Thursday, May 20, 2010

A-Sun Baseball Knows How to Pack the Stat Sheet

The Atlantic Sun Conference entered action Tuesday with more baseball individual statistical leaders than any other conference in the country.

Four different student-athletes from the Atlantic Sun lead the nation in five statistical categories. No other conference in the nation has more than four NCAA stats leaders. The Big South ranks second with four, then the SWAC, Mountain West, Big East, Pac-10 and the SEC sit third with three each.

The Big Ten and Big 12 place no student-athletes among the nation’s leaders while the Atlantic Coast Conference boasts just one. The NCAA keeps track of 32 statistical categories and updates them once a week.

Mercer’s Jacob Tanis of leads the nation in RBIs. Three of the top six players in the nation in RBIs reside in the A-Sun. Belmont’s Nate Woods ranks sixth in the nation in RBIs, but ranks only third in the conference. ETSU’s Paul Hoilman entered action Tuesday ranked second in the conference and second nationally.

Hoilman ranks as one of the top offensive threats in the nation this season. In addition to ranking second in RBIs, the Bucs’ junior first baseman leads the country in slugging percentage and total bases. He rates second in runs, third in home runs, sixth in hits and 10th in batting average. If Hoilman can make up his two-RBI deficient to Tanis, he has an excellent shot at claiming the Atlantic Sun triple crown.

Campbell’s Ellis Lowe ranks first in the nation in doubles. The Camels’ Zach Johnson led the NCAA in two baggers a season ago. Lowe’s production has helped Campbell rank second in the nation as a team in double in 2010.

FGCU’s Chris Sale leads the nation in strikeouts, showing that the A-Sun leaders are not limited to just offense. Lipscomb’s Josh Smith stands fourth in the nation in strikeouts and sixth in the league history in punch outs, with 341 career K’s.

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