Stephens, Thomas earn All-Sun Belt Team accolades

Duo named to all-conference second team

May 21, 2013 · @MTAthletics

NEW ORLEANS - Middle Tennessee centerfielder Ryan Stephens and second baseman Johnny Thomas have been named to the 2013 All-Sun Belt Baseball Second Team, as announced on Tuesday by the league office.

It marks the first career honor for Stephens and the second for Thomas, who also took home second-team accolades last year.

Stephens led the Blue Raiders at the plate throughout the season, finishing with a team-best .329 average. The Murfreesboro, Tenn., native slugged a career-high four home runs and four triples to record a .474 slugging percentage, second-highest on the squad. Stephens, who has started 126 consecutive games during his three-year career, reached base in 48 of the last 50 games of the season, including the final 25 contests. He also recorded the team's longest hitting streak of the season at 16 games while registering 18 multi-hit and 10 multi-RBI performances.

Thomas wrapped up his career in the Blue and White hitting .280 and scoring 42 times, second-most on the team. The Kenner, La., native started all 170 games during his three years at MT, a streak that ranked fourth nationally. He also was one of the key reasons the Blue Raiders ranked ninth in the country with 58 double plays this year. Thomas finished second among the league's second basemen in hits (61) and runs (42) and ranked third in RBI (25). He recorded multiple hits in 18 contests and multiple RBI in five.

With the two selections, MT picked up multiple all-conference accolades in each of its 13 seasons in the Sun Belt. The Blue Raiders will move to Conference USA beginning with the 2014 season.

2013 Sun Belt Baseball All-Conference First Team
Daniel Wright (Arkansas State, Senior, SP)
Austin Gomber (Florida Atlantic, Sophomore, SP)
Austin Robichaux (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sophomore, SP)
Shane McCain (Troy, Junior, SP)
Hugh Adams (Florida Atlantic, RS-Senior, RP)
Aramis Garcia (FIU, Sophomore, C)
Ryan Huck (WKU, Senior, 1B)
Robby Campbell (South Alabama, Senior, 2B)
Tyler Vaughn (Troy, Junior, SS)
Logan Pierce (Troy, Senior, 3B)
Dex Kjerstad (Louisiana-Lafayette, Junior, OF)
Seth Harrison (Louisiana-Lafayette, Junior, OF)
Danny Collins (Troy, Junior, OF)
Dustin Dalken (South Alabama, Senior, DH)
Jordan Patterson (South Alabama, Junior, UTIL)

2013 Sun Belt Baseball All-Conference Second Team
Chance Cleveland (UALR, Senior, SP)
Matt Bell (South Alabama, Junior, SP)
Kyle Bartsch (South Alabama, Senior, RP)
Whitt Dorsey (South Alabama, Senior, C)
Trae Santos (Troy, Junior, 1B)
Johnny Thomas (Middle Tennessee, Senior, 2B)
Blake Trahan (Louisiana-Lafayette, Freshman, SS)
Tyler Girouard (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sophomore, 3B)
Nathan Pittman (Florida Atlantic, Senior, OF)
Ryan Stephens (Middle Tennessee, Jr., OF)
Nolan Earley (South Alabama, Senior, OF)
Caleb Adams (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sophomore, DH)
Ryan Leonards (Louisiana-Lafayette, Junior, UTIL)

2013 Sun Belt Baseball Player of the Year
Jordan Patterson (South Alabama, Junior, UTIL)

2013 Sun Belt Baseball Pitcher of the Year
Shane McCain (Troy, Junior, SP)

2013 Sun Belt Baseball Freshman of the Year
Blake Trahan (Louisiana-Lafayette, SS)

2013 Sun Belt Baseball Ron Maestri Coach of the Year
Mark Calvi, South Alabama

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