(Story courtesy of Texas Lutheran University)
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Texas Lutheran sophomore Spencer Brandt picked up the university's second Gold Glove award when he was named this week to the 2018 American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings NCAA Division III Gold Glove Team. Complete ABCA Release
Brandt joins former Bulldog third baseman Jennings Boothe as a Gold Glove winner. Boothe claimed the honor in 2013.
Brandt's play behind the plate helped the Bulldogs to their first-ever NCAA Division III World Series. TLU completed the year as the national runner-up, recording the program's best-ever national finish.
Brandt did not make an error all season behind the plate, and he threw out 18 of 27 base stealers.
The Bulldogs were champions of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference and the NCAA Division III Spokane, Wash. Regional. TLU won "Pool B" at the DIII World Series and played for the national title in a best-of-three series against the University of Texas at Tyler.
Playing in 38 games and making 34 starts, Brandt had 293 total defensive chances. He recorded 258 put-outs and 36 assists and had just two passed balls.
Brandt also guided a TLU pitching staff that recorded a team ERA of 3.18, good enough for 12th-best in all of NCAA DIII.
The Bulldogs also were 32nd in strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.47), 21st in shutouts (5), 32nd in hits allowed per nine innings (8.43), 18th in WHIP (1.28 walks plus hits per inning pitched), and 38th in walks allowed per nine innings (3.05).
TLU Pitching struck out 395 batters in 470 total innings. The Bulldogs had 10 complete games, five shutouts and 18 saves.
Two of Brandt's battery mates - redshirt junior Nathan Malinovsky and senior Dylan Drgac - were named to All-America teams. Malinovsky was a D3baseball.com First Team All-American, the D3baseball.com West Region Pitcher of the Year, and the SCAC Pitcher of the Year. Drgac was an ABCA/Rawlings Second Team All-American. He is a candidate for SCAC Man of the Year.
TLU went 42-12 overall with a 13-5 record in conference play. The Bulldogs were 11-3 in the post-season run.
The Rawlings Gold Glove winners have been selected since 2007 in the collegiate and high school ranks.
The ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove Awards are selected by ABCA coaches committees at each level: NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA, NJCAA Divisions I, II and III, Pacific Association Division, and High School.
The ABCA/Rawlings Award Program is one of the most comprehensive in all of sports, awarding All-America Teams and Gold Glove Teams in nine divisions of amateur baseball as well as All-Region Teams in five divisions.
The ABCA/Rawlings All-America teams date back to 1949 starting with one collegiate All-America Team. Other divisions subsequently added until the current total of nine was reached.
The first ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove teams were recognized in 2007, making this the 11th year the Rawlings Gold Glove Awards have been presented in the collegiate and high school ranks.
The ABCA, founded in 1945, is the primary professional organization for baseball coaches at the amateur level. Its over 9,700 members represent all 50 states and 23 countries.
Since its initial meeting of 27 college baseball coaches in June 1945, Association membership has broadened to include eight divisions: NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA, NJCAA, Pacific Association Division, High School and Youth. The 75th annual ABCA Convention will be held Jan. 3-6, 2019 in Dallas, Texas.