San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

May 20th, 2009
Bobcats clean up league baseball honors

Texas State first baseman Paul Goldschmidt won Player of the Year and Hitter of the Year from the Southland Conference.

STAFF REPORT

The Southland Conference named Texas State first baseman Paul Goldschmidt as its Player of the Year in a near sweep of the league’s individual honors for Bobcat players.

Goldschmidt also was named Southland Conference Hitter of the Year, while teammate Kane Holbrooks won Pitcher of the Year from the league. Texas State outfielder Keith Prestridge was named Newcomer of the Year and Bobcats head coach Ty Harrington won Coach of the Year.

The Bobcats won their first outright regular season Southland Conference baseball title in history this season and are seeded No. 1 for the Southland Conference Tournament to be played this weekend at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi.

The only individual superlative to not go to a Texas State person was Freshman of the year, which went to Lamar right-handed pitcher Eric Harrington.

Goldschmidt became the first Southland player to repeat as hitter of the year since McNeese State’s Ben Broussard in 1998 and 1999. Goldschmidt ranks among the league’s top 10 in nine offensive categories and leads the league in RBI (77), walks (50) and sacrifice flies (nine). The junior from The Woodlands also finished the regular season second in home runs (16), third in runs scored (63), fifth in total bases (137), slugging percentage (.685) and on-base percentage (.745), and was tied for seventh in doubles (18).

Goldschmidt picked up first-team all-conference honors this season after batting a modest .355, the fifth-best average on his team. In 31 conference games, Goldschmidt batted .377.

Holbrooks dominated on the hill for the Bobcats this season, leading the Southland with nine wins and boasting a 3.40 earned run average, the second lowest in the league. The senior from Fort Worth (Aledo) is second in innings pitched (87.1) and is tied for second with 13 starts. Holbrooks has struck out 56 batters this season and has limited his opponents to a .289 batting average. The first-team all-conference selection has pitched one complete game this season.

Prestridge, a junior college transfer from Angelina College in Lufkin, finished the regular season with a .384 batting average, which was Texas State’s second best. His batting average ranks 10th in the conference. In 46 games, the junior from Houston, Texas (Cy-Fair), has driven in 46 runs on 56 hits and earned second-team all-conference honors at designated hitter.

After guiding the Bobcats to their third conference regular-season championship, Harrington won Southland coach of the year for the first time in his 10-year career at Texas State. The Bobcats, which have climbed as high as No. 25 in the national polls this season, were 38-14 overall and 24-7 in league play. Harrington guided the Bobcats their third Southland tournament championship in 2000, his first season in San Marcos.

Lamar’s Eric Harrington led the Southland in ERA for nearly the entire season. In 13 starts, he was 8-1 and finished the regular season with a conference-low 2.59 ERA. In 80.0 innings pitched, he fanned 59 batters, which ties him for ninth in the conference. The freshman right hander from Groves (Port Neches-Groves), has caught 24 batters looking at strike three to tie for fifth and his win total ranks second in the league while his innings pitched rank eighth.

Texas State placed a league-best seven student-athletes on the three all-conference teams. Goldschmidt and Holbrooks earned first-team honors, while Prestridge, outfielders Spenser Dennis and Tyler Sibley, and catcher Ben Theriot earned second-team honors. Outfielder Bret Atwood was named to the third team. The Bobcats had another three student-athletes earn honorable mention — Kyle Kubitza, Jason Martinson and Brian Borski — for receiving votes from at least 25 percent of the voters.

Texas-San Antonio (UTSA) outfielder Michael Rockett, who was named one of three first-team outfielders, became a four-time all-conference selection. The 2008 conference player of the year earned first-team honors each of the last two years after earning second-team honors in 2006 and 2007.

Other repeat selections include McNeese State shortstop Shon Landry and catcher Taylor Freeman, Texas-Arlington (UTA) outfielder Michael Choice, Stephen F. Austin (SFA) pitcher Erich Lehmann and Lamar outfielder Tyler Link. Landry, Freeman and Choice joined Rockett on the first team. Lehmann earned second-team honors and Link earned third-team honors.

Also earning first-team kudos were Sam Houston State second baseman Braeden Riley, UTSA third baseman Lance Brown and UTA outfielder Matt Otteman, designated hitter Andrew Kainer and pitcher Nathan Long.

Lamar and UTA, which had four of its players earn first-team honors, both had five all-conference selections, while McNeese State, Sam Houston State and UTSA had four garner honors. Stephen F. Austin had three selections, Northwestern State had two and Central Arkansas and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi each had one selection.

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