ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. â€“ Twelve student-athletes, representing nine institutions, make up the fifth annual North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) College Division All-State baseball team released Thursday.
Belmont Abbey College infielder Alex Castellanos highlights this yearâ€™s team as the lone repeat honoree, having also garnered recognition in 2007. Catawba College led all schools with three selections, while the University of North Carolina at Pembroke secured two. Other schools represented were Greensboro College, N.C. Wesleyan College, Chowan University, Lenoir-Rhyne College, Barton College, and Pfeiffer University.
The squad consists of student-athletes from NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and NAIA colleges and universities throughout the state. North Carolina sports information professionals submitted nominees and NCCSIA members selected the teams.
Founded in 2002, NCCSIA is comprised of sports information professionals from North Carolinaâ€™s NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA and independent institutions for the purpose of promoting college athletics in the state. Membership is open to anyone affiliated with a college, university or conference located in North Carolina whose responsibilities include sports information.
NCCSIA selects all-state teams in the university (NCAA Division I) and college (Division II, III, NAIA, NCCAA) divisions for womenâ€™s volleyball, menâ€™s and womenâ€™s basketball, menâ€™s and womenâ€™s soccer, softball and baseball. Over 500 student-athletes have been recognized on all-state teams since 2003.
The 2008 NCCSIA all-state college baseball team is comprised of two starting pitchers, one relief pitcher, one catcher, four infielders, three outfielders, and one designated hitter. The unit consists of the top 12 vote-getters and include student-athletes involved in ties.
The 2008 NCCSIA College Division All-State Softball Team was released May 28. The University Division All-State Softball Team will be announced June 2. The University Division All-State Baseball Team will be announced later in June.
North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association
2008 College Division All-State Baseball Team
Pos. Name Class School Hometown
SP Christopher â€œKitâ€ Mock Senior Greensboro College Clarks Summit, PA
SP Ben Moore Junior N.C. Wesleyan College Smithfield, NC
RP Ryan Kirkman Junior UNC Pembroke Liberty, NC
C Justin Hollingsworth Senior Chowan University Poquoson, VA
IF Alex Castellanos * Soph. Belmont Abbey College Miami, FL
IF Daniel Ford Junior Lenoir-Rhyne College Youngstown, OH
IF Craige Lyerly Soph. Catawba College Salisbury, NC
IF Jason Morales Senior UNC Pembroke Fayetteville, NC
OF Zach Boyette Junior Barton College Marion, VA
OF Jerry Sands Junior Catawba College Clayton, NC
OF David Thomas Senior Catawba College Winston-Salem, NC
DH Bryan Braxton Senior Pfeiffer University Hillsborough, NC
* – 2007 NCCSIA College Division All-State
The USA South Athletic Conference swept the two starting pitcher slots as Greensboro senior Kit Mock and N.C. Wesleyan junior Ben Moore were selected. Mock went 7-4 for the Pride (26-15) this season and boasted the best earned run average among nominees at 2.79. Moore was a first team all-league performer after turning in a career-best 8-2 overall mark, including a 5-0 slate in conference play. His Bishops finished 28-14-1 on the season.
UNC Pembroke junior Ryan Kirkman was chosen as the teamâ€™s relief pitcher after going 4-4 on the mound with 11 saves. He was joined on the squad by senior teammate Jason Morales, who batted .370 with 15 home runs and 78 RBIs. The talented duo helped the Braves to a 33-23 overall record.
Other infielders included Castellanos and Lenoir-Rhyne junior Daniel Ford. Only a sophomore, Castellanos helped the Crusaders to a 41-21 mark this season, batting .362 and driving in 66 runs while leading the nation with 31 doubles. Ford turned in a solid first season with the Bears (23-32). He led the team in batting average (.426), runs (54), hits (92), doubles (20), homers (10), RBIs (60), total bases (146), and slugging percentage (.676).
Catawba sophomore Craige Lyerly rounded out the infield selections. He batted .390 with 13 home runs, 70 RBI, and 27 stolen bases en route to all-league honors. He was joined by teammates Jerry Sands and David Thomas in the outfield. Sands, a junior, also batted .390 while driving in 85 runs and blasting 24 homers, both of which are program records. Thomas was chosen after a stellar season that saw him garner First Team All-America and South Atlantic Conference Player of the Year accolades. The senior boasted a .435 batting average with a school-record 101 hits and was a unanimous all-state selection. The trio helped Catawba secure a 43-18 overall record, the SAC title, and an NCAA regional berth.
Also chosen in the outfield was Barton College junior Zach Boyette. Boyette was the Conference Carolinasâ€™ top hitter at .441 and led the Bulldogs (27-28) in batting average, slugging percentage (.607), and on-base percentage (.494). He was an all-league selection for Barton, which played nearly half of its schedule against nationally-ranked opponents.
Chowan University senior Justin Hollingsworth represented the Hawks at catcher. He started 50 games behind the plate, throwing out 19 of 36 would-be basestealers and turning in a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. Offensively, Hollingsworth batted .385 with 51 driven in.
Rounding out the 2008 all-state college baseball squad is Pfeiffer Universityâ€™s Bryan Braxton. The senior designated hitter batted .341 with seven homers and 33 RBIs. He led the Falcons to a 27-32 overall mark and was named to Second Team All-Conference Carolinas.