Butler receives seven All-KJCCC selections; McVay named West COTY

Butler receives seven All-KJCCC selections; McVay named West COTY

Butler baseball received seven All-Jayhawk West Conference selections for the 2018 season, while head coach B.J. McVay was named Jayhawk West Coach of the Year.

The Grizzlies had two first-team selections in outfielder Connor Hurst and pitcher Drake Norton, while third baseman Javier Pena was named to the second team. Butler had four players - second baseman Mason Goade, pitcher Ryan Miller, pitcher Jack Maki and outfielder Joshua Cox - receive honorable mention honors.

Hurst and Norton were also named to the All-Region VI second team.

McVay earned top coaching honors for the first time in eight seasons as he guided the Grizzlies to a 34-19 record and a runner-up finish in the Jayhawk West.

Connor Hurst, OF, sophomore, Augusta (Kan.)

In 52 games, Hurst hit .385 while leading the Grizzlies in home runs (18), runs batted in (64), hits (69) and doubles (12). His 18 home runs also was tied for the lead atop the Jayhawk Conference leaderboard this season. Hurst ranked second on the team in on-base percentage (.476) and slugging percentage (.799), and was third in stolen bases (20). He had three games this season where he hit two home runs, including a Feb. 18 game against Coffeyville where he drove in eight runs and scored four runs - both career-high marks.

Drake Norton, LHP, sophomore, Yukon (Okla.)

Making a team-high 13 starts, Norton went 10-2 with a 3.69 earned run average. In 75 2/3 innings, the left-hander alolowed 31 earned runs on 80 hits, struck out 59 batters and walked just 29. He led the team in wins, strikeouts, innings pitched and complete games (7). Norton finished second in the Jayhawk Conference in wins and was fourth in earned run average. From March 3 to April 20, Norton had eight consecutive wins for the Grizzlies.

Javier Pena, 3B, freshman, Kansas City (Kan.)

Pena made 48 starts and led the Grizzlies in batting average (.395), runs scored (67), triples (8), doubles (12), on-base percentage (.482) and slugging (.850). He finished second on the team in hits (66) and stolen bases (22). Pena opened his freshman campaign with two hits in each of his first six games (Feb. 9-15), hitting .600 (12-of-20) with three home runs, two triples, 12 runs batted in and six stolen bases. Pena also had back-to-back four-hit games against Dodge City (Mar. 1 and 3) and scored four runs in a game five times this season.

Mason Goade, 2B, sophomore, Carthage (Mo.)

Goade hit .318 with two home runs, 21 runs batted in and 42 runs scored while playing in 50 games. He had a pair of three-hit games this season (Feb. 18 vs. Coffeyville; Mar. 31 at Seward County). Primarily at second base, Goade had a .957 fielding percentage, making just seven errors in 164 chances. He also helped turn 13 double plays and was second on the team with 86 assists.

Ryan Miller, LHP, freshman, Blue Springs (Mo.)

Making a team-high 20 apperances, Miller went 3-4 with two saves and had an 5.79 earned run average in 42 innings pitched. Miller finished third on Butler's staff with an 8.36 K/9 ratio as he struck out 39 batters.

Jack Maki, RHP, freshman, Andover (Kan.)

Maki pitched in 13 games with one start, going 1-1 with four saves in 18 1/3 innings pitched. When in relief duty, Maki had a 3.76 earned run average over 12 appearances. He also hit .275 with 13 runs batted in and scored 18 runs in 40 games.

Joshua Cox, OF, freshman, Thornton (Colo.)

Cox hit .333 with seven home runs, 31 runs batted in and scored 24 runs in 35 games. He ranked third on the team with a .604 slugging percentage. On April 7, Cox hit a key two-run home run in the sixth inning to help Butler defeat Colby 5-4. He also hit a game-tying grand slam homer on April 26 during the second game of a home doubleheader sweep of Barton, where he drove in a season-high five runs.