INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Eight members of the Franklin College baseball team were named to one of the three all-conference teams when the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) announced its annual award winners on Monday (May 13) afternoon.
Senior Sam Claycamp, senior Drew Naumovich and junior Ryan Bixler were named First Team All-HCAC. Senior pitchers Aaron Leming and Nate Stonebraker were joined by juniors Nick Wright and Quenton Wellington on the league's second team. In his first year as a full-time player, sophomore Logan Demkovich earned a spot on the Honorable Mention team. Senior pitcher Ben Sprinkle was the team's representative on the Christopher M. Ragsdale All-Sportsmanship Team.
Fresh off winning HCAC Tournament MVP, Claycamp added to his individual trophy case with his third straight First Team All-HCAC award. The Columbus, Ind.-native batted a team-high .414 with three home runs, 43 RBI, 16 doubles, 30 walks drawn and eight stolen bases.
Joining him on the first team for the second year in a row was Naumovich, who batted .362 with five long balls, 36 RBI, 11 doubles, 11 stolen bases and team highs in walks (42) and on-base percentage (.523). The Greenwood, Ind.-native scored 42 times and played sterling defense at first base, finishing with a .994 fielding percentage.
Bixler had another monster year in the power department, leading Franklin with nine home runs, 50 RBI and a team-best .615 slugging percentage. The Logansport, Ind.-native added 48 runs scored, 11 doubles, five triples and 13 stolen bases on his way to his second career appearance on the league's first team.
Leming collected his first career all-conference honor, going 7-2 with a 3.86 ERA and 52 strikeouts over a team-high 63 innings of work. The Indianapolis, Ind.-native is coming off one of his most dominant performances, throwing a complete game with seven strikeouts in a 7-2 win over Rose-Hulman last Friday, sending Franklin into the championship-clinching series. He was named to the HCAC's All-Tournament team for the second year in a row.
Stonebraker was a rock at the end of the Franklin bullpen, leading the team with 20 appearances while going 5-3 with a league-leading seven saves. The Cascade, Ind.-native finished third on the team with 46 strikeouts, and moved into second place on the school's all-time list for saves with 11 for his career heading into this weekend. Stonebraker was also named to the HCAC's All-Tournament team after saving the first game and recording the win over Rose-Hulman in the championship contest.
Wright was named all-conference for the third straight year, picking up his second career Second Team nod. The Bloomington, Ind.-native batted .295 with a pair of home runs and 24 driven in over 31 games of work between the DH and third base.
Wellington earned his first career all-conference award after batting .347 with five home runs, 37 RBI and team highs in both runs (51) and stolen bases (20). Of his 58 hits, none was bigger than the one that was the walk-off winner for Franklin in the HCAC title game, earning him a place on the league's all-tournament team.
Demkovich stepped in as the everyday catcher midway through the year and never let go of the position on his way to all-conference honors for the first time. The Hammond, Ind.-native batted .344 with a pair of home runs and 15 runs batted in while appearing in just 22 contests. Defensively, he finished with a .992 fielding percentage while gunning down 20% of runners in motion.
Franklin heads to the NCAA Regional in Seguin, Texas this weekend, and will begin play against the regional's top seed and #4 team in the country, the Trinity (TX) Tigers. The opening game is set for 2:00 p.m. eastern time on Friday (May 17) afternoon.