May 22, 2012

Birmingham-Southern's Maxwell highlights SCAC D3baseball.com All-America Selections

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Birmingham-Southern College junior standout catcher Bruce Maxwell added to his growing list of accomplishments today as he was named the 2012 D3baseball.com Player of the Year, the website announced.

Maxwell becomes just the second Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) baseball student-athlete to earn national player of the year honors in the league's history, which dates back to 1962. He joins Southwestern University's Matt Gelotti, who earned American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Division III Player of the Year honors in 2000.

Maxwell, who last week earned D3baseball.com South Region Player of the Year and First Team All-South honors, helped guide the Panthers to their first-ever SCAC baseball championship and a berth in the NCAA Division III Central Regional.

In being selected the D3baseball.com Player of the Year, Maxwell also D3baseball.com All-America First Team honors.

The junior from Toney, Ala., led the SCAC with a .471 batting average (7th-best in SCAC single-season) and also led the league in homeruns (15), doubles (25), runs scored (56), total bases (142), slugging percentage (.928), on-base percentage (.619) and walks (59 - new SCAC single-season record). He was fourth in runs batted in (48) and second in hits (72).

In addition to being named a national and regional player of the year, Maxwell was also named the 2012 SCAC Player of the Year, an All-SCAC First Team selection as well as an SCAC All-Tournament team honoree. He was also named the SCAC Hitter of the Week twice, and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Division III National Hitter of the Week once during the regular season.

Joining Maxwell on the First Team was Trinity University standout Ben Klimesh. Klimesh, a senior right-hander from Wilmette, Ill., led the SCAC in innings pitched (110.2), strikeouts (154), complete games (9) and wins (13). His 154 strikeouts established a new school and SCAC single-season record.

Klimesh also set school records with 365 career strikeouts (also the SCAC mark) and 31 career wins (2nd all-time in the SCAC). His 1.71 ERA ranked second in the SCAC behind his teammate Ryan Lucero. The SCAC Pitcher-of-the-Year in 2011 and 2012, Klimesh became the first pitcher to win that award in consecutive seasons since Rhodes College's Robert Flanagan in 2006 and 2007.

In addition to the above laurels, Klimesh was an SCAC First Team selection and was named to the SCAC All-Tournament team. Klimesh was also honored as the SCAC Pitcher of the Week twice during the regular season.

Continuing the SCAC's All-America honorees, was Klimesh's teammate Lucero. Lucero earned Second Team All-America honors after he compiled an 8-0 record with a 1.57 ERA and 74 strikeouts. A native of Aurora, Colo., Lucero led the SCAC in ERA (1.57) and opposing batting average (.172) while his eight wins were tied for fourth among conference leaders after his season was cut short due to injury.

Trinity senior designated hitter Dominick Robusto was chosen as an honorable mention All-America after he hit .376 with a home run, 28 RBI and 17 stolen bases. A Laguna Beach, Calif. native, Robusto tallied 64 hits on the season, 12 of which went for extra bases. He was an All-West region second team selection by D3baseball.com, while also earning All-SCAC First Team honors and SCAC All-Tournament team honors.

Rouding out the SCAC's D3baseball.com All-America selections was Birmingham-Southern junior pitcher Blake Yance. Yance earned honorable mention laurels after he went 5-0 with a 0.95 ERA and 44 strikeouts. Yance led the league with his 22 relief appearances as well his eight saves and 16 games finished. A native of Chelsea, Ala., Yance was a D3baseball.com All-South First Team selection while also being named to the All-SCAC First Team.

To view the entire 2012 D3baseball.com All-America team, click here.

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