Patriot baseball duo dubbed NAIA All-American Honorable Mention
Kansas City, MO – The UC Baseball program had one of its best seasons in school history in 2019, earning a 46-10 record on the year with a 12-3 Mid-South Conference mark. Numerous players would turn in record setting seasons as the Patriots would garner its second consecutive Mid-South Conference Regular Season Title. Now, two Patriots received high honors from the NAIA for their play on the diamond this year.
Senior starting pitcher Zach Hurley and junior outfielder/designated hitter Bryan Leef were both named NAIA All-American Honorable Mentions on Tuesday, announced by the national office. It is the first national All-American honors from the NAIA for both players. The pair of Patriots join Georgetown catcher/third baseman Chris Gilbody as the only players from the MSC that earned NAIA All-American Honorable Mention status.
Hurley was a force on the mound this season for the Patriots, finishing the year with an 8-3 record in 12 starts. He tallied a 2.53 ERA this year allowing just 26 runs (23 earned) on 68 hits and 20 walks while striking out 84 batters. He also hurled four complete games including one shutout. His career numbers now have him ranked amongst the best in program history.
The senior has recorded the most strikeouts in program history (283), most innings pitched with 271, tied for most wins with 28, and is fifth all-time in appearances with 54.
Leef’s first year as a Patriot was a stellar one. The designated hitter/outfielder hit .393 in 51 games (49 starts) with a team leading 20 home runs and 61 runs batted in. He also tabbed 12 doubles, four triples, and a team best 56 runs scored.
Head coach Brad Shelton commented, “I’m very happy for those two guys. They each had great seasons. It was a fitting way for Zach to wrap up his career and we are really excited to have Bryan back for his senior season next year.”