Eagles Clean Up in All-Independent Athletic Association Honors
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University baseball team cleaned house when the Independents Collegiate Athletic Association announced its All-ICAA baseball honors. The Division II independent teams include: FGCU, Palm Beach Atlantic, Tiffin, Upper Iowa, Grand Canyon, Columbia Union, North Greenville, Pitt-Johnstown and Hawaii Pacific.
In all, eight FGCU players were named to the All-ICAA Division II team. The Eagles also dominated the individual awards. Senior slugger Jason Louwsma was named Co-Player of the Year with the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown’s Casey Long. The Eagles second baseman/pitcher Casey Coleman was named Freshman of the Year. Head Coach Dave Tollett was named Co-Coach of the year as the Eagles finished the season 41-17 with a trip to the NCAA Division II South Regional Tournament.
Louwsma was second on the team in hitting with a .361 batting average. He compiled 86 hits including a team high 28 doubles with ten homeruns and 74 RBI. In his first season, Coleman made a huge impact both on the pitcher’s mound and at second base. He hit .346 with 56 hits and 32 RBI in 49 games. On the mound, Coleman picked up six saves and finished the season with a record of 3-1. He picked up 50 strikeouts in just 52 innings pitched.
Louwsma was also named to the First Team All-ICAA along with teammates, junior Chris Hassen and freshman Josh Upchurch. Seniors Ian Manson and Ryan Williams joined junior Jason Kiley, sophomore Shawn Griffin, and freshman Casey Coleman on the All-ICAA Second Team. In addition, sophomore catcher Graig Smith received honorable mention.
Upchurch also had a phenomenal freshman season for the Eagles. He started 54 games and hit .352 with 76 hits, which is good for second on the team. Coleman also stole 15 bases in 16 attempts and knocked in 38 runs. Manson led all Eagles in hitting with a batting average of .364. The clean-up hitter had seven homeruns on 71 hits while knocking in 58 runs. Manson also had a near flawless .991 fielding percentage. Hassen went 5-1 with an ERA of just 2.04 with 39 K’s this season. In seven starts, Eagles’ lefthander Williams went 6-1 with an ERA of 4.20. Williams struck out 65 batters in just 55 innings for an impressive average of 1.2 strikeouts per inning. Kiley led all Eagles’ pitchers with seven wins. He went 7-4 in 15 starts with three complete games and 55 strikeouts. Griffin hit .355 good for third on the team. He had 60 hits, 8 homeruns, and 42 RBI in 45 games for the Eagles. Smith hit .309 with 55 hits and 32 RBI for FGCU. He stepped into his first year behind the plate after last year’s catcher Jason Cooper went down with injury. Smith was great offensively as well as defensively as he earned a .988 fielding percentage with just five errors in 56 games.
Coleman and Louwsma add these accolades to their All-South Region honors that were awarded earlier this month. Coleman returns to the Eagles next season and is expected to fight for a top position in FGCU’s pitching rotation. Louwsma was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in this year’s MLB Amateur Draft.