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Frebis named Sun Belt Freshman of the Year, four Blue Raiders earn league honors

Guidry first-team honoree, Frebis, LaRue, Thomas on second team

May 22, 2012 · Athletic Communications
NEW ORLEANS - Middle Tennessee’s Johnathan Frebis was named the 2012 Sun Belt Freshman of the Year and outfielder Justin Guidry earned all-conference first-team accolades, while two other Blue Raiders were voted to the second team by the league’s coaches, the conference office announced on Tuesday. Second baseman Johnny Thomas and third baseman Hank LaRue, along with Frebis, took home second-team honors.

Frebis has had an outstanding freshman campaign on the mound, going 5-3 with a 3.24 ERA and team-leading 57 strikeouts. The Murfreesboro, Tenn., native set the tone in his first career start, tossing five innings of shutout ball against Saint Louis. Frebis became the school’s first pitcher to go at least five frames without allowing a run in his first career appearance dating back to 1988, the first year under head coach Steve Peterson.

He followed that up with a six-inning outing against Ohio, allowing just one run and fanning seven to pick up his first collegiate win. One of his best performances came against eventual league champion Florida Atlantic, where he was perfect into the seventh before giving up a hit. The lefty threw his first complete game against South Alabama, matching his career-high of seven strikeouts in the 12-3 win, then capped the 2012 season the way he started it, with another five-inning shutout performance in MT’s 6-1 victory over WKU.

Frebis currently ranks second in the league with a .222 opponent batting average and is sixth in ERA. He joins Bryce Brentz as the two Blue Raiders to earn the league’s freshman of the year honor. Brentz earned the award in 2008.

Guidry was named to the all-conference first team for the second time in his career, as he also earned the honor in 2010. The senior sits atop the team with a .358 batting average and led the Sun Belt in hits during the regular season, producing 81 base-knocks. Earlier this season, he broke the school record for singles and currently has 213 for his career while also ranking fourth in MT history in hits (272) and sixth in average (.366).

Guidry becomes the fourth Blue Raider in program history to earn multiple Sun Belt first-team honors, joining Justin Sims, Michael McKenry and Brentz.

LaRue raked in second-team honors for the second year in a row. He is first among the league’s third basemen and third on the team with a .335 average. The Evansville, Ind., native also has amassed 22 multi-hit and eight multi-RBI performances this season. He has been key to MT’s league-leading defense as well, helping the Blue Raiders rank fifth nationally with 59 double plays.

LaRue is the seventh Blue Raider to earn All-Sun Belt honors in consecutive seasons. Brentz was the last to do so, taking home league honors in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Thomas earned his first all-conference recognition after playing a major role both offensively and defensively for MT. The Kenner, La., leads the league in doubles with 17 and is hitting .271. He has put together 14 multi-hit and eight multi-RBI performances while starting all 56 games at second base. With only four errors on the season, Thomas has helped the Blue Raiders average 1.05 double plays per game, the 10th-best average in the country.

It marks the 12th consecutive year MT has had multiple representatives on the Sun Belt postseason teams and 11th time at least one Blue Raider has earned first-team honors. The four selections are the most since 2010, when MT also had four honorees.

The seventh-seeded Blue Raiders open tournament action Wednesday against No. 2 seed Arkansas State. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. at the Bowling Green Ballpark in Bowling Green, Ky. MT will face No. 3 seed FIU on Friday at 11 a.m., then play No. 6 seed Troy on Saturday at 11 a.m. The championship is slated for Sunday at 1 p.m.

2012 ALL-SBC FIRST TEAM
Chance Cleveland (UALR, Jr., SP)
Jacob Lee (Arkansas State, Sr., SP)
Ryan Garton (Florida Atlantic, Sr., SP)
R.J. Alvarez (Florida Atlantic, Jr., RP)
Blake Johnson (UALR, Jr., C)
Logan Pierce (Troy, Jr., 1B)
Mike Albaladejo (Florida Atlantic, Sr., 2B)
Jeremy Sy (Louisiana-Monroe, Sr., SS)
Mike Martinez (FIU, Sr., 3B)
Sean Bignall (UALR, Sr., OF)
Jabari Henry (FIU, Jr., OF)
Justin Guidry (Middle Tennessee, Sr., OF)
Whitt Dorsey (South Alabama, Jr., DH)
Myles Parma (UALR, Jr., UTIL)

2012 ALL-SBC SECOND TEAM
Randy Zeigler (Louisiana-Monroe, Jr., SP)
Johnathan Frebis (Middle Tennessee, Fr., SP)
Jarron Cito (South Alabama, Jr., SP)
John Koch (Arkansas State, Jr., RP)
Mike Spano (Florida Atlantic, C, Jr.)
Joey Rapp (Louisiana-Monroe, Sr., 1B)
Johnny Thomas (Middle Tennessee, Jr., 2B)
Dustin Jones (Arkansas State, So., SS)
Hank LaRue (Middle Tennessee, So., 3B)
Cameron Bentley (UALR, Sr., OF)
Pablo Bermudez (FIU, Jr., OF)
Jordan Patterson (South Alabama, So., OF)
Adam Kirsch (FIU, Jr., DH)
Scott Wilcox (WKU, So., UTIL)

2012 PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Jeremy Sy (Louisiana-Monroe, Sr., SS)

2012 PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Jacob Lee (Arkansas State, Sr., SP)

2012 FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Johnathan Frebis (Middle Tennessee, Fr., SP)

2012 RON MAESTRI COACH OF THE YEAR
Tommy Raffo, Arkansas State

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