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April 22, 2011

Panthers clean up in SCAC Baseball post-season honors

MILLINGTON, Tenn.—Drew Leachman of Birmingham-Southern College was named the league's Offensive Player-of-the-Year and Ben Klimesh of Trinity University and Clay Malcolm of Birmingham-Southern split the votes and will share the league's Pitcher-of-the-Year award in exclusive 2011 All-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) voting by the conference's head coaches.

In that same balloting, Christian Muscarello of Trinity was voted the conference's Freshman-of-the-Year, while Trinity head coach Tim Scannell was selected SCAC Coach-of-the-Year for the second consecutive year.

As for the All-SCAC team, Birmingham-Southern, who won its third straight East Division title with a 12-3 league mark, led the way with eight First Team selections while Trinity, winners of the SCAC West at 15-5, followed closely with six selections.

Leachman, a senior outfielder from Mobile, Ala., led the SCAC during the regular season with a .450 batting average and also led the league in hits (67), runs scored (56) and on-base percentage (.523). He was fourth in slugging at .644, fifth in runs batted in (41), fifth in doubles (15) and third in total bases (96). With three regular season games remaining against Huntingdon College, Leachman currently sits with 248 career hits – the sixth highest total in SCAC history. He also surpassed 200 runs scored for his career this season, making him just the fifth player in league history to accomplish that feat.

Leachman received six votes in the Player-of-the-Year balloting followed by Trinity's Kyle Felix, who received the remaining five votes.

Klimesh, a junior right-hander from Wilmette, Ill., led the SCAC in innings pitched (71.1), strikeouts (91), and wins (9) during the regular season. He is second in opponents' batting average (.210) and games started (11), as well as being 11th in ERA. He needs one more strikeout to become just the 10th player in Trinity history to record 200 career strikeouts. Klimesh is the second pitcher from Trinity to earn SCAC Pitcher-of-the-Year honors in the last three years (Noah Solomon – 2009) and the sixth all-time, which ties Millsaps for the most all-time SCAC POTY awards.

Malcolm, a senior left-hander from Marietta, Ga., is currently ranked in the top 10 in the conference in wins (8 – second), earned run average (3.10 – sixth), innings pitched (58.0 – sixth), strikeouts (50 – sixth), strikeouts looking (21 – fourth) and starts (10 – fourth). With 27 career wins, Malcolm is currently tied for fifth on the SCAC all-time wins list.

Klimesh and Malcolm both received five votes in the Pitcher-of-the-Year balloting, with Hunter Chandler of Rhodes College receiving the remaining vote.

Muscarello, a first-year shortstop from Tucson, Ariz., was Trinity's only freshman to play in 30 or more games this season, making 39 starts for the Tigers. He is currently 25th in the SCAC in batting average (.336), as well as being seventh in hits (51), and ninth in total bases (73). His 17 doubles this season are also second in the SCAC - trailing only his teammate, Kyle Felix. In the four years since the SCAC began selecting a Freshman-of-the-Year, Muscarello is the first Trinity player to earn the honor.

With five votes in the balloting, Muscarello edged Hendrix College's Collin Radnack, who received four votes, for SCAC Freshman-of-the-Year. Cody Nelson of Centre College and Kevin Wall of Millsaps College received one vote each.

Trinity head coach Tim Scannell, in his 13th season as the Tigers' skipper, was named the SCAC Coach-of-the-Year after leading his squad to a 29-11 regular season mark (15-5 in the SCAC West) heading into the conference tournament. Scannell, who is a six-time SCAC COTY honoree (1999, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011), has the highest winning percentage of any coach in league history (.697) and is among the top 20 of all active NCAA Division III coaches. The team is just one win shy of earning Scannell his 10th 30+ win season as head coach of the Tigers and the Trinity skipper earned his 400th career win against McMurry on April 5. Scannell is now tied with Millsaps College head coach Jim Page for the most SCAC Baseball Coach-of-the-Year honors as both men have six each.

Scannell received nine votes from his peers in the SCAC Coach-of-the-Year balloting. Jeff Cleanthes of Rhodes and Jan Weisburg of Birmingham-Southern received one vote each.

2011 SCAC Player-of-the-Year
Drew Leachman - Birmingham-Southern College - Senior - OF - Mobile, Ala.

2011 SCAC Co-Pitchers-of-the-Year
Ben Klimesh - Trinity University - Junior - P - Wilmette, Ill.
Clay Malcolm - Birmingham-Southern College - Senior - P - Marietta, Ga.

2011 SCAC Freshman-of-the-Year
Christian Muscarello - Trinity University - First-Year - SS - Tucson, Ariz.

2011 SCAC Coach-of-the-Year
Tim Scannell - Trinity University - 15-5 SCAC West / 29-11 Overall – Regular Season
#24th ranked nationally

2011 All-SCAC Baseball Team

Catchers
Kyle Felix - Trinity University - Senior - Woodside, Calif.
Sam Hill - Birmingham-Southern College - Senior - Mobile, Ala.

First Basemen
Bruce Maxwell - Birmingham-Southern College - Sophomore - Toney, Ala.
Rob McPike - DePauw University - Junior - Avon, Ind.

Second Basemen
Brandon Ricco - Birmingham-Southern College - Junior - Helena, Ala.
Kevin Wall - Millsaps College - First-Year - Birmingham, Ala.

Shortstops
Matt Cornwell - Oglethorpe University - Senior - Boca Raton, Fla.
Ben Gardner - DePauw University - Senior - Winnetka, Ill.
Christian Muscarello - Trinity University - First-Year - Tucson, Ariz.

Third Basemen
Will Hawkins - Millsaps College - Senior - Nettleton, Miss.
Jacob Perschke - Hendrix College - First-Year - Katy, Texas

Outfielders
Kevin Calbick - Trinity University - Senior - Burnaby, British Columbia
Taylor Irwin - Sewanee-Univ. of the South - Senior - Brentwood, Tenn.
Kevin Jackson - Trinity University - Senior - Bellevue, Wash.
Drew Leachman - Birmingham-Southern College - Senior - Mobile, Ala.
J.D. Hulse - Birmingham-Southern College - Senior - Roswell, Ga.
Brendan Pilger - Oglethorpe University - Senior - Decatur, Ga.
Andrew Meier - Rhodes College - Senior - Chesterfield, Mo.
Scooter Merritt - Austin College - Senior - Rockwall, Texas
Jeff Pope - Oglethorpe University - Sophomore - Tampa, Fla.
Collin Radack - Hendrix College - First-Year - Cedar Park, Texas
Joe Reilly - Sewanee-Univ. of the South - Senior - Alpharetta, Ga.

Designated Hitters
Nick Pappas - Trinity University - Junior - Los Angeles, Calif.
Jason Cohen - DePauw University - Sophomore - Deerfield, Ill.

Pitchers
Ben Klimesh - Trinity University - Junior - Wilmette, Ill.
Clay Malcolm - Birmingham-Southern College - Senior - Marietta, Ga.
Hunter Chandler - Rhodes College - Senior - Gainesville, Ga.
Aaron Williams - Millsaps College - Senior - Mandeville, Miss.
Clay Jones - Birmingham-Southern College - Senior - Hoover, Ala.
Jesse Meier - Birmingham-Southern College - Junior - Stone Mountain, Ga.
Andy Mason - DePauw University - Junior - Lombard, Ill.
Jason Riggins - Millsaps College - Senior - Dallas, Texas

Honorable Mention
Austin – Brian Beuhler (1B), Mason Leech (3B), Tyler Steed (P); Birmingham-Southern – Richard Vance (P); Centre – Cory Crowdis (2B), Danny Freudiger (OF), Ben Lause (P), Joe Nash (P), Steven Proctor (1B); Hendrix – Kyle Raskin (SS), Clark Sims (2B), Teddy Smoyer (P); Millsaps – Stephen Gates (DH), Jake Mills (1B), Jules Roussel (OF); Rhodes – Austin Carden (P), Matt Gilbert (OF), Stewart Martens (2B), Lynden Pindling (SS); Sewanee – Chris Mauro (C), Franklin Pogue (3B); Southwestern – Chris Churchwell (P), Charlie Garrett (SS), Patrick Keenan (OF), Brett Martin (1B)