UofL's McKay named ACC Player of the Year, Hairston, McDonnell a - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

UofL's McKay named ACC Player of the Year, Hairston, McDonnell also honored

Brendan McKay (Source: UofL Athletics) Brendan McKay (Source: UofL Athletics)

McKay Named ACC Player of the Year; Hairston, McDonnell Earn Major Conference Honors  

Hairston wins inaugural ACC Defensive Player of the Year award, McDonnell secures third straight ACC Coach of the Year honor

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville junior two-way standout Brendan McKay was named Monday as the 2017 Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year, junior shortstop Devin Hairston received the inaugural Defensive Player of the Year honor and Dan McDonnell earned his third straight Coach of the Year award.

Monday’s announcement marked the third straight season the Cardinals have received at least two of the ACC's major individual honors and it is the ninth time in the last 11 seasons Louisville has claimed a conference Player or Pitcher of the Year award. McKay adds the prestigious Player of the Year honor to his 2015 Freshman of the Year award while also being tabbed as an All-ACC First Team selection as both a starting pitcher and designated hitter/utility player. McDonnell becomes the first skipper in ACC history to receive three consecutive Coach of the Year honors. 

Along with the three major award winners, Louisville had four All-ACC First Team honorees as junior third baseman Drew Ellis and junior righthanded reliever Lincoln Henzman accompanied McKay’s two selections. Junior catcher Colby Fitch was named All-ACC Second Team, while freshman lefthanded starter Nick Bennett, Hairston and junior righty starter Kade McClure were All-ACC Third Team members. Bennett was also named to the All-Freshman Team.

A native of Darlington, Pennsylvania, McKay has led the Cardinals to the No. 1 seed in this week’s ACC Baseball Championship by ranking among the league’s leading hitters with a .361 batting average, 15 home runs and 47 RBI. On the mound, McKay owns an 8-3 record with a 2.22 ERA that ranks third among conference hurlers. His 116 strikeouts in 85 innings pitched leads the ACC.

In addition to several conference and national weekly honors, McKay was named the National Player of the Month of February by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA), the National Midseason Player of the Year by Perfect Game, the National Midseason Most Valuable Player by D1Baseball, and is a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy.

Hairston’s play at shortstop has loomed big for Louisville, as he has posted a sparkling .990 fielding percentage with just two errors in 209 chances. He has registered 75 putouts to go with 132 assists and has had a hand in turning 22 double plays. The Lexington, Kentucky native also has a .314 batting average with three home runs and 47 RBI while starting all 55 games this season.

McDonnell was again voted ACC Coach of the Year by his peers after guiding the Cardinals to a 46-9 overall regular-season mark, a 23-6 record in ACC play and a top-five national ranking throughout the season. McDonnell earned his 500th victory as a collegiate head coach on May 12, and Louisville has averaged more than 45 wins per year in his 11 seasons with the program.

Ellis leads the ACC in slugging percentage (.737), ranks second in batting average (.387) and on-base percentage (.481), third in home runs (15), seventh in doubles (18) and ninth in RBI (51) while starting all 55 games for Louisville. The Jeffersonville, Indiana native was selected as the National Player of the Month in April by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association after hitting .455 (30-for-66) in 19 games with five doubles, one triple and eight homers, 22 RBI and a .532 on-base percentage.

Henzman leads the nation with 16 saves to go with a 2-0 record, 1.16 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 31.0 innings pitched and 22 total relief appearances. Thirteen of the Lexington, Kentucky native’s 16 saves came against ACC foes, while opposing hitters are batting just .146 against him this season.

A native of Rocheport, Missouri, Fitch connected for 11 home runs, 11 doubles and 40 RBI while hitting .262 in 54 starts this season. Bennett, who hails from Cincinnati, accumulated a 5-0 record with a 2.47 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 58.1 innings and 13 total appearances, including 11 weekend starts.

McClure has a 7-2 record, 2.99 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 14 starts and 81.1 innings pitched. The Mentor, Ohio product has a 20-3 career record in three collegiate seasons to go along with 197 strikeouts in 191.2 innings.

Top-seeded Louisville will open its Pool A schedule at the 2017 ACC Championship against No. 12 Notre Dame on Thursday at 7 p.m., ET at Louisville Slugger Field. The Cardinals will close their preliminary slate against No. 8 Florida State on Friday at 3 p.m.

Fans can follow Louisville baseball on Twitter (@UofLBaseball) at http://twitter.com/uoflbaseball and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ulbaseball.

2017 ALL-ACC BASEBALL HONORS

Player of the Year: Brendan McKay, Louisville

Pitcher of the Year: J.B. Bukauskas, North Carolina

Defensive Player of the Year: Devin Hairston, Louisville

Freshman of the Year: Ashton McGee, North Carolina

Coach of the Year: Dan McDonnell, Louisville

2017 All-ACC Baseball Teams

First Team

C - Ben Breazeale, Wake Forest

1B - Pavin Smith, Virginia

1B - Gavin Sheets, Wake Forest

2B - Wade Bailey, Georgia Tech

3B - Drew Ellis, Louisville

SS - Logan Warmoth, North Carolina

OF - Brian Miller, North Carolina

OF - Adam Haseley, Virginia

OF - Stuart Fairchild, Wake Forest

OF - Reed Rohlman, Clemson

DH/UT - Brendan McKay, Louisville

SP - Tyler Holton, Florida State

SP - Brendan McKay, Louisville

SP - J.B. Bukauskas, North Carolina

RP - Lincoln Henzman, Louisville

RP - Josh Hiatt, North Carolina

Second Team

C - Joey Bart, Georgia Tech

C - Colby Fitch, Louisville

1B - Sam Fragale, Virginia Tech

2B - Jake Mueller, Wake Forest

3B - Johnny Aiello, Wake Forest

SS - Joe Dunand, NC State

OF - Seth Beer, Clemson

OF - Griffin Conine, Duke

OF - Cameron Simmons, Virginia

OF - Tom Stoffel, Virginia Tech

DH/UT - Quincy Nieporte, Florida State

SP - Pat Krall, Clemson

SP - Jeb Bargfeldt, Miami

SP - Parker Dunshee, Wake Forest

SP - Connor Johnstone, Wake Forest

RP - Griffin Roberts, Wake Forest

Third Team

C - Robbie Coman, Virginia

1B - Andrew Cox, Clemson

2B - Jack Owens, Virginia Tech

3B - Dylan Busby, Florida State

3B - Trevor Craport, Georgia Tech

SS - Devin Hairston, Louisville

SS - Ernie Clement, Virginia

OF - Chase Pinder, Clemson

OF - Matt Vierling, Notre Dame

OF - Jonathan Pryor, Wake Forest

DH/UT - Brad Debo, NC State

SP - Charlie Barnes, Clemson

SP - Kade McClure, Louisville

SP - Nick Bennett, Louisville

SP - Gianluca Dalatri, North Carolina

RP - Tommy Doyle, Virginia

All-Freshman Team

SS - Logan Davidson, Clemson

OF - J.C. Flowers, Florida State

1B - Drew Mendoza, Florida State

SS - Austin Wilhite, Georgia Tech

SP - Nick Bennett, Louisville

SP - Gianluca Dalatri, North Carolina

DH/UT - Ashton McGee, North Carolina

SP - Michael Bienlien, NC State

DH/UT - Brad Debo, NC State

2B - Will Wilson, NC State

2B - Alex Amos, Pittsburgh

SP - Noah Murdock, Virginia

Powered by Frankly