Coastal’s Beckwith named Big South Athlete of Year

ccubase-41Coastal Carolina junior pitcher Andrew Beckwith has been voted the 2015-16 Big South Howard Bagwell Male Athlete of the Year. Liberty’s Ednah Kurgat (basketball) was named the league’s Female Athlete of the Year. The honors are bestowed based upon a vote of the League’s Athletics Directors, Senior Woman Administrators and Sports Information Directors.

This marks the third consecutive year – and a league-best eighth time overall – a Chanticleer has been voted Big South male Athlete of the Year since the 1999-2000 season, when the award was first presented. Previous Chanticleer honorees include Quinn Backus (football), Lorenzo Taliaferro (football), Ashton Bennett (soccer), Mike Costanzo (baseball), two-time winner Joseph Ngwenya (soccer) and Justin Owens (baseball).

Beckwith was named All-American as well as being the Gregg Olson Award recipient as national breakout player of the year after leading Coastal Carolina to the 2016 NCAA Division I College World Series National Championship. The 2016 Big South Pitcher of the Year earned three wins at the College World Series and was tabbed the Most Outstanding Player. Beckwith led the NCAA in wins and posting 15-1 record for the season with a 1.85 ERA.

A relief pitcher for most of his career, 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. He opened the CWS by leading Coastal to a win over top seed Florida as he recorded his first career complete game.  In the win, he only threw 98 pitches – 71 strikes – and did not walk a batter. He retired the last 10 batters he faced, scattered seven hits and struck out seven to tie his career high. Also, his 98 pitches were the fewest by any CWS pitcher to throw nine innings or more since 1981.

Overall in the NCAA postseason, Beckwith was 5-0 in five starts (six appearances) with a 1.96 ERA.

His 15 wins not only were the most in NCAA Division I since 2010 and it was two more than the previous Coastal Carolina single-season program record. Furthermore, his 2.17 career ERA through three seasons now is currently a record for the Chants’ in the Division I era.

In conference games, Beckwith was tops with a 7-0 record and 0.76 ERA. Big South hitters managed just a .231 batting average off him with no home runs and five walks.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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