Liberty left-hander Jared Lyons has been named the 2015 Big South Pitcher of the Year
Liberty senior left-hander Jared Lyons was selected as the Big South Pitcher of the Year and first baseman/pitcher Alex Close was named the Big South Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The Big South Conference announced its baseball awards and all-conference team late this afternoon.
Lyons and Close were also named to the Big South All-Conference first team.
With Lyons' selections, a Liberty pitcher was named Big South Pitcher of the Year for the second straight year. Former Flames right-hander Trey Lambert was given the honor in 2014.
Close was named the Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year, joining former Liberty Flames Brian Harrell (2000), Matt Stewart (2001) and Trey Lambert (2014) as winners of the award.
Lyons, named to the Big South All-Conference team for the first time, finished the 2015 regular season with an 8-1 record with a 1.87 ERA over 91 2/3 innings. In 15 appearances, 12 of which were starts, the left-hander struck out 91 and walked 20 batters. He recorded three complete games and two shutouts during 2015.
Named Big South Pitcher of the Week and ECAC Pitcher of the Week three times this season, Lyons concluded the regular season as the Big South leader in complete games (3), shutouts (2) and opponent batting average (.190). He also finished second in ERA (1.87) and innings pitched (91.2), third in wins (8) and fourth in strikeouts (91).
Close was selected to the Big South All-Conference first team as an infielder for the second time. The senior enters this week's Big South Baseball Championship with a .341 batting average, 45 RBI and 40 runs scored. He also has collected 12 doubles, two triples and seven home runs this season.
The first baseman completed the 2015 regular season ninth in batting average, tied for eighth in hits (72) and seventh in RBI. The Big South and ECAC Player of the Week for March 29, he was also 10th in home runs, sixth in total bases (109) and 10th in on base percentage.
Currently, Close is among Liberty's career leaders in several categories. The first baseman is third in hits (255), fourth in home runs (33) and fifth in RBI (165).
In 2014, Close was named to the Capital One Academic All-American first team. He is one of only two Liberty baseball players to ever be named to the first team.
This season, Close has already been selected to the 2015 Capital One All-District 3 first team. The first baseman/pitcher was also named the recipient of the 2015 Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award. The Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award was established to honor the top graduating senior student-athlete at Liberty University who best exemplifies the standards and lives of both of these great Christian men.
Liberty, 33-21 overall, finished the Big South regular season with a 16-8 conference record, tied for third place with Winthrop. Due to the tiebreaker, the Flames will be the No. 4 seed for the Big South Baseball Championship, starting Tuesday.
The Flames will square off with No. 5 seed High Point Panthers, Tuesday in Game 4 of the Big South Baseball Championship at John Henry Moss Stadium in Boiling Springs, N.C. First pitch is scheduled for 45 minutes after the conclusion of the No. 1 seed Radford vs. No. 8 seed Longwood, scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m.
2015 Big South Baseball Awards
Player of the Year
Cole Hallum Jr., OF/RP, Campbell
Pitcher of the Year
Jared Lyons, Sr., LHP, Liberty
Freshman of the Year
Bobby Holmes, RHP, Coastal Carolina
Scholar-Athlete of Year
Alex Close, 1B/P, Liberty
Coach of the Year
Joe Raccuia, Radford
Outfielders Josh Greene, So., High Point Anthony Marks, Jr., Coastal Carolina Anthony Paulsen, R-So., Winthrop
Infielders Josh Gardiner, Sr., Radford Alex Close, Sr., Liberty Tommy Houmard, Sr., UNC Asheville Michael Paez, So., Coastal Carolina
Catcher Cam McRae, Sr., Presbyterian
Utility Cole Hallum, Jr., OF/RP, Campbell
Designated Hitter Patrick Marshall, Sr., Radford
Starting Pitchers Jared Lyons, Sr., LHP, Liberty Michael Boyle, Jr., LHP, Radford Austin Kerr, Sr., LHP, Coastal Carolina
Relief Pitcher Ryan Meisinger, Jr., RHP, Radford
Outfielders Cedric Mullins, Jr., Campbell Kyri Washington, Jr., Longwood Shane Johnsonbaugh, Jr., Radford
Infielders Spencer Angelis, Sr., High Point Hunter Bryant, Sr., UNC Asheville Brad Kaczka, Sr., Winthrop Hunter Higgerson, Sr., Radford
Catcher Steven Leonard, R-Jr., Campbell
Utility Connor Owings, Jr., Coastal Carolina
Designated Hitter Matt Parrish, Jr., Campbell
Starting Pitchers Heath Bowers, Sr., RHP, Campbell Matt Crohan, So., LHP, Winthrop Andrew Tomasovich, Jr., LHP, Charleston Southern
Relief Pitcher Bobby Holmes, Fr., RHP, Coastal Carolina
Honorable Mention Nate Blanchard, So., INF, Charleston Southern Alex Cunningham, R-So., RHP, Coastal Carolina Brian Dye, Jr., INF, Charleston Southern Jay Lizanich, Sr., INF, Presbyterian Aaron Myers, Sr., RHP, Longwood
All-Academic Team Matt Parrish, Jr., C, Campbell Robbie Streett, Sr., 1B/3B, Charleston Southern Tyler Chadwick, Jr., 1B, Coastal Carolina Ryan Hodge, Sr., SS, Gardner-Web Will Resnik, Sr., P, High Point Alex Close, Sr., 1B/P, Liberty Kyri Washington, Jr., OF, Longwood Jay Lizanich, Sr., SS, Presbyterian College Josh Reavis, Sr., C, Radford Hunter Bryant, Sr., INF, UNC Asheville Brad Kaczka, Sr., 3B, Winthrop
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