Bender named to 2023 ABCA/Rawlings All-America First Team
GREENSBORO, N.C. (CCU Athletics) – The postseason honors continue to flood in for the Coastal Carolina baseball team, as designated hitter Derek Bender was named to the 2023 ABCA/Rawlings NCAA Division I All-America first team, it was announced by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) on Friday.
The honor marks the second All-America recognition for Bender, as the second-year Chant was also named to the 2023 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association’s All-America second team earlier this week.
CCU’s new single-season leader in RBIs with a program-record 83 this season, Bender was also an ABCA/Rawlings Atlantic All-Region first-team selection and a first-team All-Sun Belt honoree for his stellar sophomore season.
In 62 games this season, Bender hit .341 with a total of 86 base hits on the season. He led the team with 83 RBIs, 19 home runs, 160 total bases, and a .635 slugging percentage. He was second on the team in hits and triples (2), fifth in runs scored (61), and sixth in doubles (13).
His 83 RBIs led the Sun Belt Conference, while his 86 hits ranked fourth, his 19 home runs were fifth, and his slugging percentage was 10th overall in the conference.
Bender was tied with a team-high 29 multi-hit games on the season and led the team with 21 multi-RBI games, including five games with five RBIs on the year. He also had a team-high 13-game hitting streak on the season.
He reached base safely in 56 of the 62 games in which he played and scored a run in 43 of the 62 games he saw action in while also blasting two home runs in the same game three times on the year – versus No. 2 Wake Forest (March 7), Georgia Southern (April 7), and Southern Miss (April 21).
He was just as good in league play as he ranked in the top 10 in RBIs (43), home runs (11), hits (45), runs (36), and slugging percentage (.677) in 30 SBC contests.
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