Abbott Named Pitcher of the Year, Headlines Seven All-WCC Honorees
Cory Abbott was named WCC Pitcher of the Year to lead a pack of seven LMU honorees.
Junior right-hander Cory Abbott headlined a group of seven LMU baseball players who earned All-West Coast Conference honors on Tuesday. Abbott took home Pitcher of the Year, becoming the fifth Lion to capture the award, including the first since Stephen Kahn in 2004.
Abbott also earned a spot on the All-WCC first team, joined by senior Phil Caulfield and junior Jamey Smart. The second team saw seniors Brenton Arriaga and Jimmy Hill III listed, while senior Spencer Erdman took home an honorable mention selection. Freshman Cooper Uhl was listed on the All-Freshman team.
An All-American candidate, Abbott turned in one of the most dominant seasons in LMU and WCC history this year. Named a National Pitcher of the Year Semifinalist according to the College Baseball Foundation, Abbott posted a sparkling 8-0 record with a record-setting 0.27 ERA during WCC play. Abbott tossed the first perfect game in WCC and LMU history against BYU (3/25/17) and allowed just two earned runs in 67.0 innings during league play. Abbott struck out 102 and walked only 14 and opposing hitters managed a paltry .127 batting average. The native of San Diego, Calif. is the second WCC hurler in two seasons to surpass a previously thought-to-be unassailable single-season ERA record: San Francisco All-American Dana Hendershott’s 0.60 ERA set in 1971. Last season Pepperdine All-American A.J. Puckett posted a 0.40 ERA during WCC contests. Overall this season, Abbott is 11-1 with a 1.58 ERA and 10 quality starts over 14 turns. He has logged 91.1 innings and has struck out 119 batters while claiming WCC Pitcher of the Week honors five times. The ERA mark is second in LMU history, while the 11 victories rank seventh for a single season.
Caulfield has been a staple at the top of the order during LMU’s historic season, batting .369 overall with 37 runs scored, 11 doubles, a triple, three homers and 35 RBI. In WCC play alone, he batted .330 with 18 runs scored, six doubles, two homers and 19 RBI. For the season, he owns 25 multi-hit games and has hit in all but 13 contests with an at bat.
Smart led the way offensively for LMU during WCC play, hitting .394 with 24 runs scored, six doubles, four homers and 24 RBI. The native of San Ramon, Calif. reached base at a .452 clip and slugged .560. Overall on the year, he is hitting .338 with 34 runs scored, 11 doubles, a team-high tying six homers and a team-best 41 RBI. Smart has hit safely in 39 of 53 games this year.
Arriaga pitched to a 4-2 record and a 3.41 ERA over nine starts in WCC play. The left-hander emerged as LMU’s Friday starter during conference action, and eventually tossed 58 innings and struck out 38 hitters. Overall this season, he sports a 6-2 record and a 2.90 ERA over 13 starts. He has allowed one earned run or fewer in six of 13 starts this year, and has logged seven quality starts.
Like Smart, Hill was red hot in WCC play, hitting .379 with 17 runs scored, 10 doubles, three homers and 19 RBI. The native of Seaside, Calif. slugged .579 and also stole six bases. Overall this year, Hill is batting .302 with 29 runs scored, 10 doubles, a triple, four homers and 26 RBI. A major contributor to LMU’s stolen base numbers, he has swiped 15 bags on 19 attempts to place second on the team.
Erdman batted .324 with 13 runs scored, five doubles, a triple and 13 RBI against WCC teams. The shortstop currently carries a 21-game hit streak, and he hit safely in all but two WCC contests with an at bat. Overall this year, Erdman is hitting .341 with 28 runs scored, 12 doubles, three triples and 23 RBI – placing second only to Caulfield in batting average.
Uhl has done a tremendous job of handling LMU’s stellar pitching staff in his freshman campaign. The native of Mission Viejo, who has started 34 of LMU’s 53 games beghind the plate, picked up 11 of his 12 RBI in WCC play, and scored 12 runs with three doubles against WCC teams.
Fresh off claiming a share of the WCC Championship for the first time since 2000, LMU re-entered the national polls this week, checking in at #27 according to Collegiate Baseball. Now sporting the ranking, LMU (37-16) will open play at the 2017 West Coast Conference Championship Tournament on Thursday at 7 p.m. with a game against BYU.
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