Wofford rolling into SoCon Tourney, cleans-up on SoCon awards

College Sports

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference announced the 2021 baseball all-conference teams and individual honors on Tuesday, which were voted on by the league’s eight head coaches and the SoCon Sports Media Association (SCSMA).

Wofford outfielder Colin Davis and right-handed pitcher Elliot Carney swept player and pitcher of the year awards, respectively, while Wofford head coach Todd Interdonato was named coach of the year by both the coaches and the SCSMA after the Terriers won the Red Division for their first-ever regular-season title, finishing the regular season with the best overall and conference-only records in the SoCon. The trio makes up Wofford’s first time in program history winning each respective award. VMI first baseman Justin Starke rounded out the individual awards as he swept freshman of the year honors. Each of the three athletes were also coaches’ and media first-team all-conference selections.

Wofford’s Davis hit .359 for the Terriers this season and is tied for second in the conference with 16 doubles. The senior from Roswell, Georgia, ranks third in the league with a .636 slugging percentage and tallied 43 RBIs and 11 home runs. Davis ranks in the top 100 nationally in doubles, hits (66), runs (48), sacrifice bunts (six), stolen bases (18), slugging percentage and total bases (117). He was just as solid in the field, recording 151 putouts and a 1.000 fielding percentage.

Carney, a three-time SoCon Pitcher of the Week this season, led the conference with a 2.71 ERA and 101 strikeouts and held his opponents to the lowest batting average this season at .186. His 101 strikeouts, which rank 29th nationally, made him the ninth player in school history to reach the 100-mark milestone. He threw Wofford’s first no-hitter since the Terriers became members of Division I in 1996 on April 17, making him the only SoCon pitcher to throw a no-hitter this season. The senior from Sammamish, Washington, started in all four of the Terriers’ conference shutout wins this season and finished the regular season with a 6-3 overall record over 83 innings pitched.

Starke ranks fifth in the nation with a league-leading .422 batting average, making him one of only two conference players to hit above the .400 mark this season. He also leads the conference with a .525 on-base percentage. The redshirt freshman started in all 44 games for the Keydets this season, tallying 161 at bats, 68 hits, 27 RBIs, six home runs, a .602 slugging percentage and a .983 fielding percentage. His 320 putouts rank seventh in the SoCon this year. Starke is the first-ever rookie from VMI to be named SCSMA Freshman of the Year and the first Keydet to be voted freshman of the year by the coaches since Kelly Sweppenhiser in 2003.

Wofford skipper Interdonato earns his first coach of the year award after guiding the Terriers to a 35-19 overall and 21-9 SoCon record, helping them secure Wofford’s first regular-season championship and the No. 1 seed for the upcoming SoCon Baseball Championship presented by Holston Gases. Interdonato, who is in his 14th season leading the program, has directed Wofford to 20 or more win in 10 straight seasons and 30 or more wins in six of the last seven full seasons. In the last eight completed years, Wofford has won 10 or more SoCon games each season.

In addition to voting for the individual awards, the coaches and media selected all-conference first and second teams and the coaches picked an all-freshman team.

Wofford had a league-best four first-team selections each on the coaches’ and media teams for 13 total honors between all teams. On both the coaches’ and media squads, Western Carolina earned three first-team selections while Mercer had two. ETSU, UNCG and VMI earned one first-team selection apiece from both organizations.

Mercer tied Wofford with 13 total selections and led the league with five on the coaches’ All-SoCon second team. Samford and Western Carolina boasted two second-team selections on the coaches’ second team while The Citadel, UNCG and Wofford each had one. 

Mercer also led the league in second-team selections in the media with three. In addition to Wofford’s first-team selections on the media poll, the Terriers also placed two on the second team. UNCG, Samford and Western Carolina each had two and The Citadel had one.

The coaches and the SCSMA’s first-team selections were identical. ETSU’s Colby Stuart (starting pitcher), Wofford’s Carney (starting pitcher) and Dalton Rhadans (relief pitcher), Jack Renwick (third baseman) and Davis (outfield), Western Carolina’s Luke Robinson (catcher), Justice Bigbie (outfield) and Will Prater (designated hitter), VMI’s Starke (first baseman), Mercer’s Garett Delano (second baseman) and RJ Yeager (shortstop) and UNCG’s Corey Rosier (outfield) made up both of the 12-member first teams.

Delano, a graduate student from Callahan, Florida, was the only player to earn postseason honors at two different positions, also earing SCSMA Second-Team All-Conference honors at starting pitcher. Delano, Western Carolina’s Zebby Matthews (starting pitcher), Samford’s Sonny DiChiara (first baseman), Western Carolina’s Pascanel Ferreras (shortstop), UNCG’s Hogan Windish (second baseman), Mercer’s Trevor Austin (third baseman), The Citadel’s Ryan McCarthy (outfield), Mercer’s Bill Knight (outfield), Wofford’s Nolen Hester (outfield) and Samford’s Tyler McManus (designated hitter) were all named to both the coaches’ and media second teams.

Mercer’s Luke Sutko (relief pitcher) and Collin Price (catcher) were named to the coaches’ second team. Rounding out the media second-team selections are UNCG’s Austin Parsley (relief pitcher) and Wofford’s Lawson Hill (catcher).

VMI’s Starke highlighted the all-freshman team for the Keydets and was joined by teammates Tyler Bradt, Trey Morgan and Zac Morris to total four for the squad, while ETSU had three in Matthew Bollenbacher, Ashton King and Hunter Loyd. Wofford had two all-freshman selections in Renwick and Trey Yunger, while Mercer’s Colby Thomas, Samford’s Chase Isbell and Western Carolina’s Ferreas rounded out the squad.

2021 SoCon Baseball Coaches All-Southern Conference Teams

Player of the Year – Colin Davis, OF, Wofford

Pitcher of the Year – Elliot Carney, RHP, Wofford

Freshman of the Year – Justin Starke, 1B, VMI

Coach of the Year – Todd Interdonato, Wofford  

First team

SP           Colby Stuart, ETSU 

SP           Elliot Carney, Wofford

RP           Dalton Rhadans, Wofford

C             Luke Robinson, Western Carolina

1B           Justin Starke, VMI

2B           Garett Delano, Mercer

SS           RJ Yeager, Mercer

3B           Jack Renwick, Wofford 

OF           Corey Rosier, UNCG

OF           Justice Bigbie, Western Carolina

OF           Colin Davis, Wofford

DH          Will Prater, Western Carolina

Second team

SP           Garett Delano, Mercer 

SP           Zebby Matthews, Western Carolina

RP           Luke Sutko, Mercer

C             Collin Price, Mercer

1B           Sonny DiChiara, Samford

2B           Hogan Windish, UNCG  

SS           Pascanel Ferreras, Western Carolina

3B           Trevor Austin, Mercer                       

OF           Ryan McCarthy, The Citadel

OF           Bill Knight, Mercer

OF           Nolen Hester, Wofford

DH          Tyler McManus, Samford  

All-freshman team 

Matthew Bollenbacher, ETSU

Ashton King, ETSU

Hunter Loyd, ETSU

Colby Thomas, Mercer

Chase Isbell, Samford

Tyler Bradt, VMI

Trey Morgan, VMI

Zac Morris, VMI

Justin Starke, VMI

Pascanel Ferreras, Western Carolina

Jack Renwick, Wofford

Trey Yunger, Wofford

2021 SoCon Sports Media Association Baseball All-Conference Teams

Player of the Year – Colin Davis, OF, Wofford  

Pitcher of the Year – Elliot Carney, RHP, Wofford 

Freshman of the Year – Justin Starke, 1B, VMI

Coach of the Year – Todd Interdonato, Wofford

First team

SP           Colby Stuart, ETSU

SP           Elliot Carney, Wofford

RP           Dalton Rhadans, Wofford

C             Luke Robinson, Western Carolina

1B           Justin Starke, VMI

2B           Garett Delano, Mercer

SS           RJ Yeager, Mercer

3B           Jack Renwick, Wofford

OF           Corey Rosier, UNCG

OF          Justice Bigbie, Western Carolina

OF           Colin Davis, Wofford

DH          Will Prater, Western Carolina

Second team

SP           Garett Delano, Mercer

SP           Zebby Matthews, Western Carolina

RP           Austin Parsley, UNCG

C             Lawson Hill, Wofford

1B           Sonny DiChiara, Samford

2B           Hogan Windish, UNCG

SS            Pascanel Ferreras, Western Carolina

3B           Trevor Austin, Mercer

OF           Ryan McCarthy, The Citadel

OF           Bill Knight, Mercer

OF           Nolen Hester, Wofford

DH          Tyler McManus, Samford

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