East Tennessee State senior ace Kerry Doane became the school’s first-ever conference pitcher of the year on Tuesday, joining four teammates with Atlantic Sun postseason honors.
Doane was a unanimous first-team selection. Clinton Freeman and Andrew Green were named to the second team, while Jeremy Taylor and Kevin Phillips garnered all-freshman team honors, giving ETSU its most all-conference members since 2010.
Mercer had the league’s top player and coach. Chesny Young, last season’s freshman of the year, was the player of the year, while Craig Gibson was coach of the year. Stetson’s Patrick Mazeika was tabbed freshman of the year.
All Atlantic-Sun baseball team
Doane made the move to full-time starting pitcher this year in spectacular fashion, going 12-1 with a 2.07 ERA. He leads the NCAA and tied ETSU single-season records with 11 complete games and four shutouts. Doane is tied for second in the NCAA in wins, and leads all NCAA pitchers in innings pitched.
His 12 wins are the most by an A-Sun pitcher since former Stetson and current Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber and Buc hurler Caleb Glafenhein did so in 2007, and tied for 11th among A-Sun single-season leaders. In his 14 starts, Doane pitched 118 of the 126.0 possible innings.
Two of Doane’s four shutouts were against A-Sun teams as he blanked Lipscomb 8-0 with a career-high eight strikeouts on April 12, and shut out then-No. 21 Mercer on May 10 in Macon. The four shutouts are the most by any active A-Sun pitched and tied for seventh all-time in the conference.
Doane started against every A-Sun team this year, going 8-1 with a 2.37 ERA against conference opponents. He finished the season with nine consecutive wins.
Twice this season Doane won the A-Sun pitcher of the week award, becoming the first ETSU pitcher with multiple weekly honors. Earlier this month, he was one of 22 players placed on the national pitcher of the year watch list.
Freeman, a former David Crockett High School standout, played first base and made 20 relief appearances for the Bucs this year. He started all 54 games for the Bucs, reaching base safely in 48 of those.
Freeman ranked in the NCAA’s top 50 in multiple categories and led the A-Sun with a .605 slugging percentage, was second with 10 home runs and tied for second with 55 RBIs and 18 doubles. The junior led the Bucs with 16 multi-RBI games and tied for the team lead with 21 mulit-hit games.
Serving as ETSU’s closer, Freeman went 4-0 with a 0.50 ERA and eight saves. He was named to the college baseball Hall of Fame’s John Olerun two-way player watch list in April.
Green also started all 54 games, in center field, for ETSU. He tied for the league lead in stolen bases with 20 and tied for fourth with 52 runs scored. Green had a hit in 47 games and ranked third on the team with 19 multi-hit games. The senior currently leads the A-Sun in career hits (277) and stolen bases (73), and played in an ETSU-leading 221 games, making 217 starts. Green has made 137 consecutive starts since April 12, 2011, and didn’t commit an error in 158 chances this season.
ETSU was one of five schools with multiple players on the All-Freshmen team. Taylor, one of seven unanimous selections, played in 51 games in right field and won A-Sun player of the week on March 18. He was the Bucs’ leadoff hitter for the final 41 games of the regular season and ranked second on the team in runs scored (42) and stolen bases (19). His stolen base count also lead all A-Sun freshmen.
Phillips spent his rookie year as the Bucs occasional designated hitter and playing a handful of games at first. He hit .290 with three doubles, two home runs and 14 RBIs in 25 games.