CCU’s Morrison, Beckwith, Owings make All-American

ccubase-41and25Coastal Carolina senior relief pitcher Mike Morrison (Gilbert, S.C.) was named first team Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball All-American while Connor Owings (Gilbert, S.C.), the 2016 Big South Player of the Year, and Andrew Beckwith (Blythewood, S.C.), the 2016 Big South Pitcher of the Year, were both named second team All-American.

This is the first time Coastal Carolina has landed three players on the Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball All-American team in the same season and Morrison joins Mike Costanzo (2005) as the only other Chanticleer to be selected to Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball first team. Other Chants to be named a Collegiate Basbeall All-American include Bobby Gagg (2007), David Sappelt (2007), Dock Doyle (2008), Cody Wheeler (2009 and 2010), David Anderson (2009), Anthony Meo (2010), Tommy La Stella (2011), Matt Rein (2011), Daniel Bowman (2012) and Aaron Burke (2012).

Morrison, Owings and Beckwith will lead the second-seeded Chanticleers to their NCAA Raleigh Regional first round match-up with Saint Mary’s, the three seed, on Friday at 2 pm. In addition to CCU’s All-Americans, the NCAA Raleigh will features Saint Mary’s All-American pitcher Corbin Burnes and Navy All-American pitcher Luke Gillingham. There are several ways to follow the Chants at the Regional Friday, including:

Morrison, who was the Big South Championship MVP, posted a 7-1 record with eight saves and an 0.87 ERA. He recorded 74 strikeouts, including 50 swinging, in 52.0 innings with just 19 walks. Four times this season, Morrison entered a game with bases loaded and did not allow any of those runners to score. For his career, he has inherited 79 runners with just 19 scoring. This season, he had a streak of 33 consecutive innings (spanning 17 games and 116 batters) without allowing an earned run. During his streak, Morrison was 4-0 with five saves.

Owings, a Gregg Olson Award semifinalist, was the third player in Big South history to be a three-time conference hitter of the week in one season. He is currently one of just five players in the NCAA to have a batting average of at least .380, an on base percentage of at least  .490 and a slugging percentage of at least .700. Owings ranks 10th in the NCAA in slugging (.701), 20th in on base percentage (.492), 27th in total bases (141), 29th in home runs (15) and 30th in batting (.383). He reached base safely (hit/walk/hit by pitch) in 52 of CCU’s 57 games this season.

Beckwith, who served as both a starting pitcher and relief pitcher this season, was 10-1 with two saves in 20 games (five starts). His 10 wins rank 12th in the NCAA. He posted a 1.79 ERA, who leads the Big South and ranks 16th nationally, in 80.3 innings. Over his last 11 appearances, Beckwith is 9-0 with a saves and has a 1.17 ERA in 54.0 innings. Beckwith had a streak of 38 consecutive innings pitched over 11 games without allowing an earned run

CCU opponents to make the Louisville Slugger All-American squad include Nick Feight (UNC Wilmington C), Will Craig (Wake Forest 3B), Alex Call (Ball State, OF), Connor Jones (Virginia P), Collin Thacker (Gardner-Webb 2B), Ryan Foster (UNCW P), Matt Thiass (Virginia C) and Weston Jackson (Presbyterian OF).

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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