Mike Papi, Brandon Downes named to NCBWA Preseason All-America team

With the 2014 baseball season fast approaching, Virginia outfielders Mike Papi (Jr., Tunkhannock, Pa.) and Brandon Downes (Jr., South Plainfield, N.J.) each were named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association’s 2014 Preseason All-America Team, announced Wednesday by the NCBWA. Papi was named to the first team, while Downes was selected to the second team.

uva-logo-new2Papi was named a First-Team All-American last season by the ABCA and Baseball America and also was a First-Team All-ACC selection. He hit an ACC-best .381 last season, becoming UVa’s first ACC batting champion since Glenn Harris in 1981.

Papi hit seven home runs, 15 doubles and three triples, while driving in 57 runs and scoring 57 times.

Downes batted .316 with a team-high 10 home runs and 59 RBI last season. He was an extra-base machine, recording 20 doubles and an ACC-best seven triples in addition to his 10 home runs.

Downes also led the team with 80 hits and reached base safely in 55 of his 61 games. He led the team with 67 runs scored, which was seventh-most nationally.

The Cavaliers open their 2014 season on Feb. 14 against Kentucky in Wilmington, N.C.

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