Freshmen Miller, Fletcher Highlight All-WCC Selections
Austin Miller was named WCC Freshman of the Year while David Fletcher earned Defensive Player of the Year.
May 20, 2014
LMU freshmen Austin Miller and David Fletcher highlighted the All-West Coast Conference selections for the Lions, as Miller took home Freshman of the Year honors and Fletcher nabbed LMU's second consecutive Defensive Player of the Year. Miller and Fletcher, who were joined by freshman Ted Boeke on the All-Freshman team, also earned a spot on the first team All-WCC squad. LMU right-handers Bret Dahlson and Colin Welmon also earned a spot on the first team, while Boeke was named to the honorable mention squad. The first team selection was the second in as many years for Welmon. Of the 25-member All-West Coast Conference first team, 10 are underclassmen and four are freshmen. LMU's four first-team selections are the most since tallying five in 2000.
Miller enjoyed a strong freshman campaign for the Lions, batting .373 with four doubles, a triple, and nine RBI while scoring 21 runs in WCC play. The center fielder shared the league lead in stolen bases with 11 in 14 attempts and posted a .449 on base percentage while starting all 27 WCC contests. Overall, Miller has batted a team-high .378 with 44 runs scored, 10 doubles, three triples and 18 RBI while swiping 25 bases in 29 attempts and reaching at a .465 clip. Miller, who has hit safely in 43 of LMU's 52 games this year (23 multi-hit games), is the first Lion named Freshman of the Year since Matt Lowenstein was selected in 2010.
Fletcher keeps the Defensive Player of the Year award at LMU after Colton Plaia took home the honor a year ago. Fletcher turned 21 double plays while making all 27 starts in WCC play. The highlight-reel shortstop also produced at the plate in WCC play, batting .343 with three doubles, a pair of triples and scored 15 runs. Overall, he has batted .325 with 35 runs scored, six doubles, two triples and 27 RBI while hitting safely in 26 of LMU's last 28 games.
San Diego's Connor Joe took home Player of the Year, becoming the sixth San Diego student-athlete to capture West Coast Conference Player of the Year honors since 2007. Joe hit .378 with 12 doubles, six home runs and 28 RBI during league play. The junior turned in a .667 slugging percentage, a .481 on base percentage and batted .750 with bases loaded and .372 with runners aboard. Joe struck out just 12 times in 111 league plate appearances and earned 18 walks. Overall, Joe batted .367 with 21 doubles, two triples, nine home runs and led the WCC in RBI (51).
Aaron Brown turned in a career season for Pepperdine as a junior en route to WCC Pitcher of the Year. The two-way star posted a sparkling 7-1 record with a 1.86 ERA. Opposing hitters managed a .219 batting average. In 63.0 innings, Brown allowed 13 earned runs and struck out 58 while walking 23. A two-time West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Week, Brown also produced at the plate, batting .290 with six doubles, a triple, eight home runs and 22 RBI. Brown homered in two league games he started on the mound. Brown is the first Wave honored as Pitcher of the Year since Barry Enright was tabbed in 2006.
Steve Rodriguez earns his second Coach of the Year honor in the last three seasons after guiding Pepperdine to its second regular season championship since 2012 this season. The Waves posted an 18-9 conference slate (36-16 overall) and entered the final week of the regular season ranked in the top-25. The Waves posted a league-best 2.58 team ERA and opposing batters hit just .235. Three Pepperdine pitchers - Brown, senior lefthander Corey Miller and senior right-hander Eric Karch - made the initial National Pitcher of the Year Watch List.
Welmon has been outstanding pitching on Friday nights for the third straight year. The right-hander has pitched to a 9-2 record and a 2.59 ERA over 13 starts and 97.1 innings this year. The native of Tustin, Calif. has tossed three complete games, including a pair in his final two West Coast Conference outings. Included in the three complete games are two complete-game shutouts, both coming in WCC play. Welmon went 7-1 against conference foes during the 2014 regular season.
Dahlson, who will finish his career as LMU's all-time saves leader and will have at least a share of the WCC record for saves, has collected 10 in his senior campaign while pitching to a 1.91 ERA. Nine of his 10 saves this year came in WCC play, helping to guide LMU to the 2014 WCC Championship Tournament. Entering the tournament, Dahlson has registered 28 career saves.
Boeke began the year splitting time at third base, but became LMU's everyday third baseman down the stretch and through West Coast Conference play, starting 20 of LMU's 27 WCC contests. In WCC play, Boeke hit .364 (second only to Miller) with 10 runs scored, three doubles, two triples and seven RBI. For the entire year, the native of La Crescenta, Calif. batted .308 over 31 starts.
The first pitch of the 2014 WCC Baseball Championship is on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. PDT, when top-seed Pepperdine faces Santa Clara. That game will be followed by LMU vs. Gonzaga at approximately 7 p.m. PDT. The first five games of the championship will be broadcast live on TheW.tv, while Saturday's Championship game will be carried live on ESPNU and on WatchESPN. To purchase tickets and for more information on the Championship, please visit: http://www.wccsports.com/ot/14-west-basebl-championship.html
2014 ALL-WEST COAST CONFERENCE BASEBALL FIRST TEAM
2014 WEST COAST CONFERENCE BASEBALL HONORABLE MENTION
2014 WEST COAST CONFERENCE BASEBALL ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM