Baseball: Panthers place eight players on All-Conerence team; Kelton Coach of the Year

Baseball: Panthers place eight players on All-Conerence team; Kelton Coach of the Year

LaGrange placed eight players on the USA South All-Conference teams as announced by the conference office.

Senior designated hitter Casey Bell was selected as the Player of the Year. Bell was third in the conference in hitting entering the conference tournament, batting .379. He is tied for the conference lead with 42 RBIs and is first with 16 doubles. Bell follows Blake Butcher as the second Panther in a row to be the Player of the Year.

Junior lefthander Ryan Broaderick is the Pitcher of the Year. Broaderick is 7-0 in 10 starts this season with a 2.02 earned run average before facing Piedmont in the tournament. He has struck out 58 in 62-1/3 innings. In two seasons with LC, Broaderick is 15-2 with a 1.78 ERA.

Richie Post is the conference Rookie Pitcher of the Year. Post is 3-1 this season with a 2.19 ERA. He has made six appearances with four starts. He has struck out 27 in 24-2/3 innings.

Joining Bell and Broaderick on the All-Conference first team is Butcher, who is a senior, at third base, senior Tavin Thompson at shortstop,  senior outfielder Blane Swift, and senior reliever Jonathan Fleckenstein. Junior outfielder James Poropatic and senior pitcher Andrew Weekley were second team selections. 

Butcher is second in the conference with seven home runs and third with 39 RBIs. Thompson is batting .374 with two home runs and 27 RBIs. Swift is second on the team with five home runs and has 25 RBIs, while batting .364. Fleckenstein has a conference best 1.77 ERA and a 5-1 record. Poropatic leads the conference with a .393 average, while Weekley has posted a 7-1 record with a 2.82 ERA.

Head coach David Kelton was named the Coach of the Year. Kelton has guided the Panthers to a 31-4 record and a No. 3-ranking nationally. LC went 16-2 in conference play to earn the tournament's top seed. The Panthers have been 61-17 over the past two seasons under Kelton.