GREENWOOD, S.C. – The nationally top-ranked University of South Carolina Aiken baseball team claimed a plethora of awards at the 2013 Peach Belt Conference Baseball banquet on the eve of the 2013 Peach Belt Conference Baseball Tournament Tuesday evening.
The Peach Belt Conference regular-season champion Pacers had eight players collect All-Peach Belt Conference accolades on Tuesday.
In addition, 14th-year head coach Kenny Thomas was tabbed Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year, while Sean Miller was chosen as the conference Freshman of the Year.
Six Pacers garnered First-Team All-Peach Belt Conference plaudits with sophomore Ty Barkell being named to the First-Team as a first baseman. Sophomore Ryan Metzler was chosen as the second baseman on the First-Team, while senior Bill Gerstenslager was tabbed as the designated hitter for the First-Team. Senior outfielder Bryce Baur was also selected to the First-Team.
USC Aiken junior starting pitcher Derek Beasley was joined on the First-Team by junior relief pitcher Taylor Grover.
Two Pacers were also selected to the Second-Team with senior Josh Miller earning honors as a utility player and senior Ryan Milewski tabbed as a starting pitcher. Both Josh Miller and Ryan Milewski earn All-Conference accolades for the second straight year.
The Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year nod continues what has been a milestone year for Thomas. Now a two-time Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year (2009 and 2013), Thomas surpassed the 1,000-win plateau earlier this season for the Pacers. He also obtained his 500th win as the Pacer mentor in USC Aiken's three-game Peach Belt Conference road sweep of then No. 10 Lander.
Thomas is 508-286 at the helm of the nationally top-ranked Pacers entering the Peach Belt Conference Tournament. Thomas is presently 1,028-509 in 26 seasons as a head coach. He is currently in the top-40 among active NCAA Division II coaches for wins. His .640 winning percentage as the Pacer skipper places him in the top-30 among active NCAA Division II head coaches.
Sean Miller is the second straight and third Pacer in the last five years to be named Peach Belt Conference Freshman of the Year. Will Tankersley was tabbed the Peach Belt Conference Freshman of the Year in 2012, while Stephen Carmon was chosen as the conference Freshman of the Year in 2009.
Sean Miller (Crofton, Md./Archbishop Spalding HS) has started all 50 games for national No. 1 USC Aiken at shortstop during his freshman season. He currently owns a .290 batting average (56-for-193). Sean Miller has driven in 35, while scoring 25 runs this season. He has a conference fifth-best 143 assists this season.
Sean Miller has 12 extra-base hits on the year on nine doubles, two triples and one home run. He has collected a total of 72 bases in the 2013 season thus far. Sean Miller has 15 multiple hit games and six multiple RBI games in the 2013 season.
Sean Miller was tabbed Peach Belt Conference Freshman of the Week on March 5.
Barkell (Denver, Colo./Palmer Ridge HS) is hitting .361 (75-for-208) for the nationally top-ranked Pacers entering the Peach Belt Conference Tournament. He is leading the Pacers and is in the top-10 in the league with 51 RBIs on the year thus far. The sophomore first baseman has collected 118 total bases this season and scored 42 runs to go along with 24 extra-base hits (13 doubles, eight home runs and three triples).
In addition to his prowess at the dish, which also includes 21 multiple hit games and 13 multiple RBI games, Barkell is second in the PBC in putouts with 444. He is in the top-15 in the PBC in fielding percentage (.994).
Barkell was also recently named to the Peach Belt Conference All-Academic Team and the Capital One Academic NCAA Division II Baseball District Three First-Team.
Metzler is currently second among all Pacers with a .372 batting average (71-for-191). He has started all 50 games at second base for the nationally top-ranked Pacers.
Metzler has scored 47 runs to go along with his 44 RBIs this season. He has 19 extra-base hits on the year currently on 12 doubles, six home runs and one triple. Metzler has collected a total of 103 bases on the 2013 season.
Metzler is tied for second among all Pacers with 23 multiple hit games. He has 12 multiple RBI games. In the field, Metzler has 141 assists and 92 putouts. The 141 assists place him in the top-10 in the PBC in the category.
Gerstenslager (Solon, Ohio/Mercyhurst) is presently leading the No. 1 Pacers with a team-best .387 (75-for-194) batting average. He is currently leading the Pacers and the Peach Belt Conference with 21 doubles on the 2013 season. The 21 doubles are currently sixth-most in the nation.
Gerstenslager is leading USC Aiken with 29 extra-base hits on the year on the 21 doubles, six home runs and two triples. He has collected 118 bases and scored 50 runs to go along with his 50 RBIs. The senior designated hitter has 16 multiple RBI games in the 2013 season thus far. He has 23 multiple hit games.
Gerstenslager was also recently named to the Peach Belt Conference All-Academic Team and the Capital One Academic NCAA Division II Baseball District Three First-Team.
Baur (Moncks Corner, S.C./Florence-Darlington Tech) is presently third in the Peach Belt Conference and fifth nationally with 79 hits on the 2013 season. He is tops among all Pacers in the 2013 season with 27 multiple hit games. Baur has eight multiple RBI games.
Baur has posted a .371 batting average (79-for-213) for the nationally top-ranked Pacers in the 2013 season. He has started all 50 games for USC Aiken in the outfield.
Baur is currently leading the Pacers and is in the top-10 in the PBC with 52 runs scored on the 2013 season. Baur has 39 RBIs on the year thus far. The senior has collected a total of 103 bases.
Baur is a perfect 15-of-15 on stolen base attempts. The 15 steals place him in the top-10 in the PBC in the category.
Beasley (Harlem, Ga./Harlem HS) is leading the nationally top-ranked Pacers and tied for the Peach Belt Conference lead with nine wins on the 2013 season. Beasley is a perfect 9-0 on the year entering the Peach Belt Conference Tournament. The nine wins place him in the top-15 nationally.
Beasley was tied for the conference lead with seven wins in league play. He was 7-0 in league action.
Beasley is leading the Pacers and is fourth in the Peach Belt Conference with 78 strikeouts on the 2013 season. Beasley has fanned five or more in a single game nine times this season. He struck out 11 in a Pacer win over Francis Marion on Feb. 24.
Beasley has made 13 starts in total on the current year. He has pitched a total of 71.0 innings. Beasley was chosen Peach Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week on April 8.
Grover (North Augusta, S.C./Midland Valley HS) is leading the nationally top-ranked Pacers and the Peach Belt Conference with 11 saves on the 2013 season. The 11 saves place him in the top-10 in the category nationally.
Grover also owns a perfect 4-0 record on the year with a 0.64 earned run average. The junior has made 28 appearances in the 2013 season, pitching a total of 28 innings. Grover's foes are hitting just .153 against him this season. He has 34 strikeouts in his 28 innings pitched.
Josh Miller (Chapin, S.C./Chapin HS) has played in 48 games this season for the nationally top-ranked Pacers. He has started 47 at either catcher or left field.
Josh Miller is currently hitting .359 (69-for-192) on the 2013 season. He scored 48 runs, while driving in 41. The 48 runs place him in the top-15 in the PBC in the category.
Josh Miller has obtained 20 extra-base hits on 16 doubles and four home runs. The 16 doubles place him in the top-10 in the PBC in the category.
Josh Miller has collected a total of 97 bases this season. He has 14 steals on the year. The senior has 258 putouts and 24 assists in the field. Josh Miller has 21 multiple hit games and a team second-best 13 multiple RBI games. He is currently in the midst of a season-long 14-game hitting streak.
Milewski (West Boylston, Mass./West Boylston HS) currently owns a 6-3 record in the 2013 season for the top-ranked Pacers. He has pitched a total of 73 innings and struck out 52.
The 2012 All-Peach Belt Conference selection is holding his opponents to a .282 batting average in the 2013 season.
Milewski has twice been named Peach Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week this season (March 5 and April 29).
Milewski was also recently named to the Peach Belt Conference All-Academic Team and the Capital One Academic NCAA Division II Baseball District Three First-Team.
The top-seeded and nationally top-ranked USC Aiken baseball team will face off against eighth-seeded Montevallo in its first game of the 2013 Peach Belt Conference Baseball Tournament at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8.
The 2013 Peach Belt Conference Baseball Tournament will be contested May 8-12 at Dolny Stadium at the Jeff May complex in Greenwood, S.C. The championship will be hosted by Lander.
The PBC Tournament is an eight-team double-elimination event whose bracket is modeled on the NCAA World Series model. The tournament will consist of four games per day on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and lead to a single championship game at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 12.
USC Aiken and Montevallo (31-18, 16-14 PBC) will be meeting in the first round of the Peach Belt Conference Baseball Tournament for the second straight year.
The winner of the top-seeded USC Aiken-eighth-seeded Montevallo game will move on to face the winner of the fourth-seeded Lander-fifth-seeded UNC Pembroke game in game No. 8 of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 9.
The loser of the USC Aiken-Montevallo game will face the loser of the Lander-UNC Pembroke game in game No. 6 of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament at 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 9.
Winners of 14 of their last 15, the Peach Belt Conference regular-season champion Pacers closed out the regular-season with a 41-9 overall record. The Pacers were 24-6 in league play in the 2013 regular-season.
The 2013 Peach Belt Conference regular-season championship was the second for USC Aiken in the last five years. The Pacers also obtained the league regular-season title in 2009.
The Pacers have three regular-season championships in school history now as they also acquired the 1994 regular-season title. USC Aiken has two Peach Belt Conference Tournament championships (1992 and 1993) in its history.
USC Aiken's regular-season-closing three-game sweep of Georgia Southwestern left the Pacers having claimed 11 of its 13 three-game series in the 2013 regular-season (Lincoln Memorial, Carson-Newman, Shepherd, Francis Marion, Flagler, Young Harris, North Georgia, Augusta State, Lander, Columbus State and Georgia Southwestern).
The Pacers swept three-game series from Lincoln Memorial, Shepherd, Flagler, Young Harris, North Georgia, Augusta State, Lander and Georgia Southwestern.
For ticket information and further information on the 2013 Peach Belt Conference Baseball Tournament, please visit the official tournament website at: http://www.peachbeltconference.org/information/13basetournament/index
All the Pacer baseball action in the Peach Belt Conference Baseball Tournament will be able to be followed live on USC Aiken's official athletic website at www.PacerSports.com.
The 2013 Peach Belt Conference Baseball All-Conference team is listed below, as selected by the league's head coaches. Coaches were not permitted to rank their own players. The size of the team was increased by three to 35 total players with ties at shortstop and outfield.
2013 Peach Belt Conference
Baseball All-Conference Team
1b - Ty Barkell, USC Aiken
2b - Ryan Metzler, USC Aiken
3b - Jack Morrow, Young Harris
3b - Jordan Edgerton, UNC Pembroke
SS - Daniel Bick, Georgia College
C - Clayton Miller, Armstrong
DH - Bill Gerstenslager, USC Aiken
UT - Cameron Scott, Columbus State
OF - Ryan Lewis, Columbus State
OF - Patrick Grady, Lander
OF - Zach Bricknell, Young Harris
OF - Bryce Baur, USC Aiken
OF - J.D. Pullen, Columbus State
SP - Ethan Carter, UNC Pembroke
SP - Dylan Wolchick, Lander
SP - Derek Beasley, USC Aiken
SP - Ethan Bader, Armstrong
RP - Taylor Grover, USC Aiken
1b - Clay Ardeeser, Georgia College
2b - Graham Ramos, Lander
SS - Zade Denton, UNC Pembroke
SS - Joe Post, Flagler
SS - Erik Lunde, Lander
C - Jeff May, Lander
DH - Vinny Rodriguez, Montevallo
UT - Josh Miller, USC Aiken
OF - Weston Lawing, Lander
OF - Jay Laurienzo, Flagler
OF - Zack Willoughby, Montevallo
OF- Jake Sandlin, Georgia College
SP - Dale Innes, UNC Pembroke
SP - Jake Brandenberger, Flagler
SP - Chess Malone, Lander
SP - Ryan Milewski, USC Aiken
RP - Hart Mizell, Columbus State
Player of the Year
Cameron Scott, Columbus State
Pitcher of the Year
Ethan Carter, UNC Pembroke
Freshman of the Year
Sean Miller, USC Aiken
Coach of the Year
Kenny Thomas, USC Aiken
Peach Belt Conference Release: http://peachbeltconference.org/sports/bsb/2012-13/releases/20130507baseballallconf
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