The Seattle University baseball team gathered at the Glen Acres Golf and Country Club Saturday, June 8, for the annual Spring Swing nine-hole golf scramble and team banquet, where the end-of-the-year awards were handed out.
Senior Nate Roberts (Silverdale, Wash.) received two awards, earning the Johnny O’Brien Award as the team’s best offensive player as well as the David C. Tripp Award as the team’s most valuable player. Roberts, a First Team All-WAC honoree as well as the Seattle U Male Student-Athlete of the Year, batted .298 with 61 hits, including 17 doubles, one triple, and five home runs, and 45 runs batted in.
Eric Yardley (Richland, Wash.) was also a double-award winner, picking up the John Kelly Award as the team’s pitcher of the year along with his second straight Cam Christian Award for the best representation of the program both on and off the field. The team’s closer for the second straight season, Yardley finished second in the WAC with 11 saves, leading the Redhawks with a 2.52 earned run average in 25 appearances, thanks in part to only four walks in 35 2/3 innings.
The Eddie O’Brien Award, given to the team’s top defensive player, was received by Chase Fields (Ontario, Ore.), who made 135 putouts in the outfield for the Redhawks and covered a lot of ground as the team’s everyday centerfielder. Fellow newcomer Landon Cray (Chimacum, Wash.) collected the team’s Rookie of the Year award after leading the squad with a .313 batting average and three triples.
Nick Latta (Tacoma, Wash.) was named the team’s Comeback Player of the Year after the best season of his collegiate career, batting .304 with five home runs, 29 runs batted in, and a team-high .480 slugging percentage. The Comeback Pitcher of the Year Award was given to Evan Ewing (Spokane, Wash.), one of the team’s reliable relievers who made 29 appearances and posted a 3.62 earned run average.
While the current players were enjoying the day at Glen Acres, three future Redhawks were chosen on the third day of the Major League Baseball Entry Draft. Sam Finfer (29th round – Los Angeles Dodgers), Brock Carpenter (39th round – San Diego Padres), and Mike McCann (40th round – Seattle Mariners) will all still come to Seattle University and join the Redhawk baseball program starting in September.
“Sam can be really dynamic for us because he just keeps improving all of the time. Besides being a strong defensive catcher, he will bring power to our offense with his left-handed swing. Brock is a physical player and will continue to grow and get stronger. He becomes an important piece of our puzzle as we had five different guys play third base last season. Mike has a chance to be the best left-handed bat in his class in the entire Northwest. He will come in as a first baseman and catcher, as we will help him improve in both areas from a defensive standpoint,” Seattle U head baseball coach Donny Harrel said.
The Seattle University baseball team finished the 2013 season with a 21-33 overall record, including a 10-16 record within the Western Athletic Conference. The Redhawks finished ninth in the final league standings and will look to improve upon that result in the 2014 season.