Ten Frogs Earn All-Conference Accolades
May 23, 2011
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Ten members of the 2011 Mountain West Conference championship TCU baseball team were named all-conference by the league on Monday. Seven members are repeat all-conference honorees, while three earned their first career recognition. For the sixth straight season, head coach Jim Schlossnagle was tabbed the MWC Coach of the Year.
Schlossnagle led the seventh-ranked Horned Frogs to a 20-3 league record and sixth consecutive Mountain West regular-season title in 2011. This is Schlossnagle's seventh MWC Coach of the Year award overall, including the one he earned in 2003 at the helm of the UNLV program.
First-team performers for TCU were starting pitcher Kyle Winkler, outfielder Jason Coats, shortstop Taylor Featherston, third baseman Jantzen Witte and second baseman Jerome Pena. Earning a spot on the second team were catcher Josh Elander, outfielder Brance Rivera, starting pitcher Steven Maxwell and relief pitchers Trent Appleby and Stefan Crichton.
Winkler put together a solid conference season finishing with a 4-1 record to go along with an impressive 1.89 ERA in seven appearances. He tossed two complete games and racked up 54 strikeouts in 47 2/3 innings pitched. Winkler was a 2010 second-team all-conference performer.
Featherston earned his third straight all-conference nod and his second first-team honor. He led the team with a .443 batting average in 23 conference games. The junior drove in 19 runs and tallied a team-high 10 doubles to go along with one triple and one home run.
Coats is a repeat first-team all-conference performer. The junior outfielder hit .402 with a team-high 29 RBIs in 23 games played. Out of 37 total hits, Coats had 10 doubles, two triples and tied for the team lead with four home runs.
A first-time honoree, Witte put together a solid conference campaign, hitting .337 with 16 RBIs. He totaled 33 hits, including nine doubles, one triple and one home run. He was a perfect 5-for-5 in stolen bases.
Another back-to-back first-team honoree, Pena hit .288 in conference play. The senior smoked eight doubles, two triples and one home run. He drove in 16 runs and was a perfect 6-for-6 in stolen bases.
Rivera is a two-time all-conference honoree, earning first-team accolades as a sophomore. This season, Rivera hit .268 with six doubles and four home runs in 23 games played. He drove in 13 runs and led the team with seven stolen bases.
Maxwell is a two-time all-conference performer, earning MWC Pitcher of the Year accolades in 2010. In five conference starts this season, he was 3-0 with a 2.53 ERA. In 32 innings pitched, the senior struck out 23 and issued just three walks.
Appleby makes his second appearance all-conference squad as he was a first-team honoree as a sophomore in 2009. He made eight appearances on the mound and posted a 2.79 ERA with a 2-0 record. The senior totaled 19 1/3 innings pitched to lead all Frog relievers.
A first-time honoree, Elander ranked third on the team with a .382 average in conference play. He ranked second on the team with 22 RBIs in league play. Of his 29 hits, Elander tallied seven doubles, one triple and one home run. He posted an impressive .991 fielding percentage with just one error.
Crichton has had a solid freshman campaign that has earned him an all-conference nod. He made seven appearances in league play and compiled a 2-2 record to go along with two saves. He posted a 3.95 ERA in 13 2/3 innings pitched and tallied 15 strikeouts.
TCU opens play in the Mountain West Conference Postseason Tournament Wednesday night at 9 p.m. (CST). The Frogs will play the lowest seed to advance in the winner's bracket from Tuesday's first round action. The only teams the Frogs are guaranteed not to see Wednesday are the two-seeded Utah Utes and the three-seeded BYU Cougars. All of the tournament games will be seen live on The Mtn. (DIRECTV 616).