WILLIAMSBURG Ky. - The University of the Cumberlands (UC) baseball team has been on a tear in recent weeks winning 17 of their last 20, with 11 of those wins coming by 4 runs or more. The Patriots look to be peaking at just the right time before heading into the first round of the Mid-South Conference (MSC) Tournament. On Wednesday April 24th the MSC held their annual baseball awards banquet to honor the student athletes for their hard work on and off the diamond this season.
The Patriots were well represented this season both in the classroom as well as the diamond as four Patriots were named MSC All-Conference selections. Junior infielder Claudio Valencia (Yuma, AZ) was named 1st Team All-Conference. Valencia had a stellar year for the Patriots as he hit an astonishing .376 (65 hits, 13 doubles, 2 triples, and 1 homerun) with 40 RBIs and an on base percentage of .428. Claudio also led the team with saves with 5 on the season and was a staple for a very dangerous UC offense.
Three other Patriots were named to the MSC 2nd team All-Conference as junior shortstop Victor Morel (New York, NY), junior pitcher Kahana Neal (Pearl City, HI), and junior center fielder Hibraim Cordova (Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) received the honor. Morel had a great 2013 season as he was a big time presence for the Patriots batting leadoff. He hit .342 on the season with an on base percentage of .459 including 18 stolen bases and 35 runs scored. His glove was also impressive as he had a fielding percentage of .961 and assisted in turning 17 double plays. A bright spot for the Patriots this season was its pitching and one of the bright spots on the pitching staff was Kahana Neal who had a break out year. Kahana in 11 games played had a record of 6-1 with 4 complete games (2 shutouts). He had an ERA of 2.51 with 52 strikeouts in 68.0 innings pitched. A huge bat for the Patriots as well as a fixture in the outfield was Hibraim Cordova. Cordova hit .306 on the season with 36 runs scored, 45 hits, 18 doubles, 1 triple, and 2 homeruns. Also, his ability on the base paths was just what UC needed as he stole 22 bases on 26 attempts.
UC was also honored for their hard work in the classroom as the MSC announced their selections for Academic All-Conference. In order to be selected for this award the athlete must have and maintain a GPA of 3.25 on a 4.0 scale and is at least a sophomore in the classroom. This season, seven Patriots were honored as senior John Doolittle (Sharpsburg, GA), senior Chaz Hyde (Fort Mitchell, KY), senior Keita Murakami (Wailuku, HI), junior Donovan Feenstra (Calgary, Canada), junior Alberto Mejia (Santo Dominbo, Puerto Rico), junior Jonathan Paquet (Quebec, Canada), and junior Quentin Warriner (Russell Springs, KY) were all selected as Academic All-Conference.
The Patriots will now turn their attention back to the diamond as they will try to capture a Mid-South Conference title. Action gets under way at 4:00 pm Thursday April 25th as they start off their title run against the Lindsey Wilson Blue Raiders. You can listen to the game by logging onto www.cumberlandspatriots.com.
For more information on the Cumberlands baseball team as well as other Patriot athletics, please visit our website at www.cumberlandspatriots.com.