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May 21st, 2012
Bobcat named Southland Pitcher of the Year


Junior Travis Ballew headlined Texas State’s 2012 All-Southland Conference selections released on Monday afternoon as he was named the Southland Conference Pitcher of the Year.


The right-hander from Rockwall was also an All-SLC First Team selection after leading the conference in both wins and strikeouts.

Ballew finished the 2012 regular season with a 10-4 record, 2.83 ERA and 114 strikeouts in 95 1/3 innings on the mound. He held opponents to a .237 batting average and allowed just 27 walks over the course of the season. Ballew has struck out at least 10 batters in five starts this season and limited opponents to zero earned runs on five different occasions. He also threw three complete games, two of which were shutouts.

With his 10 wins, Ballew is tied for fourth place in single-season wins at Texas State, two behind William Brunson’s 12 wins he had in 1992. Ballew is also fifth in single-season strikeouts with 114, 15 behind the record of 129 set by Carson Smith a season ago.

In the third week of the season, Ballew received national recognition after he threw a complete-game, three-hit shutout against Notre Dame with 11 strikeouts and no walks. The performance gave him College Baseball Hall of Fame National All-Star Lineup honors along with SLC Pitcher of the Week honors. In addition to that national recognition, Ballew also landed on the College Baseball Hall of Fame Pitcher of the Year Watch List that featured 25 of the top pitchers from across the nation.

Ballew struck out a career-high 12 batters at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on April 5 when he limited the limited the Islanders to one run over nine innings. He then tied his career high with two more 12-strikeout performances later in the season.

Texas State has now won four consecutive Southland Pitcher of the Year awards dating back to 2009 when Kane Holbrooks earned the honor. Smith then won back-to-back awards in 2010 and 2011 before Ballew took home the honor this season.

Ballew was joined on the All-Southland Conference First Team by outfielder Jeff McVaney. Texas State also had two players on the All-SLC Second Team – catcher Andrew Stumph and pitcher Colton Turner – and one player on the All-SLC Third Team – first baseman Casey Kalenkosky.

McVaney led Texas State with a .332 batting average during the regular season and finished in a tie for fourth in the Southland Conference with eight home runs. He finished tied for third in the conference with 42 RBIs and ranked fourth with 41 runs scored. The senior from Houston was second in the SLC with 117 total bases and was seventh in the league with 70 hits. The all-conference honor is the third in McVaney’s four-year career.

Stumph ranked second on the team with a .265 batting average to go along with three home runs, 28 RBIs and 18 runs scored. A junior from Katy, Stumph had 10 doubles in 46 games played while catching the Bobcat pitching staff that had a 2.94 ERA. The all-conference honor is the second in as many years for Stumph.

Turner, a junior from Joshua, led the Southland with a 2.26 ERA while compiling a 5-2 record and 83 strikeouts in 83 2/3 innings pitched. His 83 strikeouts were the third most in the SLC, and his 2.26 ERA is currently the fifth best single-season ERA in school history. Turner was named all-SLC for the first time in his career after receiving honorable mention honors a season ago.

Kalenkosky, a senior from San Antonio, picked up his second all-conference honor in as many years after leading the Bobcats and tying for second in the Southland with nine home runs. He also finished the regular season with a .263 batting average, 38 RBIs, 33 runs scored and a team-high four triples in 53 games played.

Texas State now has 97 All-Southland Conference selections dating back to 1988.

Southeastern Louisiana second baseman Brock Hebert was named the conference’s player and hitter of the year, while the Lions’ Stefan Lopez was the relief pitcher of the year and Andro Cutura was the freshman of the year. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi pitcher Daniel Minor was named newcomer of the year, and Sam Houston State head coach David Pierce earned coach of the year honors.

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