury, N.C., native ranks second on the school's single-season win list. This year, he became the first Liberty pitcher to throw four complete games in a campaign since 2005. Not only is his win total a single-season career high, but he has set personal single-season highs for innings pitched, ERA and strikeouts (60).

Evans was selected to the all-conference second team. The senior left-hander is currently second in the Big South with 94 1/3 innings pitch and an opponent batting average of .217. He is also third in the conference with 80 strikeouts this season. The Amherst, Va., native enters the week with a 6-3 mark for the Flames and continues to move up several of the school's career list in his final days in a Flames uniform. Evans enters the week with 25 career wins, placing him second on Liberty's all-time victory list.  In addition, Evans ranks third all-time at Liberty with 316 1/3 innings pitched and earlier this season, moved into second on the program's all-time strikeout ledger with 265 strikeouts during his career.

Williams was selected to the all-conference second team for the second-consecutive year. The junior begins the week with a .335 batting average with 37 RBIs and 38 runs scored.  The Franklin, Tenn., native has also hit 15 doubles, three triples, a single-season career-high nine home runs and 15 stolen bases. Three of his home runs have either been game-winning or game-tying home runs. He begins the week sixth on Liberty's career doubles list with 49.

Bream was voted to a Big South all-conference team for the first time in his career. The senior from Elizabethtown, Pa., enters the week ranked 10th in the Big South and leads Liberty in batting average with a .349 batting average. He has 37 RBIs, 29 runs scored, 14 doubles, three triples and seven stolen bases. He leads the Flames with 21 multi-hit games and is tied for the team lead with 11 multi-RBI games. The senior has set single-season career highs in hits (67), doubles, triples and RBIs in 2011. In addition, the outfielder was named National Co-Hitter of the Week by the NCBWA and Big South Player of the Week for the week of April 3-10. He was also selected to the National All-Star Line-up and named Southeast Region Player of the Week by College Baseball Insider.

Baker receives conference recognition by being named to the all-conference second team in his first season with the Flames. The left-hander has made a team-leading 24 appearances, posting a 6-4 record with three saves and a 2.81 ERA in 57 2/3 innings. Of the Rome, N.Y., native's 24 appearances, three have been starts. The junior ranks fifth in ERA and fourth with a .229 opponent batting average in the Big South Conference. In addition, Baker has struck out 43 and walked only seven batters. Of his seven walks, five were intentional free passes. He leads the conference in fewest walks allowed.

No. 2 seed Liberty will meet No. 5 seed Gardner-Webb this afternoon in Game 4 of the 2011 Big South Championship at Gray-Minor Stadium in Lexington, Va. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.

2011 BIG SOUTH CONFERENCE BASEBALL ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS

FIRST-TEAM

SP       Anthony Meo, Jr., RHP, Coastal Carolina
SP       Matt Rein, Sr., LHP, Coastal Carolina
SP       Keegan Linza, Sr., LHP, Liberty
RP       Charlie McCready., Jr., LHP, Charleston Southern (tie)
RP       Abram Williams, Jr., RHP, Radford (tie)
C         Alex Haitsuka, Sr., VMI
1B       Matt Mack, Jr., Radford
2B       Tommy La Stella, R-Jr., Coastal Carolina
3B       Scott Woodward, Sr., Coastal Carolina
SS       Sam Roberts, Sr., VMI
DH       Brad Zebedis, Fr., Presbyterian College
OF       Steve Antolik, R-Sr., High Point
OF       Matt Hillsinger, Jr., Radford
OF       Matt Still, R-Sr., Charleston Southern

SECOND-TEAM
SP       Steven Evans, Sr., LHP, Liberty
SP       Eddie Butler, So., RHP, Winthrop
SP       Tyler Mizenko, Jr., RHP, Winthrop (tie)
SP       Cody Allen, R-Sr., RHP, High Point (tie)
RP       Garrett Baker, Jr., LHP, Liberty
C         Eddie Rohan, Sr., Winthrop
1B       Nick Chinners, R-Sr., Charleston Southern
2B       Walt Quattlebaum, R-Jr., Charleston Southern (tie)
2B       Jordan Lurie, Jr, UNC Asheville
3B       Jaren Sustar, So., Charleston Southern
SS       Matt Williams, Jr., Liberty
DH       Ryan Burgess, So., Radford
OF       Doug Bream, Sr., Liberty
OF       Graham Sullivan, Jr., VMI
OF       Tony Micklon, Jr., Presbyterian College

ALL-ACADEMIC TEAM
Charlie McCready, Jr.., Charleston Southern
Tucker Frawley, Jr., Coastal Carolina
Dusty Quattlebaum, R-Jr., Gardner-Webb
Spencer Andrews., Sr., High Point
Keegan Linza, Sr., Liberty
Andrew Williams, So., Presbyterian College
Jason Patten, Jr., Radford
Cody Buch, Jr., UNC Asheville
Alex Haitsuka, Sr., VMI
Matteo D'Angelo, Sr., Winthrop

PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Tommy La Stella, R-Jr., OF, Coastal Carolina

PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Matt Rein., LHP, Coastal Carolina

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Brad Zebedis, 2B, C/DH, Presbyterian College

COACH OF THE YEAR
Stuart Lake, Charleston Southern

SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Dusty Quattlebuam, R-Jr., Gardner-Webb