BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Southwestern Athletic Conference has announced its 2015 baseball postseason honors and the east division dominated the awards. Every top SWAC honor was earned by an east representative. And the top three seeds in the east, Alabama A&M University, Alabama State University and Jackson State University finished with a league-high five all-conference selections each.
Texas Southern University earned four all-conference selections, the most of any west division team, followed closely by Arkansas-Pine Bluff who picked up three.
JSU took home three of top honors. Melvin Rodriguez was named player of the year and co-hitter of the year. Jesus Santana earned freshman of the year. Alabama A&M’s Julio Nunez shared hitter of the year honors with Rodriguez and Mitch Hill was named SWAC coach of the year. Alabama State’s Joseph Camacho was tabbed the pitcher of the year. And Collin Carroll of Alcorn State University was named newcomer of the year.
Player of the Year/Co-Hitter of the Year – Melvin Rodriguez, Jackson State
Named to the 2015 Preseason All-SWAC First Team, Rodriguez ranked No. 1 in NCAA Division I baseball in batting (April 21) with a .451 average. He leads the league in batting average, hits, RBI, and walks. He also ranks highly in runs scored and doubles. In 207 at bats, Rodriguez struck out only 11 times.
Pitcher of the Year – Joseph Camacho, Alabama State
Camacho earned a perfect 10-0 record with a 3.54 ERA. He leads the team in wins, starts, innings pitched, strikeouts, and pickoffs. The team has won every one of his starts this season. Only 17 of 78 hits have gone for extra bases with no home runs allowed.
Co-Hitter of the Year – Julio Nunez, Alabama A&M
Nunez averaged .339 from 177 at bats. He tallied 45 runs, 62 hits, 21 doubles, 10 home runs, and 50 RBI heading into the tournament. His 10 home runs are second in the SWAC, and he is third in the nation in doubles and seventh in total bases. Nunez leads the league in doubles and assists.
Newcomer of the Year – Collin Carroll, Alcorn State
Carroll made 194 plate appearances and is batting .345. He leads the team in hits, RBI, doubles, home runs, and walks. Carroll has also scored 39 runs this season.
Freshman of the Year – Jesus Santana, Jackson State
Santana has a .304 batting average with 34 hits, 28 runs, 10 doubles, two triples and a team-high 11 home runs, which is tied for first in the SWAC. He is 2-for-2 in stolen base attempts and third on the team in putouts. Santana has a .579 slugging percentage and .391 on base percentage.
Coach of the Year – Mitch Hill, Alabama A&M
Hill led the Bulldogs to a 16-8 conference record, more than double the team’s conference wins from 2013, and the No. 2 seed in the east. Alabama A&M’s 26-28 record marks the most wins the team has earned in over five years.