Outfielder D.J. Artis has been named the 2016 Big South Freshman of the Year.
Liberty outfielder D.J. Artis has been named the 2016 Big South Freshman of the Year, as the Big South Conference announced its baseball awards and all-conference team this afternoon.
Selected by the conference's coaches, Artis was also joined by Andrew Yacyk on the all-conference first team. Yacyk was named to the team as its utility player.
Artis becomes the fifth Flame to be selected the conference's Freshman of the Year. The outfielder joins pitcher Tim Harrell (1995), outfielder Keith Butler (2000), first baseman Alex Close (2012) and pitcher and Artis' teammate Parker Bean (2014), as Flames who have received the conference honor.
Artis, also named to the all-conference first team, enters the week among the nation's top 12 and second in the Big South Conference with a .509 on base percentage. The outfielder is also among the national leaders and second in the conference with 52 bases on balls. Artis has already eclipsed the former Liberty single-season program record of 49 walks set by Jeff Edwards in 1986.
In addition, the Greensboro, N.C., native enters the 2016 Big South Baseball Championship among the conference leaders in batting average (third - .379), hits (fourth - 78), runs scored (sixth - 49), and stolen bases (third - 22). He has nine doubles, three triples, two home runs and 39 RBI, this season.
First baseman/outfielder Yacyk was named to his first all-conference team. The junior has started at first base, in left field and as the designated hitter for the Flames, this season.
The Liberty team captain is among the national leaders and third in the Big South Conference with 21 doubles. He enters this week's Big South Baseball Championship tied for fourth on Liberty's single-season doubles list. The Hagerstown, Md., native is also tied for fifth among the conference's leaders with 48 RBI and ninth with 115 total bases.
Yacyk was named the Big South Conference Baseball Player of the Week for May 9-15. The junior posted at least one double in each of Liberty's four victories during the week. He closed the week 7-for-15 (.467) with eight RBI, four runs scored and five doubles.
Currently, he is hitting .316 with 33 runs scored and seven home runs.
The No. 7 seed Liberty Flames will square off with the No. 2 seed High Point Panthers, Tuesday in Game 1 of the Big South Baseball Championship at Lexington County Baseball Stadium in Lexington, S.C. First pitch is scheduled for 9:30 a.m.
2015 Big South Conference Baseball Awards
FIRST-TEAM ALL-CONFERENCE OF Connor Owings, Sr., Coastal Carolina OF D.J. Artis, Fr., Liberty OF Danny Sullivan, Jr., Gardner-Webb INF Zach Remillard, Sr., Coastal Carolina INF Collin Thacker, Jr., Gardner-Webb INF Chris Clare, Jr., High Point INF Matt Parrish, Sr., Campbell C Justin Kunz, Fr., Gardner-Webb UTL Andrew Yacyk, Jr., Liberty DH G.K. Young, Jr., Coastal Carolina SP Andrew Beckwith, Jr., Coastal Carolina SP Brad Haymes, Sr., Gardner-Webb SP Travis Burnette, Sr., Longwood RP Mike Morrison, Sr., Coastal Carolina
SECOND-TEAM ALL-CONFERENCE OF Anthony Paulsen, Jr., Winthrop OF Weston Jackson, R-Jr., Presbyterian College OF Joe Tietjen, Jr., UNC Asheville INF Michael Paez, Jr., Coastal Carolina INF Dominic Fazio, Sr., High Point INF Danny Hrbek, Jr., Radford INF Connar Bastaich, Sr., Longwood C Roger Gonzalez, Sr., Winthrop UTL Kevin Hickey, Sr., Charleston Southern DH Alex Lewis, Jr., Longwood SP Grant Yost, Sr., Campbell SP Alex Cunningham, R-Jr., Coastal Carolina SP Andrew Gottfried, Fr., High Poin RP Wil Sellers, R-Soph., Gardner-Webb
HONORABLE MENTION ALL-CONFERENCE OF Billy Cooke, Soph., Coastal Carolina INF Anthony Lopez, Sr., Campbell SP Jeremy Walker, Jr., Gardner-Webb INF Mark Lowrie, Sr., Winthrop OF Sly Edwards, Sr., Charleston Southern
ALL-ACADEMIC TEAM| Matt Parrish, Sr., Campbell Daniel Johnson, Soph., Charleston Southern Tyler Chadwick, Sr., Coastal Carolina Patrick Graham, Sr., Gardner-Webb Tyler Britton, Sr., High Point Andrew Yacyk, Jr., Liberty Michael Catlin, Soph., Longwood AJ Priaulx, Soph., Presbyterian College Tyler Swarmer, Sr., Radford Joe Tietjen, Jr., UNC Asheville Zach Cook, Sr., Winthrop
PLAYER OF THE YEAR Connor Owings, OF, Sr., Coastal Carolina
PITCHER OF THE YEAR Andrew Beckwith, RHP, Jr., Coastal Carolina
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR D.J. Artis, OF, Fr., Liberty
COACH OF THE YEAR Gary Gilmore, Coastal Carolina
SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR Patrick Graham, 1B, Sr., Gardner-Webb
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