CONWAY – Andrew Beckwith was named first team Collegiate Baseball 2017 Preseason All-American as well as the national Male Athlete of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus. It was also announced today that Alex Cunningham joined Beckwith as a Collegiate Baseball Preseason All-American (third team) while the 2016 Chanticleer Baseball team was named recipient of the 2016 Team/Event of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus.
The Touchdown Club of Columbus will formally honor Beckwith and the CCU baseball team, along with a host of athletes from around the nation, at its 62nd annual awards banquet on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017, at Express Live! in downtown Columbus, Ohio.
Beckwith and Cunningham join eight 2017 CCU baseball opponents on the Collegiate Baseball Preseason All-American team, including UNC Wilmington catcher Nick Feight (1st team), Clemson outfielder Seth Beer (1st team), Clemson pitcher Pat Krall (2nd team), North Carolina pitcher J.B. Bukauskas (2nd team), Louisiana-Lafayette pitcher Dylan Moore (2nd team), Wake Forest outfielder Stuart Fairchild (2nd team), Ball State pitcher B.J. Butler (third team) and Western Carolina outfielder Bryson Bowman (third team).
Beckwith was named to the Collegiate Baseball 2017 Preseason All-American first team as he led the NCAA with 15 wins last season (15-1), posted a 1.85 ERA with two saves and played a key role in the Chanticleers winning the 2016 NCAA Division I College World Series Championship. He was named Collegiate Baseball second team All-American, the Gregg Olson Award recipient as the national breakout player of the year, the College World Series Most Outstanding Player, the 2016 Big South Pitcher of the Year and the 2015-16 Big South Howard Bagwell Male Athlete of the Year.
Beckwith made three starts at the College World Series and earned three wins with a pair of complete games. He posted an 0.76 ERA - which ties for the fifth-best in CWS history among pitchers with at least 18 innings - while he is the 12th player to ever notch three wins during the season's final stage in Omaha. Overall in the NCAA postseason, Beckwith was 5-0 in five starts (six appearances) with a 1.96 ERA. For his career, Beckwith is 23-7 with six saves and a 2.17 ERA
Cunningham, a two-time all-conference pick, was named to the Collegiate Baseball 2017 Preseason All-American third team after posting a 10-4 record last season with a 3.62 ERA and a team-best 98 strikeouts. He additionally picked up his first career save in the championship game of the College World Series, striking out the final batter with two runners on and CCU leading by one.
Cunningham returns for his senior season with a career record of 18-5 and a 3.28 ERA with 177 strikeouts in 206.0 innings pitched while opponents have posted just a .242 batting average of the right-hander.