Sims, Archer, Nisbett Receive SBC Honors

May 21, 2002 · MT Media Relations
Middle Tennessee continued its newest baseball tradition on Tuesday night - placing players on the All-Sun Belt teams.

Outfielder Justin Sims and utility man Josh Archer were named to the First Team while outfielder Marshall Nisbett was named to the second team.

Sims becomes the first player in Middle Tennessee history to be named First Team All-Sun Belt after his selection a year ago. The left-handed batting left fielder ended the regular season with a .384 average, 11 homers, and 52 RBIs. His offensive production leads the team in all three categories.

"Justin is one of the top hitters in the Sun Belt, if not all of college baseball. This year he has lived up to his reputation. He has done it two years in a row, and its hard to be on top one time, but its doubly tough to be there again," said head coach Steve Peterson.

Archer, who is also a freshman All-America candidate, was named First Team All-Sun Belt as a utility player due to his versatility as the team's first baseman, catcher, a and designated hitter over the course of the season. Archer concluded the regular season with a .347 average, nine homers, and 34 RBIs. His home runs rank second on the squad while his batting average currently stands third.

Peterson said, "What a very pleasant surprise for us. Josh has been a DH, catcher, and played the last third of the season at first base and done an outstanding job. To play everyday as a freshman you must be able to handle your bad days as well as your good ones. Josh has that temperament and has a lot of fight in him so he doesn't get down."

Nisbett, who has also become an integral part of the bullpen staff in recent weeks, batted .361 with eight round-trippers and 50 RBIs. His batting average ranks second on the team and he also stands in second place with his RBI total.

"I think Marshall won a lot of hearts in the Sun Belt with his never-say-die attitude. Im my opinion, he is one of the most talented athletes we have. He is very deserving in a league that has some outstanding numbers for outfielders," Peterson commented.

Also honored on the night were several recipients of the Sun Belt's Academic All-Conference award. Honored for their academic achievement were Jeremy Armstrong, Steven Kines, Seth Yarbrough and Derek Phillips. Chuck Akers was the recipient of the Commissioner's List Award for a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

All-Sun Belt First Team
P Ryan Bicandoa, Western Kentucky
P Andy Gros, UL-Lafayette
RP Matt Wilhite, Western Kentucky
C Tommy Duenas, Florida International
1B Brad Eldred, Florida International
2B Gabe Veloz, New Mexico State
SS Corey Harrington, New Mexico State
3B Tanner Townsend, Western Kentucky
OF Ryan Mulhern, South Alabama
OF Corey Coles, UL-Lafayette
OF Justin Sims, Middle Tennessee
DH Chris Adams, New Orleans
UTL Josh Archer, Middle Tennessee

All Sun Belt Second Team
P Derek DeCarlo, Florida International
P Brandon Kling, New Orleans
RP Brad Cherry, Arkansas-Little Rock
C Ryan Cattell, Western Kentucky
1B Jansen Rayborn, South Alabama
2B Josh Touchstone, South Alabama
SS Brett Parker, South Alabama
3B Kevin Kouzmanoff, Arkansas-Little Rock
OF Ryan Kenning, New Mexico State
OF Marshall Nisbett, Middle Tennessee
OF Erik Smallwood, South Alabama
DH Jason Gross, South Alabama
UTL Brad Hayes, Arkansas State

Player of the Year: Brad Eldred, Florida International
Pitcher of the Year: Ryan Bicandoa, Western Kentucky
Freshman of the Year: Derek DeCarlo, Florida International
Newcomer of the Year: Kevin Kouzmanoff, Arkansas-Little Rock
Coach of the Year: Joel Murrie, Western Kentucky

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