Nevada Lands Seven On All-WAC Baseball Teams
HONOLULU--The Western Athletic Conference today released its 2009 all-WAC baseball teams and postseason awards as selected by the league's head coaches. Fresno State senior third baseman Tom Mendonca was named the Player of the Year and San Jose State senior Ryan Shopshire earned Pitcher of the Year honors. The Freshman of the Year award went to Hawai'i outfielder Kolten Wong. San Jose State's Sam Piraro was named WAC Coach of the Year.
Mendonca, a junior from Turlock, Calif. (Turlock HS), batted .367 in conference play and led the WAC in home runs with 24 earning First Team and WAC Player of the Year. The junior was also named the 2009 Preseason WAC Player of the year.
Shopshire, a senior from Anaheim Hills, Calif., Calif. (Orange Lutheran HS), earned the WAC's Pitcher of the Year award, becoming the first Spartan to the honor. He is the first San Jose State individual to pick up a top conference award since Junior Ruiz was the 2000 WAC Player of the Year.
Shopshire went a perfect 4-0 over five league starts, including a seven-inning shutout with a career-high 15 strikeouts in a 2-0 home victory over rival Fresno State on April 25.
Wong, a native of Hilo, Hawai'i (Kamehameha-Hawai'i), batted .424 in WAC play, finishing with 29 RBI, 15 runs, five homers, two triples and 12 doubles. He's UH's first WAC Freshman of the Year since Andrew McNally won West Division Freshman of the Year honors in 1993.
Piraro, in his 22nd campaign in charge of the Spartans, was honored as the WAC Coach of the Year for the fourth time. Piraro has led his alma mater to a 39-18 overall win-loss record thus far in 2009. San Jose State reached its third WAC crown, all under Piraro, and first since 2000. The Spartans have eclipsed the 30-win plateau for a fourth straight year, have guaranteed themselves a winning overall record for the fourth season in a row, and finished with a winning WAC mark for the second consecutive year as well, at 15-7, their best since 2002.
2009 All-Western Athletic Teams
Pitcher of the Year: Ryan Shopshire, Sr.,
Player of the Year: Tom Mendonca, Jr.,
Freshman of the Year: Kolten Wong, Hawaii
Coach of the Year: Sam Piraro,
FIRST TEAM All-WAC:
Outfield - Tim Wheeler, Jr.,
Outfield - Kolten Wong, Fr., Hawaii
Outfield - Devon Dageford, Jr.,
Outfield - Dusty Robinson, Fr.,
First Base - Kevin Macdonald, Jr., Hawaii
Second Base - Danny Muno, So.,
Third Base Tom Mendonca, Jr.,
Co-Shortstop Kyle Bellows, Jr.,
Co-Shortstop Bryan Marquez, Sr.,
Catcher Travis Simas, Sr.,
Designated Hitter Nick Melino, Fr.,
Utility Matt Bowman, Sr.,
Starting Pitcher Ryan Shopshire, Sr.,
Starting Pitcher Jayson Kramer, Sr., Hawaii
Starting Pitcher David Berner, Sr.,
Relief Pitcher Holden Sprague, Sr.,
SECOND TEAM All-WAC:
Outfield Jason Martin, So.,
Outfield Nate Shaver, Jr.,
Outfield Westley Moss, Jr.,
Outfield Patrick Thomas, Sr.,
First Base Shaun Kort, Jr.,
Second Base Hunter Martinez, Sr.,
Third Base Corey Valine, Jr.,
Shortstop Greg Garcia, So., Hawaii
Catcher Jeff Farnham, Sr.,
Designated Hitter Mike Sodders, Jr.,
Utility Chris Kersten, Sr.,
Starting Pitcher Daniel Simon, Jr.,
Starting Pitcher Jesse Darrah, Fr.,
Starting Pitcher Derek Achelpohl, Sr.,
Relief Pitcher Daniel Tinlin, Jr.,