Four Blue Raiders named SBC All-Conference

Miller, Brentz, Guidry receive First Team

May 25, 2010 · MT Athletic Communications
NEW ORLEANS - Four Blue Raiders collected All-Sun Belt accolades, including a trio on the First Team, Tuesday, as the league office unveiled its 2010 all-conference baseball honors prior to the start of the Sun Belt Tournament at Reese Smith Jr. Field in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Juniors Bryce Brentz and Justin Miller, along with sophomore Justin Guidry, were tabbed to the First Team, while Tyler Burnett garnered Second Team recognition following a vote of the league's head coaches.

Brentz began the 2010 season right where he left off in 2009. After going hitless in the first game he went on a 17-game hit streak recording multiple hits in all but seven of those games. Brentz was injured prior to the start of the South Alabama series and missed12 games. In his second start after returning from the injury he went 3 for 5 with a double, home run, seven RBI and scored three runs. He has recorded multiple RBI in 11 games including nine in three games against New Orleans.

"What can you say about Bryce. Articles say he's having a bad year and it looks like he is and then he's first team all-conference and one of the leaders in home runs. It's unfortunate that he got hurt because no telling what he would have done. He's a very dependable player and I'm very proud with how he handled all the accolades heading into the season and with the injury," head coach Steve Peterson said.

After being a role player the past two seasons, Miller stepped into the starting second base position and with his offensive production never looked back. Miller currently leads the team in RBI with 73 which are 21 more than any other player on the team. He also has 20 home runs which are five more than last season's NCAA and team RBI leader Bryce Brentz. Miller is leading the Sun Belt in home runs, RBI and is fourth in slugging percentage.

"Justin Miller is one of the hardest workers on the team. He has a very consistent approach and has the same makeup in practice as he does during a game. He's someone we always felt like could do something and then his junior year it was his turn. He stepped up and had a great, all-conference year. He's led the league in so many categories throughout the year and put up power numbers."

Guidry has been a dual force for the Blue Raiders helping lead the team at the plate and on the mound. He is currently first in the league in hits and ranks in the top in batting average and runs batted in. Guidry has had five hits twice this season. The first time was in the weekend opener against South Alabama when he went 5 for 5 with a double, home run, three RBI and scored two runs. The second was in a marathon game with Lipscomb where he went 5 for 8 with a doubles, five RBI and scored two runs. In 15 games he has driven in multiple runs.

"To be named first team designated hitter as a sophomore is exciting for Justin. He is an outstanding athlete who has played outfield, first base and pitched and I think is just at the crust of what he can do. Being able to play more and more his natural abilities will come out. He has become an outstanding hitter for us now that he is able to play everyday."

Tyler Burnett has performed well in a number of different positions in the line-up this season beginning the year as the lead-off and then moving to the clean-up spot for a while. He has 12 games with three or more hits. In 13 games he has recorded multiple RBI. In the series finale with Troy he went 2 for 5 with a double, home run, and four RBI to help hand the Blue Raiders the series win. Burnett ranks in the top in the Sun Belt in four categories including batting average, slugging percentage and total bases. "Tyler has been a solid force for us offensively in all parts of the line-up. I have asked him to hit anywhere from the top to near the bottom and he has hit for power and average. He made the move from short stop to third base and at times has made big league plays. He shows a lot of potential to being an outstanding infielder the more he plays the position."

The Blue Raiders are playing host to the Sun Belt Tournament which begins Wednesday, May 26 at 9 a.m. when FIU plays South Alabama.

"The administration, MTSU grounds department, Southern Athletic Fields who is doing all of the field work during the tournament, and it's a team effort. Win or lose we want to put on a first class tournament and make every game like the championship."

2010 Sun Belt Baseball First Team All-Conference Zach Osborne (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., SP) Matt Ridings (WKU, Sr., SP) Rye Davis (WKU, R-So., RP) Matt Rice (WKU, Jr., C) Dan Scheffler (Florida Atlantic, Jr., 1B) Justin Miller (Middle Tennessee, Jr., 2B) Garrett Wittels (FIU, So., 3B) Adam Bryant (Troy, Jr., SS) Bryce Brentz (Middle Tennessee, Jr., OF) Kes Carter (WKU, So., OF) Andy Mee (Florida Atlantic, Jr., OF) Justin Guidry (Middle Tennessee, So., DH) Chase Whitley (Troy, Jr., UTIL)

2010 Sun Belt Baseball Second Team All-Conference Adam Champion (UALR, Sr., SP) Mike Gipson (Florida Atlantic, Jr., SP) Chase Whitley (Troy, Jr., RP) Chad Keefer (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., C) Murray Watts (Arkansas State, Jr., 1B) Matt Payton (WKU, Sr., 2B) Tyler Burnett (Middle Tennessee, Jr., 3B) Nick Delguidice (Florida Atlantic, Jr., SS) Todd Baumgartner (Arkansas State, Jr., OF) Steven Felix (Troy, Sr., OF) Mike Martinez (FIU, So., OF) Chase Whitley (Troy, Jr., DH) Tyson Parks (UALR, Sr., UTIL)

2010 Sun Belt Baseball Player of the Year Garrett Wittels (FIU, So., 3B)

2010 Sun Belt Baseball Pitcher of the Year Matt Ridings (WKU, Sr., SP)

2010 Sun Belt Baseball Freshman of the Year Jabari Henry (FIU, Fr., OF)

2010 Sun Belt Baseball Ron Maestri Coach of the Year John McCormack, Florida Atlantic

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