MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Eastern Kentucky University senior shortstop Richie Rodriguez has been named a first team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA).
The All-American teams – comprised of 56 student-athletes from around the country – were announced on Wednesday following two rounds of voting by the organization.
Rodriguez is the third first team All-American in EKU baseball history, joining current Colorado Rockies starter Christian Friedrich (2008) and Josh Anderson (2003). The native of Miami, Fla. is EKU baseball’s 21st All-American and the fifth under fourth-year head coach Jason Stein.
Rodriguez, who is one of five semifinalists for the prestigious Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award, started 216 consecutive games at shortstop for EKU – every game of his Colonel career – before being drafted by the New York Mets in the ninth round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft earlier this month.
The durable leadoff man, who tied a school record with three home runs in a game against Indiana State on March 4 and hit for the cycle in a game against UT Martin on May 5, batted .377 this spring and led the Colonels in almost every major offensive category, including home runs (14), runs (59), hits (80), doubles (18), total bases (146), walks (33), slugging percentage (.689) and on-base percentage (.469). He also ranked in the top-30 in the country in slugging percentage, total bases, home runs, runs scored, runs per game (1.09) and home runs per game (0.26) and was the catalyst of an explosive EKU offense that that led the country in home runs per game (1.25) and the OVC in slugging percentage (.477), home runs (66), doubles (122) and triples (21).
Rodriguez was also one half of a slick-fielding Colonel middle infield that ranked sixth in the country during the regular season with 1.11 doubles plays turned per game.
His spectacular season led EKU to a school-record 19 conference wins and a share of its first Ohio Valley Conference regular season title since 2000.
A three-time All-OVC performer, Rodriguez left EKU as the school’s all-time leader in hits (303), runs (209) and at-bats (865).
Rodriguez is the only player from the state of Kentucky represented on the NCBWA’s All-American teams, and one of only two OVC players, joining Southeast Missouri’s Trenton Moses, who was a second team selection.