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Wake Forest’s Craig, Clemson’s Crownover, Louisville’s McKay and McDonnell recognized
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Wake Forest sophomore first baseman/pitcher Will Craig has been chosen the Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Player of the Year in a vote of the league’s 14 head coaches.
Clemson junior Matthew Crownover was voted the ACC Pitcher of the Year.
Louisville’s successful ACC baseball debut was also reflected in the 2015 major award winners announced on Monday. Cardinals two-way standout Brendan McKay has been chosen as the ACC Freshman of the Year, while Dan McDonnell was selected as the ACC Coach of the Year.
Craig, Crownover and McKay head up the 2015 All-ACC Baseball Team, which was also announced on Monday.
Craig ranks second among ACC hitters with a .382 batting average and is tied for fourth among the league leaders in home runs (13). He ranks third in RBIs (58) while starting all 53 games for the Demon Deacons. He also appeared in 15 games on the mound – seven as a starter – and posted a 3-4 record with one save. He struck out 39 batters in 44.1 innings.
A native of Johnson City, Tennessee, Craig becomes the sixth student-athlete from Wake Forest to be voted the ACC Baseball Player of the Year and the first since Jamie D’Antona in 2003.
Clemson’s Crownover has posted a 10-1 record in 14 starts on the mound. The Ringgold, Georgia, junior leads the ACC in wins and also boasts the lowest ERA among qualifying pitchers at 1.42. Crownover has struck out 91 batters in 95 innings while allowing just 64 hits and 33 walks. He has limited opposing hitters to a .187 batting average and just 14 total extra-base hits.
Crownover is the first Clemson student-athlete to be named ACC Pitcher of the Year since the award was established in 2005. Former Tiger All-America hurler Kris Benson was named the overall ACC Player of the Year in 1996.
Louisville’s McKay is a leading candidate for the John Olerud Award, given annually to the nation’s top two-way player, after making an impact on the mound and at the plate in his first collegiate season. McKay owns an 8-2 record and 1.64 ERA and leads ACC pitchers in strikeouts with an even 100. Before moving into the Cardinals’ regular weekend rotation, the Darlington, Pennsylvania, freshman recorded four saves out of the bullpen.
A regular at first base when not on the mound, McKay is batting .318 with a pair of home runs, 29 RBIs and four stolen bases. In addition to All-ACC honors, McKay heads up the 12-member All-ACC Freshman Team announced on Monday.
McDonnell will guide the Cardinals into this week’s ACC Baseball Championship at Durham Bulls Athletic Park as the No. 1 overall seed. Louisville finished the regular season at 42-14 overall and set an ACC record for conference wins in a regular season with a 25-5 mark in league play. The Cardinals won all 10 of their ACC league series.
McDonnell owns a 401-173 record in nine seasons at Louisville and is the only head coach to lead his team to the NCAA Division I College World Series each of the past two seasons. This year’s honor marks his first Coach of the Year recognition in any of the three conferences in which the Cardinals have competed during his tenure.
Craig, Crownover and McKay are joined on the 16-member All-ACC first team by Clemson catcher Chris Okey, Virginia Tech first baseman Brendon Hayden, Miami second baseman George Iskenderian, Wake Forest second baseman Nate Mondou, Miami third baseman David Thompson, Louisville shortstop Sutton Whiting, Florida State outfielder DJ Stewart, Louisville outfielder Corey Ray, Wake Forest outfielder Stuart Fairchild, Miami designated hitter/utility hitter Zack Collins, Louisville starting pitcher Kyle Funkhouser, Virginia starting pitcher Nathan Kirby and Louisville relief pitcher Zack Burdi.
Along with the impressive numbers put up by Craig, Crownover and McKay, the All-ACC first team includes the league’s leader in home runs (19) and RBIs (78) in Miami’s Thompson, and the ACC’s leading hitter in the Hurricanes’ Iskenderian (.391).
Louisville led all schools with five first-team All-ACC selections. Three each were selected from Miami and Wake Forest.
A league-high eight spots on the All-ACC first, second and third teams were filled by Miami, followed by seven from Louisville (with McKay filling two as first-team starting pitcher and second-team utility player). Clemson had six total selections.
Thirteen players named to the 2015 All-ACC Baseball Team were also first-, second- or third-team selections last season – Boston College’s Chris Shaw; Clemson’s Crownover, Tyler Krieger and Stephen Duggar; Florida State’s Stewart (the 2014 ACC Player of the Year); Georgia Tech’s Matt Gonzalez; Miami’s Collins (the 2014 ACC Freshman of the Year), Willie Abreu, Andrew Suarez, and Bryan Garcia; NC State’s Andrew Knizner, and Virginia’s Nathan Kirby (the 2014 ACC Co-Pitcher of the Year) and Daniel Pinero.
ACC Player of the Year
Will Craig, So., Wake Forest
ACC Pitcher of the Year
Matthew Crownover, Jr., Clemson
ACC Freshman of the Year
Brendan McKay, Fr., Louisville
ACC Coach of the Year
Dan McDonnell, Louisville
2015 All-ACC Baseball Teams
C - Chris Okey, So., Clemson
1B - Brendon Hayden, Sr., Virginia Tech
1B - Will Craig, So., Wake Forest
2B - George Iskenderian, Jr., Miami (FL)
2B - Nate Mondou, So., Wake Forest
3B - David Thompson, Jr., Miami (FL)
SS - Sutton Whiting, Sr., Louisville
OF - DJ Stewart, Jr., Florida State
OF - Corey Ray, So., Louisville
OF - Stuart Fairchild, Fr., Wake Forest
DH/UT - Zack Collins, So., Miami (FL)
SP - Matthew Crownover, Jr., Clemson
SP - Brendan McKay, Fr., Louisville
SP - Kyle Funkhouser, Jr., Louisville
SP - Nathan Kirby, Jr., Virginia
RP - Zack Burdi, So., Louisville
C - Andrew Knizner, So., NC State
1B - Preston Palmeiro, So., NC State
2B - Andy Perez, Sr., Duke
3B - Matt Gonzalez, Jr., Georgia Tech
3B - Kenny Towns, Sr., Virginia
SS - Daniel Pinero, So., Virginia
OF - Chris Shaw, Jr., Boston College
OF - Reed Rohlman, Fr., Clemson
OF - Jake Fincher, Sr., NC State
DH/UT - Tyler Krieger, Jr., Clemson
DH/UT - Brendan McKay, Fr., Louisville
SP - Josh Rogers, So., Louisville
SP - Thomas Woodrey, Jr., Miami (FL)
SP - Zac Gallen, So., North Carolina
RP - Billy Strode, Sr., Florida State
RP - Josh Sborz, Jr., Virginia
C - Garrett Kennedy, Sr., Miami (FL)
1B - Quincy Nieporte, So., Florida State
2B - Logan Ratledge, Sr., NC State
3B - Kyle Fiala, So., Notre Dame
SS - Eli White, So., Clemson
OF - Steven Duggar, Jr., Clemson
OF - Willie Abreu, So., Miami (FL)
OF - Skye Bolt, Jr., North Carolina
OF - Robert Youngdahl, Sr., Notre Dame
OF - Saige Jenco, So., Virginia Tech
DH/UT - A.J. Murray, Sr., Georgia Tech
SP - Brandon Gold, So., Georgia Tech
SP - Andrew Suarez, Sr., Miami (FL)
SP - Benton Moss, Sr., North Carolina
SP - Ryan Smoyer, So., Notre Dame
RP - Bryan Garcia, So., Miami (FL)
2015 ACC Baseball All-Freshman Team
Dylan Busby, 3B, Florida State
Kel Johnson, OF, Georgia Tech
Brendan McKay, SP/UT, Louisville
Lincoln Henzman, RP, Louisville
Brian Brown, SP, NC State
J.B. Bukauskas, P, North Carolina
Brandon Bielak, SP, Notre Dame
Sean Guenther, RP, Notre Dame
Adam Haseley, OF, Virginia
Pavin Smith, 1B, Virginia
Justin Yurchak, 3B, Wake Forest
Stuart Fairchild, OF, Wake Forest