The Ada News
East Central University designated hitter Rick Hepworth was named All-Great American Conference First Team while teammates Gilbert Guardado and Ethan Gold were honorable mention selections as the All-GAC baseball squads were announced Thursday in Russellville, Ark.
Hepworth, a senior out of Round Rock, Texas, finished the 2012 season with a .352 batting average, which was 10th in the GAC. He also was second in the league in doubles (19), fourth in hits (63), fourth in total bases (96), fifth in slugging percentage (.536) and ninth in runs batted in (39).
He also homered four times, tripled once and scored 34 runs as the Tigers went 26-23 this spring and earned the most wins since the 2004 season.
Guardado, a junior outfielder from San Diego, Calif., was second on the team in batting average at .325 to go with 37 hits, five doubles, 10 runs batted in and 22 runs scored. He also stole 11 bases in 14 attempts.
Gold, a sophomore outfielder out of Round Rock, Texas, was tied for third in the GAC in triples with three. He finished the season with a .324 batting average, despite missing several games due to injury. He totaled 33 hits, one homer, seven doubles, 26 RBIs and 17 runs scored.
There were 17 players named to the first team, 16 to the second team and 15 honorable mention picks. The first team featured four starting pitchers, one relief pitcher, one catcher, one first baseman, one second baseman, two third basemen, one shortstop, four outfielders, one designated hitter and one utility player. The second team consisted of four starting pitchers, one relief pitcher, one catcher, one first baseman, one second baseman, one third baseman, one shortstop, four outfielders, one designated hitter and one utility player.
Regular-season champion Southern Arkansas captured three of the four major awards: GAC Pitcher of the Year (Doug Shields), GAC Freshman of the Year (Ryan Dardenne) and GAC Coach of the Year (Steve Browning). Arkansas Tech’s Jonathan Finnegan was named GAC Player of the Year.