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Courtesy: SWAC.org

SWAC Announces 2016 Baseball Postseason Honors

Courtesy: SWAC.org
Release: 05/16/2016
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – On the heels of becoming the first Southwestern Athletic Conference program to complete a 24-0 league record, Alabama State headlines the 2016 SWAC baseball postseason honors. The awards and All-SWAC team selections were voted on by the league’s head coaches and Sports Information Directors.

Alabama State junior outfielder Carlos Ocasio picked up Player of the Year and Hitter of the Year Honors. Hornet teammate senior Joseph Camacho earned his third Starting Pitcher of the Year accolade, as rookie infielder Eriq White was named Freshman of the Year. Hornets’ head coach Mervyl Melendez was named Head Coach of the Year, his second at the helm of Alabama State.

Grambling State’s Daniel Barnett earned Newcomer of the Year honors while Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s Skyler Henson collected Relief Pitcher of the Year hardware.

Alabama State had a record-high nine Hornets named to the All-SWAC teams, while Jackson State and Grambling State each had six representatives. Alabama A&M had three honorees as Alcorn State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Southern and Texas Southern each had one representative collect hardware.

Player of the Year & Hitter of the Year – Carlos Ocasio, Alabama State
Ocasio sits second in the SWAC in home runs (13), third in RBI (58), total bases (115) and slugging percentage (.628). He also is fourth in the league runs (54) as well as fifth with six sacrifice flies. He has stolen 18 bags in 18 attempts and heads into the postseason with a .333 batting average. Ocasio ranks among the nation’s best in RBI (12th), runs (14th), sacrifice flies (18th) RBI-per-game (19th), home runs (25th).
Starting Pitcher of the Year – Joseph Camacho, Alabama State
Camacho collects his third top SWAC starting pitcher honor of his career after putting together a 9-0 record in 11 starts. He posted a 1.38 ERA over 78 innings pitched, holding opposing teams to just 18 runs (12 earned) while striking out 78 batters, fourth-best in the league. He held batters to a .216 average while not surrendering a home run this season.

Freshman of the Year – Eriq White, Alabama State
White finished the regular season among the top of the Hornets offensive categories. Appearing in all 49 games with 48 starts, he posted the second-highest batting average (.337), third-most hits (57), doubles (11) and stolen bases (10) for the Hornets. At second base, he posted a .918 fielding percentage and collected the sixth-most assists (109) in the league.

Newcomer of the Year – Daniel Barnett, Grambling State
Barnett not only paces the Grambling State offense, he leads the SWAC in hits (72) and slugging percentage (.665). He is second in the league in batting average (.416), RBI (59), total bases (115) and on-base percentage (.514). Barnett’s RBI totals is 10th in NCAA, while he is averaging 1.31 RBI-per-game, the sixth-most in the NCAA Division I.

Relief Pitcher of the Year – Skyler Henson, University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Henson made 22 appearances on the mound for the Golden Lions in relief. He pitched 24.2 innings, allowing 19 hits, eight earned runs and striking out 25 on the season for a 3-1 record and four saves on the season.

Coach of the Year – Mervyl Melendez, Alabama State
Melendez, collecting his second top conference coaching honor (2014) in his fifth season at the helm of the Hornets, has guided the squad to its third-straight SWAC Eastern Division honor with a 24-0 record. He has led the squad to the programs’ second most victories with 34, three shy of the 2014 season total of 37, and to the programs’ fourth-straight 30-plus win season. Melendez also collected his 500th career victory in a 5-4 win over Winthrop on Feb. 26, making him the third youngest NCAA Division I head coach to achieve the milestone.

Player of the Year – Carlos Ocasio, Alabama State
Pitcher of the Year – Joseph Camacho, Alabama State
Hitter of the Year – Carlos Ocasio, Alabama State
Newcomer of the Year – Daniel Barnett, Grambling State
Freshman of the Year – Eriq White, Alabama State
Relief Pitcher of the Year – Skyler Henson, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Coach of the Year – Mervyl Melendez, Alabama State

First Team All-SWAC
C – Hunter Allen, Alabama State
1B –Chris Biocic, Alabama State
2B - Eriq White, Alabama State
3B – Ray Hernandez, Alabama State
SS-Cornelius Copeland, Jackson State
OF – Carlos Ocasio, Alabama State
OF – Yamil Pagan, Alabama State
OF – CJ Newsome, Jackson State
DH – Diandre Amion, Alabama State
SP – Joseph Camacho, Alabama State
SP – Tyler Howe, Alabama State
RP – Robert Pearson, Texas Southern
RP – Skyler Henson, Arkansas-Pine Bluff

Second Team All-SWAC
C – Carlos Diaz, Jackson State
1B – Jesus Santana, Jackson State
2B – Larry Barraza, Grambling State
3B – Daniel Barnett, Grambling State
SS- Wesley Drain, Grambling State
OF – Dondrayas Harris, Southern
OF – Angel Peguero, Grambling State
OF – Bryce Brown, Jackson State
DH – Cedric Bell, Alcorn State
DH – Ty Russell, Alabama A&M
SP – Josh Burchell, Alabama A&M
SP – Miguel Yrigoyen, Jackson State
SP – Issac O’Bear, Grambling State
RP – Creighton Hoover, Grambling State
RP – Brandon Marsonek, Alabama A&M

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