By: John Karrs, Lenoir-Rhyne University
Hickory, N.C. - The North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) announced its selections for the 2017 College Division All-State Baseball Teams on Friday. Twenty-six players representing nine North Carolina Universities and Colleges were named to the 2017 NCCSIA College Division All-State Teams.
UNC Pembroke, which finished 41-17 on the year and earned a berth in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Tournament, led the way with six all-state honorees including four selections on the first team.
The Braves' first-team selections were infielder Ethan Baucom (Rockingham, N.C.), outfielders Roberto Rivera (Millvale, N.J.) and Nick Debo (Durham, N.C.) and starting pitcher Anthony Burke (Fredricksburg, Va.).
Baucom batted .358 with 10 home runs and 49 runs batted in while Rivera led the team with a .374 batting average, 74 runs, 91 hits, 10 triples, 25 stolen bases and 124 total bases. Rivera also drove in 41 runs and started all 58 games for the Braves.
Debo hit .372 with a team-leading 11 home runs, 47 RBI and 23 stolen bases and Burke fashioned an 11-1 record in addition to a 3.49 earned run average, two shutouts and 72 strikeouts. All four players earned All-Peach Belt Conference Second-Team and All-Southeast Region accolades.
Mount Olive, which went 48-10 on the year, had five players pick up all-state honors including designated player and relief pitcher Zack Mozingo (Goldsboro, N.C.). On the mound, Mozingo was 4-0 with a 1.22 earned run average with a school-record 13 saves. At the plate, Mozingo batted .338 with 16 home runs and 47 runs batted in.
Infielder Drew Ellis (Blythewood, S.C.) and Austin Hutchison (Dandridge, Tenn.) were also first-team all-state honorees for Mount Olive. Ellis batted .349 with a team-leading 17 home runs and 56 RBI while Hutchison went 12-1 with a 1.82 earned run average and 97 strikeouts.
All three players earned All-American honors while Hutchison was the Southeast Region and Conference Carolinas Pitcher Of The Year. Mount Olive also won the Conference Carolinas Regular Season and Tournament Championships and hosted this year's regional tournament.
Catawba and Barton both had two players earn all-state first-team accolades. For the Indians, outfielder Luke Setzer (Salisbury, N.C.) and Bryan Blanton (Albemarle, N.C.) were selected.
Setzer is an NCAA Division II All-American and was named the SAC Player Of The Year after finishing with a .415 batting average and ranking second in the nation in hits with 102 to go along with 18 home runs and 57 runs batted in. Blanton, an all-region honoree, made 14 saves while striking out 50 batters. Catawba went 40-17 on the year, won the SAC Regular Season Championship and advanced to the finals of the Southeast Regional Tournament.
The Bulldogs' Andrew Webster (Pittsboro, N.C.) and Calvin Hawke (Wendall, N.C.) garnered first-team laurels. Webster hit .401 with a national-leading 21 home runs, 58 RBI and a .824 slugging percentage while Calvin Hawke (Wendell, N.C.) hit .391 with eight home runs and 38 runs batted in. Webster is a First-Team All-American by both the CCA and the NCBWA while Hawke is an Academic All-American and the Conference Carolinas Baseball Scholar-Athlete Of The Yea
Wrapping up the selections on the first team is Mars Hill's Hunter Merrill (Pittsford, N.Y.). Merrill is a first-team all-region and all-league selection who batted .415 with 28 stolen bases, 49 runs scored, a home run and 21 RBI.
Nominees were submitted by North Carolina sports information professionals and voted on by the NCCSIA members.
Founded in 2002, The North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) is comprised of sports information professionals from NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA and independent institutions from the state of North Carolina.
The purpose of the organization is to promote collegiate athletics at all schools. Membership is open to anyone affiliated with a college, university or conference located in North Carolina, and whose area of responsibility lies within sports information.
NCCSSIA selects all-state teams in the University (Division I) and College (Division II, III, NAIA) divisions for men's and women's basketball, men's and women's soccer, volleyball, softball and baseball.
North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association
2017 College Division All-State Baseball Teams
C - Andrew Webster, Barton
DP - Zack Mozingo, Mount Olive
INF - Calvin Hawke, Barton
INF - Hunter Merrill, Mars Hill
INF - Drew Ellis, Mount Olive
INF - Ethan Baucom, UNC Pembroke
OF - Luke Setzer, Catawba
OF - Roberto Rivera, UNC Pembroke
OF - Nick Debo, UNC Pembroke
RP - Zack Mozingo, Mount Olive
RP - Bryan Blanton, Catawba
SP - Austin Hutchison, Mount Olive
SP - Anthony Burke, UNC Pembroke
C - Zac Almond, Catawba
DP - Stibel Aleman Saba, UNC Pembroke
INF - Ricky Surum, Mount Olive
INF - Zack Cooper, Chowan
INF - Trevor Denton, Guilford
INF - Kyle Smith, Catawba
OF - Randy Norris, Winston-Salem State
OF - Brett Brubaker, Mars Hill
OF - Troy Maslowski, Barton
RP - Zack Cooper, Chowan
RP - Kyle Ramsey, UNC Pembroke
SP - Thomas St. Clair, Lenoir-Rhyne
SP - Bruce Zimmermann, Mount Olive