KINGSPORT, Tenn. – Despite finishing outside of the top tier in the Appalachian Athletic Conference baseball standings, the St. Andrews University baseball team still garnered postseason accolades this month as two of its players earned awards.
Senior shortstop Rancel Rosado was named the AAC’s Conference Player of the Year, and freshman pitcher Brett Ayer was selected as the Freshman of the Year.
Both players helped the Knights achieve a 29-23 record, which is the most victories St. Andrews has accumulated since joining the NAIA. St. Andrews ended the regular season winning seven of nine games to finish 13-14 in AAC play and as a No. 5 seed.
Rosado appeared in 53 games this season, consistently batting third in the Knights’ lineup. The senior led St. Andrews in numerous offensive categories, posting a .390 average to go along with 77 hits, 20 doubles, four home runs and 113 total bases. He also tallied 46 RBIs, 40 runs scored, a .571 slugging percentage and a .426 on-base percentage.
Ayer was selected as the Freshman of the Year due to his stellar rookie season, leading the Knights in wins (5), ERA (1.39) and opponent batting average (.210). Ayer threw two complete-game shutouts and only allowed seven earned runs in 45 innings pitched. He had a stellar walk-to-strikeout ratio, posting 52 strikeouts to go along with 17 walks. He earned an AAC Player of the Week award last month as well.
St. Andrews also put two men on the all-conference first team in Rosado and senior outfielder/DH Kyle Schade. Tyler Radcliff, a senior, and Terrence Jackson, a junior, made the all-AAC second team.
In addition, Jackson was named to the Gold Glove team for his stellar defense in the outfield all season. Jackson was third on the team in hitting at .328 while driving in 29 runs on 12 extra-base hits to go along with a slugging percentage of .463. He only committed one error all season.
Schade was another offensive force, ranking second on the team in average (.329), runs (48), doubles (13), and total bases (86) while leading in RBIs with 47 and home runs with four. He also led the team in on-base percentage at .451 while he was second in slugging with .497, knocking 19 extra-base hits among his 57 hits.
Radcliff batted .319 with a team-best 56 runs scored as he was the steady force at the leadoff spot in the lineup. Radcliff also had 17 extra-base hits, 23 RBIs, 78 total bases and a team-leading 15 stolen bases while also not making a single error all year.
Senior reliever Evan Tucker was selected to the Champions of Character team while nine other Knights were named to the all-academic team for having at least a 3.25 GPA. They include pitchers Aaron Ayers, Austin Lee, Mark McEntee and Brad Monson; infielders Trey Byrd, Matt Polak and Rosado to go along with catcher Matt Malik and Radcliff.