CCU baseball’s Beckwith, Cunningham earn honors

ccubase-andrew-beckwith-vs-tcu-at-college-world-seriesAndrew 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, Ohio.

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.

The 2016 Coastal Carolina baseball team was perhaps the best sports story of 2016 as the fun-loving and hard-playing Chanticleers captured the hearts of the nation. Coastal led the nation with 55 wins and faced (and won) six elimination games in the NCAA postseason. The improbable run started as the number two seed at the NCAA Raleigh Regional and posting a two-day, come-from-behind win in the Region title game versus host North Carolina State. The Chanticleers then became the first team to sweep LSU – the #7 national seed – at home in a Super Regional to advance to CCU’s first College World Series.

Coastal opened the CWS with an impressive 2-1 win over top-seed Florida, thanks to a pitching gem by Beckwith. After a loss to #3 TCU in the second round, Coastal reeled off wins over #5 national seed Texas Tech and back-to-back wins over TCU to win its bracket and advance to the championship series. In the best-of-three final series, seventh-ranked Arizona won the opener, 3-0, before Coastal rallied to post wins of 5-4 and 4-3 to capture the National Championship.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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