After a storybook ending to his final regular-season, Appalachian State University baseballs Tyler Zupcic (Charlotte, N.C./Providence) was named the Southern Conference Player of the Week, the SoCon office announced on Monday.
The fifth-year senior hit .500 (8-for-16) with three doubles, a triple, a home run, six RBI and eight runs scored in four games last week. His 1.000 slugging percentage helped lead Appalachian State (20-32, 12-14 SoCon) to a 3-1 record, including a pivotal weekend series victory over Furman that propelled the Mountaineers to the No. 5 seed and an opening-round bye in this weeks SoCon Tournament.
Zupcic actually came off the bench to go 2-for-4 with a double, triple, RBI and three runs scored in Appalachians 9-5, 10-inning win at East Tennessee State on Tuesday.
In the first game of a doubleheader versus Furman on Friday, he went 4-for-4 with a double, RBI and four runs scored in an 11-7 Mountaineer victory. The four hits matched a career high for Zupcic and marked his first four-hit game since April 3, 2011 versus Wofford.
In Saturdays must-win regular-season finale, Zupcic clubbed a two-run homer in the third inning that gave App State a 4-1 lead then capped the superb week with a two-run walkoff double in the bottom of the ninth inning that gave the Mountaineers a dramatic 6-5 win. His four RBI on Senior Day matched a career high.
The weekly honor is the first of Zupcics storied career at Appalachian State.
Zupcic and the Mountaineers open SoCon Tournament action on Wednesday against No. 4-seeded Georgia Southern (34-20, 15-12 SoCon). First pitch is set for 10 a.m. at Riley Park in Charleston, S.C.
Dobson, Pierson Earn All-SoCon Recognition
Infielders Dillon Dobson (Hamptonville, N.C./Starmount) and Michael Pierson (Coral Springs, Fla./Pine Crest) represent Appalachian State University on the Southern Conferences 2014 baseball all-conference teams, the SoCon announced on Monday. Dobson received first-team honors as a shortstop from the leagues coaches while Pierson earned first-team recognition from the SoCon media and second-team accolades from the coaches as a second baseman.
Dobson is hitting .299 with 11 doubles, 11 home runs, 38 RBI and 39 runs scored in just 44 games this season (he missed eight contests due to a shoulder injury). He leads the team in home runs, RBI, total bases (98) and slugging percentage (.563). He is tied for fourth in the SoCon in homers and ranks eighth in the league in slugging percentage.
The sophomore was even more impressive in SoCon play with a .341 batting average (15th in the league), nine home runs (t-1st), 26 RBI (t-7th), a .720 slugging percentage (3rd) and 59 total bases (8th) in just 21 conference games.
Pierson enjoyed a breakout year as a junior, leading Appalachian State with a .335 batting average, 63 hits, 26 walks and a .423 on-base percentage. He also ranks second on the team with 39 runs, 14 doubles, six home runs, a .516 slugging percentage and 97 total bases and is third on the club with 32 RBI. He reached base safely in 27-straight games to close the regular season.
Like Dobson, Piersons best work came in SoCon play. His .410 batting average in conference games ranked third in the league and he also ranked among the SoCons top 10 with 43 hits (t-2nd), 26 runs (t-3rd), nine doubles (t-3rd), 26 RBI (t-7th), 16 walks (t-7th), a .492 on-base percentage (3rd), a .600 slugging percentage (9th) and 63 total bases (5th) in conference games.
This is the third-straight year that both members of Appalachian States primary double-play combination have earned all-conference honors. Second baseman Hector Crespo and shortstop Will Callaway were all-conference selections in 2012 and 2013.
Additionally, three Mountaineers designated hitter Matt Brill (Coal Valley, Ill./Moline), relief pitcher Dallas DeVrieze (Moline, Ill./Moline) and Tyler Stroup (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) were named to the SoCons 13-member all-freshman team. The three all-freshman selections are the most Appalachian State has had since the all-freshman team was introduced in 2011.
Brill ranks second on the team with a .311 batting average and is third on the club with four home runs. His 15-game hitting streak from March 5-April 13 is Appalachians longest of the season.
Brills high-school teammate, DeVrieze, has been a valuable left-hander out of the Appalachian State bullpen. He owns a 1-3 record with a 4.83 ERA and one save in 19 appearances. Opponents are hitting just .248 against DeVrieze, who has struck out 33 batters in 41.0 innings.
Stroup has been Appalachians primary starting left fielder for much of his freshman campaign. He ranks sixth on the team with a .280 batting average and is fourth on the club with a .308 average in SoCon action.
Fifth-seeded Appalachian State opens postseason play on Wednesday versus No. 4-seeded Georgia Southern at the Southern Conference Tournament in Charleston, S.C. First pitch is set for 10 a.m. at Charlestons Riley Park.