Three 'Hoos, two Dukes pick up All-America honors
Virginia’s Danny Hultzen (Jr., Bethesda, Md.), Branden Kline (So., Frederick, Md.) and Will Roberts (Jr., Richmond, Va.) each were named All-Americans Wednesday. Hultzen was named a first-team All-American at the utility position on the Baseball America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) All-America teams. Kline was selected as a First-Team NCBWA All-American as a relief pitcher, while Roberts was named a Second-Team NCBWA All-American as a starting pitcher.
The first three-time All-American in Virginia history, Hultzen is 12-3 this year with a 1.49 ERA, which is sixth lowest in Division I. He also has struck out 151 batters, which ranks second among all Division I pitchers. He has become Virginia’s all-time career leader in wins (32) and strikeouts (381) this season and also is a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award. Hultzen was named the ACC Pitcher of the Year for the second year in a row and was the second pick in the MLB Draft by the Seattle Mariners this year.
In 108.2 innings this season, Hultzen has allowed 26 runs (18 earned), 72 hits and 20 walks. Batters are hitting just .189 against him. He also has been a force at the plate and has seen more at bats this season. He is batting .335 with 35 runs batted in. He owns 10 doubles, two triples and a home run in 2011.
Kline is 4-1 with a 2.15 ERA and 17 saves this year. He ranks sixth nationally in saves and is one shy of the UVa and ACC records in that category. In 37.2 innings, he has allowed nine earned runs, 27 hits and 18 walks while striking out 49. Batters are hitting .213 against him. He also is a finalist for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award.
Roberts is 11-1 with a 1.57 ERA this year. He ranks 11th nationally in ERA and 14th in wins. In 102.1 innings, he has allowed 18 earned runs, 72 hits and just 13 walks while striking out 91 as batters are hitting .204 against him. He was a fifth-round draft choice of the Cleveland Indians last week. He also is a semifinalist for the National Pitcher of the Year Award, which is presented by the College Baseball Hall of Fame.
Virginia opens play in the College World Series at 2 p.m. Sunday (ET) against California.
James Madison teammates Jake Lowery (Midlothian, Va./Cosby) and David Herbek (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) were already All-Americans and recent pro draft picks, but the pair recent added several more All-America honors to their portfolios.
Lowery collected First Team All-America honors from Baseball America along with Second Team from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. He was also one of 40 players in the nation chosen to College Baseball Lineup’s Division I All-Star Team.
Herbek was named a First Team All-American by the NCBWA, making him just the fifth First Team All-American in program history (Lowery, Kellen Kulbacki 2006 & 2007, Billy Sample 1976). The honor gave JMU two First Team All-Americans in the same season for the first time.
Announced June 6 as one of three finalists for the Johnny Bench Award, Lowery was then drafted Tuesday, June 7 in the fourth round (No. 128 overall) by the Cleveland Indians in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. He anticipates signing his professional contract Wednesday evening, June 15, and will report to the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in Niles, Ohio. The Scrappers are the Indians’ Class A Short Season affiliate in the New York-Penn League and open the season Friday, June 17 at home against the Jamestown Jammers.
Meanwhile Herbek was announced June 10 as one of 10 finalists for the Brooks Wallace Award as the nation’s top shortstop. He was also drafted on June 7, taken in the 15th round by the Chicago White Sox. Herbek signed his pro contract on Sunday, June 12 and reports this week to the Great Falls (Mont.) Voyagers, the Rookie League affiliate of the White Sox in the Pioneer league. The Voyagers begin their season on the road on Monday, June 20 at the Billings Mustangs.
Lowery finished one of the most dominant offensive seasons in JMU history batting .359 with 22 doubles, eight triples, 24 home runs, 91 RBIs, 80 runs scored, 200 total bases and a .797 slugging percentage. He set or matched JMU and CAA records for RBIs, home runs, extra-base hits (54) and total bases in a season. He also finished fourth in CAA history with 80 runs and seventh for slugging percentage.
Through the completion of the NCAA super regional round, Lowery leads the nation in runs (80), RBIs (91) and total bases (200). In fact, his 91 RBIs are the most by a college player since Florida State’s Buster Posey (San Francisco Giants catcher) had 93 in 2008. Lowery is second in slugging percentage (.797), fourth in on-base plus slugging (1.239), second in home runs (24) and fourth in triples (8). Not to be overlooked defensively, Lowery ranked second in the nation prior to regionals for runners caught stealing and threw out 43% of runners for the season.
In addition to being a Johnny Bench finalist, Lowery was one of 30 semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award and one of 36 on the watch list for the Dick Howser Trophy, both given to the nation’s top player. Collegiate Baseball newspaper bestowed upon Lowery the fourth First Team All-America honor in JMU history. He was the CAA Player of the Year, First Team All-CAA and selected to the CAA All-Tournament Team.
Herbek previously was selected as a Second Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball newspaper. He was named with Lowery to the 36-player watch list for the Dick Howser Trophy awarded to the nation’s best player. He was also among 25 semifinalists for the Brooks Wallace Award for the nation’s best shortstop.
In his senior season, Herbek led JMU with a .362 batting average. He posted 83 hits, including 20 doubles and 15 home runs. He scored 56 runs and drove in 76 while posting a .672 slugging percentage and .443 on-base percentage. His RBI total is second in JMU history behind only the 91 posted by Lowery this season and ranked sixth in the nation heading into the NCAA super regional round. He also ranks eighth for season doubles, seventh for season total bases (154), fourth for hit by pitches (17), first for season sacrifice flies (10) and 10th for assists (158).
For his four-year career, Herbek started 191 games and hit .341 with a .589 slugging percentage and a .952 fielding percentage, all at shortstop. He holds the JMU career records for hit by pitches (55, also CAA record) and sacrifice flies (25). He also ranks seventh in career at bats (745), sixth in games played (210), 10th in hits (254), sixth in runs (189), fourth in RBIs (195), second in doubles (62), sixth in home runs (35), fourth in total bases (439) and sixth in assists (506).