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CCU’s Reid VanScoter named SBC Pitcher of the Year; 4 Chants earn All-Sun Belt honors

VanScoter becomes the first Chant to win the SBC Pitcher of the Year Award
Michael Knorr, Reid VanScoter, Dale Thomas, and Tyler Johnson.
Michael Knorr, Reid VanScoter, Dale Thomas, and Tyler Johnson.(Coastal Carolina Athletics)
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 4:16 PM EDT
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NEW ORLEANS – Coastal Carolina redshirt senior Reid VanScoter was named the 2022 Sun Belt Conference Baseball Pitcher of the Year, while a total of four Chanticleers garnered All-Sun Belt team honors the league office announced on Monday.

On top of the Pitcher of the Year honor, VanScoter earned a spot on the All-Sun Belt first team, while Michael Knorr, Dale Thomas, and Tyler Johnson were all named to the second team.

VanScoter became the first Chanticleer to be named the Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year and is the seventh Chant to receive a Conference Pitcher of the Year Award joining Bobby Gagg (2007), Cody Wheeler (2009), Anthony Meo (2010), Matt Rein (2011), Aaron Burke (2012), and Andrew Beckwith (2016) who all were named the Big South Conference Pitcher of the Year.

CCU’s Friday night starter for most of the season, VanScoter picked up all-conference honors for the first time in his career. He leads the Sun Belt and ranks 10th nationally in wins with nine on the season, going 9-2 overall with a 3.06 ERA. The left-handed pitcher also leads the Sun Belt in quality starts (8) and in fewest home runs allowed (2) this season, while also ranking second in the Sun Belt in innings pitched (82.1) and batters struck out looking (23). The third-year Chant also ranks fourth in the Sun Belt in total strikeouts (80), fifth in both ERA (3.06) and WHIP (1.15), and is tied for sixth in the Sun Belt in fewest earned runs allowed (28) this season.

In conference play, VanScoter went 7-1 overall with a 2.91 ERA, with his only loss in Sun Belt Conference play coming at home to Georgia State, in which the Chants’ defense made five errors and allowed seven unearned runs. The recent graduate pitched 5.0 innings or more in nine of his 10 starts in SBC play, struck out 56 batters compared to just 14 walks over 58.2 innings pitched, and held CCU’s SBC opponents to a .228 batting average.

Part of the CCU starting rotation, pitching on Saturdays throughout Sun Belt Conference play, Knorr earned second-team honors as he is 5-0 on the season with a 2.51 ERA in 11 starts. The senior right-handed hurler leads the Sun Belt in ERA (2.51), fewest runs allowed (21), fewest earned runs allowed (16), fewest walks allowed (9), and is tied for the Sun Belt lead in fewest hits allowed (46) on the season.

He also leads the Sun Belt in strikeout-to-walk ratio (8.11), which ranks in the top-15 nationally, in strikeouts per nine innings (11.46), and in WHIP (0.96), while ranking second in the league in walks allowed per nine innings (1.41) and opposing batting average (.214), and fifth in total strikeouts (73).

In SBC play, Knorr went 4-0 with a 2.80 ERA over nine starts, striking out 57 batters compared to just eight walks in 45.0 innings. He totaled a season-high 11 strikeouts in a win at Arkansas State (April 2), nine punch outs versus Georgia State (April 9) and UTA (April 23), and eight strikeouts over Little Rock (May 7).

Named to the All-Sun Belt second team at third base, Thomas picks up his first all-conference honor of his career. Thomas, who ranks in the top-10 in the Sun Belt in home runs (13) and RBIs (49), is hitting .299 with 59 base hits and 45 runs scored this season. The junior leads the team with 29 extra-base hits - 13 home runs, two triples, 14 doubles – and is second on the team with 49 RBIs and a .589 slugging percentage overall on the season.

This year, Thomas has had a season-best seven-game hitting streak and has tallied 17 multi-hit games and 10 multi-RBI games, including a career-high seven RBIs, highlighted by a grand slam, versus Clemson (May 17). He also hit two home runs in the win over Rutgers (Feb. 25) and tied the CCU single-game record with three doubles in the home win over UNCW (May 3).

In conference play, Thomas belted five home runs and six doubles, drove in 21 RBIs, and scored 19 runs in 30 conference games.

A Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year candidate, Johnson was named to the all-conference second team as a designated hitter. This season, Johnson is hitting a team-high .369 with 16 home runs, 11 doubles, 54 RBIs, and 38 runs scored, with a .765 slugging percentage and a .476 on-base percentage.

The second-year Chant leads the Sun Belt Conference in slugging percentage (.765) and in OPS (1.241) and is tied for second in the Sun Belt Conference in home runs (16). He also ranks third in the Sun Belt Conference in on-base percentage (.476) and fifth in both batting average (.369) and RBIs (54) on the season.

In Sun Belt Conference play, Johnson hit .404 with 12 home runs, 39 RBIs, 24 runs scored, and 16 walks, and posted a .828 slugging percentage.

The Bentonville, Ark. native, blasted two home runs in the same game four different times on the season - at Clemson (March 22), at Texas State (March 27), versus Little Rock (May 6), and at home against South Alabama (May 21) in the regular-season finale. Johnson also drove in a season-high five RBIs three different times on the year, totaled 15 multi-hit games, and recorded a team-high 13 multi-RBI games on the season. He was named a Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week (May 9) and tabbed the Sun Belt Conference Baseball Player of the Week (March 29).

The Chanticleers will take on the No. 6 seed Troy Trojans in the second round of the conference postseason tournament on Wednesday, May 25, at 10 a.m. ET/9 a.m. CT. The Trojans finished tied with Georgia State at 15-15 in Sun Belt play but earned the No. 6 seed by virtue of sweeping the Panthers in the regular-season series meeting between the two teams. The 2022 Guardian Credit Union Sun Belt Baseball Championship presented by Troy University will begin on Tuesday, May 24, with the first-round single-elimination games between No. 7 Georgia State and No. 10 ULM and No. 8 Little Rock and No. 9 Appalachian State.

2022 SUN BELT CONFERENCE BASEBALL POSTSEASON AWARDS

Player of the Year

Dalton Shuffield, Texas State (Sr., SS – San Antonio, Texas)

Pitcher of the Year

Reid VanScoter, Coastal Carolina (RS Sr., P – Livonia, N.Y.)

Newcomer of the Year

Max Ryerson, Georgia State (Jr., OF – Conway, S.C.)

Freshman of the Year

Austin St. Laurent, App State (RS Fr., UT – Elon, N.C.)

Ron Maestri Coach of the Year

Steven Trout, Texas State

All-Sun Belt First Team

P Reid VanScoter, Coastal Carolina (RS Sr., P – Livonia, N.Y.)

P Levi Wells, Texas State (So., P – La Porte, Texas)

P Zeke Wood, Texas State (Jr., P – Paris, Texas)

RP Tristan Stivors, Texas State (Sr., RP – Castroville, Texas)

C Julian Brock, Louisiana (So., C – Fulshear, Texas)

1B Carson Roccaforte, Louisiana (So., 1B – Port Neches, Texas)

2B Jesse Sherrill, Georgia Southern (Jr., 2B – Pensacola, Fla.)

SS Dalton Shuffield, Texas State (Sr., SS – San Antonio, Texas)

3B Justin Thompson, Texas State (Sr., 3B – Frisco, Texas)

OF Max Ryerson, Georgia State (Jr., OF – Conway, S.C.)

OF Mason Holt, ULM (Sr., OF – Coppell, Texas)

OF Miles Simington, South Alabama (Sr., OF – Bourbonnais, Ill.)

UT Cameron Jones, Georgia State (So., UT – Kathleen, Ga.)

DH Noah Ledford, Georgia Southern (RS Jr., DH – Buford, Ga.)

All-Sun Belt Second Team

P Hayden Arnold, Little Rock (5th, P – Rison, Ark.)

P Michael Knorr, Coastal Carolina (Sr., P – Carlsbad, Calif.)

P Matt Boswell, South Alabama (Sr., P – Destin, Fla.)

RP Jay Thompson, Georgia Southern (Jr., RP – Cumming, Ga.)

C Hayden Cross, App State (Jr., C – Sanford, N.C.)

1B Jason Swan, Georgia Southern (5th, 1B – Jacksonville, Fla.)

2B Erick Orbeta, South Alabama (RS So., 2B – Miami, Fla.)

SS Griffin Cheney, Georgia State (Gr., SS – Johns Creek, Ga.)

3B Dale Thomas, Coastal Carolina (Jr., 3B – De Leon Springs, Fla.)

OF Noah Dickerson, Little Rock (RS Jr., OF – Windermere, Fla.)

OF Jose Gonzalez, Texas State (Jr., OF – Spring, Texas)

OF John Wuthrich, Texas State (Sr., OF – Midland, Texas)

UT Rigsby Mosley, Troy (Sr., UT – Maitland, Fla.)

DH Tyler Johnson, Coastal Carolina (Sr., DH – Bentonville, Ark.)

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