D.J. Artis has been named the 2016 VaSID Rookie of the Year.
Liberty freshman outfielder D.J. Artis has been selected as the Commonwealth's Rookie of the Year and named to the VaSID University Division All-State Baseball first team, the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) announced this afternoon.
First baseman/outfielder Andrew Yacyk was also voted to the second team as a utility player by the VaSID members.
Artis becomes the second Liberty player in program history to be selected the state's Rookie of the Year. Pitcher Parker Bean, who was recently selected in the 2016 MLB Draft and signed by the Milwaukee Brewers, received the honor in 2014.
The 2016 Big South Freshman of the Year, Artis garnered inclusion on both the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and the Louisville Slugger NCAA Division I Freshman All-American teams. He also earned Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division I All-Star team honors.
Artis, a first team all-conference member, led the Big South Conference and finished the year 13th in the nation with a .500 on base percentage. The outfielder also completed his season 16th in the country and second in the Big South with 52 bases on balls. His 52 walks set a new Liberty single season record, eclipsing the former record of 49 walks set by Jeff Edwards in 1986.
The Greensboro, N.C., native ended 2016 among the conference leaders in batting average (fourth - .369), hits (sixth - 82), runs scored (fifth - 54), and stolen bases (third - 23). He also posted nine doubles, three triples, two home runs and 41 RBI in his first season of college baseball.
Artis led Liberty with 30 multiple-hit games and reached base in a team-high 23 straight contests. The Flames' leadoff hitter, the freshman reached base in 54 out of Liberty's 59 games this season.
First baseman/outfielder Yacyk was named to the 2016 Big South All-Conference first team as its utility player. The junior played multiple positions throughout the season, starting at first base, in left field and as the Flames' designated hitter in 2016.
The Liberty team captain finished the year among the top 30 in the nation and third in the Big South Conference with 21 doubles. His double total places the junior fourth on Liberty's single-season doubles list. Yacyk also completed the year seventh in the Big South with 49 RBI.
Yacyk hit .328 with 35 runs scored in 2016 with a triple, seven home runs and 117 total bases. The Hagerstown, Md., native led the Flames with 13 multi-RBI games and had nine games with three or more RBI.
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.
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