ROCK HILL, SC -- Headlined by South Atlantic Conference Championship MVP Curt Fuqua, the Lincoln Memorial University baseball team placed seven individuals on the All-Tournament Team, which was announced on Monday by the league office. This comes a day after the Railsplitters captured the 2013 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Championship title with a 9-4 win over Carson-Newman, earning the program's first conference title of any kind since 1959 and the first SAC title in school history.
Senior infielder Curt Fuqua (Jackson, TN) was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player after posting a tournament-high eight hits in five games with four RBI, five runs scored, two doubles and a home run. The shortstop compiled a .381 batting average for the Railsplitters' entire run through the SAC Championship.
Fuqua's best performance of the weekend came in the Railsplitters' 8-7 win over Tusculum on Saturday. In that game, he tallied three hits in four at-bats with one run, one RBI and a pair of doubles. He capped the tournament with a two-for-four showing in the championship-clinching win over Carson-Newman on Sunday.
Fuqua's running mate, second baseman Andre Rodriguez, was also named to the All-Tournament Team for his potent offensive efforts over the weekend. Rodriguez, a senior hailing from Las Piedras, Puerto Rico, matched Fuqua with eight hits in five games with four RBI, four runs scored and a home run.
His best outing of the SAC Championship came in the finale, as he spearheaded the Railsplitters' offense with three hits, two runs scored and two RBI. He added two hits in the win over Tusculum on Saturday.
Senior Brandon Cowan (Tequesta, FL) also made his way onto the All-Tournament Team after setting the tone for the Railsplitters on the mound to open play in the 2013 Food Lion SAC Championship. The lefty tossed a complete game in LMU's 5-2 win over second-seeded Wingate University on Thursday. Cowan only allowed four hits and one earned run while striking out six batters to guide LMU to victory.
In a gutsy effort on Sunday, Cowan returned on short rest to throw four innings against Newberry in an elimination game which the Railsplitters went on to win, 12-10. Cowan surrendered three hits and struck out two over that four innings of work.
Junior Josh Coker (Murphy, NC) also nabbed All-Tournament Team distinctions for both his work at the plate and on the mound in the SAC Championship. At the dish, Coker provided six hits in five games with a team-leading 10 RBI to go along with six runs scored, two doubles and two home runs. His best offensive outing came in the Railsplitters' 12-10 win over Newberry on Sunday, as he exploded for two home runs which led to six RBI and four runs scored. He added two hits in two other games.
On the mound, Coker contributed 3.1 total innings of work with only three combined hits allowed. In 2.1 innings on the mound against Newberry, the lefty limited the Wolves to two earned runs while fanning two batters.
Another pitcher in freshman Wes Todd (Thompsons Station, TN) was honored with All-Tournament Team distinctions after the 6'4" right-hander tossed a complete game in the Railsplitters' championship-clinching victory over Carson-Newman. After being roughed up early, allowing four runs through three innings, Todd settled into a groove by limiting the Eagles to only two hits over the final six innings. For the game (a 9-4 victory for LMU), Todd finished with only eight hits allowed, four earned runs and three strikeouts to improve to 5-1 on the season.
Senior Nick Pressley (Knoxville, TN) was named to the All-Tournament Team, and he came to realize that honor thanks to a seven-hit showing in the Railsplitters' run to the SAC Championship title. All told, Pressley accumulated six RBI with five runs scored, a double and a home run. He posted those offensive numbers while carding 45 total innings behind the plate without an error.
Pressley's best showing came in the title game of the 2013 Food Lion SAC Championship, as he notched a pair of hits with two runs scored and three RBI. Included among those hits was Pressley's three-run home run, which swung the game in favor of Lincoln Memorial in the bottom of the third. It was his first home run of the season. He added two hits in the two games leading up to the title game.
Junior Ian Creager (Englewood, OH) was the Railsplitters' final selection to the All-Tournament Team, and he earned that distinction after compiling a pair of wins in relief at the 2013 SAC baseball tournament. All told, Creager tossed 7.2 innings over the weekend.
On Saturday, Creager notched 3.2 innings of relief work in the Railsplitters' 8-7 win over the Tusculum Pioneers. He limited Tusculum to only three hits and one earned run to pick up the win. On Sunday, Creager added 2.2 innings of work out of the bullpen in the Railsplitters' 12-10 shootout win over Newberry to clinch a spot in the SAC Championship title game. Creager picked up the win in that game after holding the Wolves scoreless and hitless during his stay on the mound. Creager improved to 5-3 on the season with the two victories.
By virtue of winning the 2013 Food Lion SAC Championship title, the Railsplitters have earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. LMU will learn their postseason fate on May 12th with the unveiling of the field participating in the 2013 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional.
2013 Food Lion SAC Baseball Championship All-Tournament Team
OF - Blake Houston, Catawba
P - John Tuttle, Catawba
P - Cole Cromer, Newberry
1B - Eric Barbieri, Newberry
P - Chris Armstrong, Carson-Newman
P - Dustin Dunagan, Carson-Newman
INF - Bo Ausmus, Carson-Newman
OF - Cody Fox, Carson-Newman
INF - Curt Fuqua, LMU
INF - Andre Rodriguez, LMU
P - Brandon Cowan, LMU
OF/P - Josh Coker, LMU
P - Wes Todd, LMU
C - Nick Pressley, LMU
P - Ian Creager, LMU