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Artis Named Big South Freshman of the Year; Joins Yacyk on All-Conference First Team

May 23, 2016  Lexington, S.C.  RSS
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Outfielder D.J. Artis has been named the 2016 Big South Freshman of the Year.

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