May 22, 2012
NEW ORLEANS - After posted a third place finish during the Conference USA regular season, the Tulane baseball team placed seven players on the 2012 All-Conference USA baseball team, including a pair of First Team selections. Senior Jeremy Schaffer and junior Brandon Boudreaux each garnered first team honors, while four players were named to the second team and Alex Massey garnered All-Freshman honors.
Tulane place multiple players on the All-Conference USA First Team for the 15th time in the last 17 seasons and their six total selections to the first or second team are tied for the second most selections with the 2005 squad. Tulane placed eight players on the all-conference ledger during the 2001, 1999 and 1998 seasons. Tulane has put a player on the All-Conference USA First Team all 17 seasons they have been a member of C-USA.
Schaffer headlines the all-conference selection and earns the First Team distinction for the third time in his career. The backstop is just the second player in school history to earn first team accolades on three occasions, joining James Jurries who claimed All-C-USA First Team honors from 1999-2002. This season, Schaffer led the team with 48 RBIs, nine home runs and 18 doubles. The Bellaire, Texas native led Conference USA in base runners thrown out (20) and was among the leaders in nine offensive categories, including a top-five ranking in slugging percentage (.561), RBIs, doubles, home runs, total bases (114) and walks (40).
The leading run scorer in Conference USA, Boudreaux raked in First Team All-C-USA accolades for the first time in his career. The junior has crossed the plate 55 times in 50 games and ranks among the national leaders in the category. Among his conference brethren, the left-handed hitter sits among the top-ten in nine offensive categories and is among the top-five in slugging percentage (.561), runs and total bases (110).This season, Boudreaux has set career-highs for batting average (.337), runs scored, doubles (14), home runs (eight), RBIs (35), total bases and stolen bases (ten). Boudreaux set the school-record when he was named Conference USA Hitter of the Week three times this season.
Middleton topped the Conference USA fielding assist charts and was the second leading hitter in Conference USA this season. The junior moved from second base to shortstop this season and has enjoyed one of his finest seasons on the field and at the plate. Middleton led the team with a .360 batting average and was among the top-ten in runs scored (45), sacrifice bunts (nine) and stolen bases (12). His 170 fielding assists are just 11 off of the single season list and the right-handed hitter has already set personal-bests in 12 offensive categories.
Napoli was the model of consistency for the Green Wave pitching staff this season and earned the second team honors after ranking among the Conference USA leaders in victories and innings pitched. Among his conference constituents, Napoli ranked ninth in earned run average (2.87), seventh in innings pitched (84.2) and fifth in victories (seven), leading the team in the first two metrics. He fanned 55 batters and limited opponents to a .246 batting average. Ten of his 11 starts lasted more than five innings and four of those went seven innings or more.
Ponder was the most dominant closer in Conference USA this season, allowing just one run in 24 innings of work in C-USA games. The senior ranked second among his conference mates in saves with 11, sat third in games finished on the mound (22) and sat sixth with 25 appearances on the mound. The right-hander enters the postseason with a 0.57 earned run average and has logged 47 innings on the bump. He has 34 strikeouts and the opposition is hitting just .178 against him. He has allowed only three of his own runs to score this season, while surrendering just three of 22 inherited runners to score all year.
Schneeberger was a major cog in the offense all season and ended the regular season with a .350 batting average, which ranked fifth overall in the conference. The Jackson, Miss. native led the team in hits (75), and triples (four), ranked second in RBIs (46), stolen bases (12) and was third in walks (43) and doubles (12). On the C-USA tally, Schneeberger ranked among the top-ten in nine offensive categories. So far in 2012, he has set career-highs in hits, runs scored (40), doubles, triples, home runs (four), total bases (107), walks and stolen bases.
The All-Freshman Team had a Tulane representative 15th straight season as Massey garnered the praise from the conference coaches. The right-handed pitcher compiled a 3-1 record to go along with a 4.15 earned run average in 47 2/3 innings of work. He made 12 appearances with eight starts and struck out 45 batters to just 14 walks.
Tulane opens the Conference USA Tournament presented by Trustmark on Wednesday, May 23 versus East Carolina at 7:00 p.m. The entire tournament will be hosted at Trustmark Park, the home of the Mississippi Brave, in Pearl, Miss.
2012 CONFERENCE USA BASEBALL AWARDS
FIRST TEAM ALL-CONFERENCE
C - Jeremy Schaffer, Sr., Tulane
IF - D.J. Hicks, Jr., UCF
IF - Christian Stringer, Jr., Rice
IF - Jacob Wilson, Sr., Memphis
IF - John Wooten, Jr., East Carolina
OF - Brandon Boudreaux, Jr., Tulane
OF - Adam McClain., Sr., Memphis
OF - Jeremy Rathjen, Jr., Rice
DH/UT - J.T. Chargois, Jr., Rice
P - Kevin Brandt, Sr., East Carolina
P - Dan Langfield, Jr., Memphis
P - Andrew Pierce, Jr., Southern Miss
P - Matthew Reckling, Sr., Rice
RP - Joe Rogers, Sr., UCF
SECOND TEAM ALL-CONFERENCE
C - Zach Wright, Sr., East Carolina
IF - Ashley Graeter, Sr., Southern Miss
IF - Brennan Middleton, Jr., Tulane
IF - Travis Shreve, Sr., UCF
IF - Corey Thompson, Sr., East Carolina
OF - Alex Friedrich, Sr., UCF
OF - Ronnie Richardson, Jr., UCF
OF - Nick Schneeberger, Sr., Tulane
DH/UT - Drew Reynolds, So., East Carolina
P - Jharel Cotton, Jr., East Carolina
P - Ben Lively, So., UCF
P - Sam Moll, So., Memphis
P - David Napoli, Jr., Tulane
RP - D.J. Ponder, Sr., Tulane
IF - Sergio Leon, Marshall
IF - Ford Stainback, Rice
OF - Michael Pyeatt, Houston
OF - Jeff Schalk, UAB
OF - Michael Sterling, Southern Miss
OF/P - Mason Robbins, Southern Miss
P - Jeff Hoffman, East Carolina
P - Jordan Stephens, Rice
P - Jake Drehoff, Southern Miss
P - Bradley Roney, Southern Miss
P - Alex Massey, Tulane
P - Eric Skoglund, UCF
PLAYER OF THE YEAR - Jacob Wilson, Sr., 3B, Memphis
PITCHER OF THE YEAR - Matthew Reckling, Sr., RHP, Rice
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR - Mason Robbins, Fr., OF/LHP, Southern Miss
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR - Andrew Pierce, Jr., RHP, Southern Miss
KEITH LeCLAIR COACH OF THE YEAR - Wayne Graham, Rice