Twelve student‐athletes representing six institutions comprise the 2012 North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) University Division All‐State Baseball Team released Wednesday. The ninth‐annual team consists of NCAA Division I student‐athletes from North Carolina colleges and universities. North Carolina sports information professionals submitted the nominees and NCCSIA members voted for the All‐State team.
NC State led the way by placing four students on the team, while Campbell, Western Carolina and UNC Wilmington had two students honored. Elon and Charlotte each had one honoree.
The 2012 team had one unanimous selection, NC State starting pitcher Carlos Rodon. Western Carolina infielder Ross Heffley is the only member of the 2012 team to earn the honor in 2011.
Along with Heffley, the all‐state infield includes NC State's Chris Diaz and Trea Turner and Campbell's Michael Felton. Heffley was a first-team All-Southern Conference selection for the Catamounts after hitting .346 and leading the team in hits (80), runs (47) and home runs (nine). The senior leaves the WCU as the program's all-time leader in career hits (354), ranking fourth in SoCon history. As a junior Felton set both the Campbell and Big South Conference single-season record with 103 hits on his way to a .424 batting average. He had 45 RBI and swiped 11 bases as the Fighting Camels tallied a program-record 41 victories in 2012. Diaz and Turner helped the Wolfpack reach the Super Regional round of NCAA Tournament play this season. Diaz, a junior, hit .346 and led NC State with 91 hits and 25 doubles. Turner, a freshman, set a new NC State record with 57 stolen bases (in 61 attempts) while hitting .336 in his rookie season. He led the Wolfpack with 72 runs scored and added 13 doubles and 43 RBI.
The all‐state outfield is comprised of Charlotte's Shane Brown, NC State's Ryan Mathews and UNCW's Thomas Pope. Brown claimed the Atlantic 10 Conference batting title by hitting .365 during his senior season. The first-team All-Atlantic 10 selection also led the team in runs (46) and stolen bases (31). A first-team All-ACC pick, Mathews had a 21-game hit streak this season. A senior, he hit .327 with 48 runs scored and led the Wolfpack with 17 homers and 62 RBI. Pope, also a senior, collected both first-team All-Colonial Athletic Association and CAA All-Tournament accolades this year. He led the Seahawks with a .372 batting average and 86 hits. Pope scored 49 runs and drove in 45 while swiping 17 bases.
Elon junior Alex Swim earned the all‐state catcher's spot after hitting a team‐best .357 with 39 runs scored, 11 doubles, a triple, three homers and 45 RBI. A first-team All-SoCon selection, Swim put together a 25-game hit streak this season and was on the Johnny Bench Award Watch List.
Campbell junior Jake Kirkland earned the all-state nod at designated hitter. A first-team All-Big South pick, Kirkland led the league with 55 RBI. He hit a team-high seven home runs while his 19 doubles were the eighth-highest total in program history.
The starting pitchers on this year's all-state squad are a solid 1-2 punch as NC State freshman Carlos Rodon and UNCW's Tyler McSwain earned the honors. Rodon was named the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Freshman Pitcher of the Year and is a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy. The lefty was the first freshman in ACC history to be named either the league's player or pitcher of the year. He was also the ACC Freshman of the Year. Rodon finished the year with a 9-0 record and a 1.57 ERA. In 114.2 innings, he fanned 135 and walked just 41 hitters. Opponents hit just .176 off of him. McSwain, a senior, was a first-team All-CAA pick as he went 9-4 with a 3.18 ERA. The righty logged 104.2 innings, striking out 67 and holding opponents to a .265 batting average.
Western Carolina junior Preston Hatcher was chosen as the squad's relief pitcher. Hatcher went 6-2 with 10 saves and a 1.73 ERA over 29 appearances out of the bullpen for the Catamounts. He hurled 52.0 innings, striking out 55 hitters.
Founded in 2002, NCCSIA is comprised of sports information professionals from North Carolina'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.2012 NCCSIA All-State Baseball Team (University Division)
SP- Tyler McSwain (Sr.; UNC Wilmington)
SP- Carlos Rodon (Fr.; NC State)
RP- Preston Hatcher (Jr.; Western Carolina)
C - Alex Swim (Jr.; Elon)
IF- Chris Diaz (Jr.; NC State)
IF- Michael Felton (Jr.; Campbell)
IF- Ross Heffley (Sr.; Western Carolina)
IF- Trea Turner (Fr.; NC State)
OF- Shane Brown (Sr.; Charlotte)
OF- Ryan Mathews (Sr.; NC State)
OF- Thomas Pope (Sr.; UNC Wilminton)
DH- Jake Kirkland (Jr.; Campbell)
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