Four Dirtbags Earn All-Big West Honors
Long Beach State had four players named to the 2018 All-Big West baseball squad, led by Clayton Andrews who was a first-team selection as a starting pitcher.
LONG BEACH, Calif. - The Big West Conference announced its All-Big West teams for the 2018 baseball season on Wednesday, with Long Beach State having four players selected. Junior Clayton Andrews led the way as a first team selection as a starting pitcher, with a trio of Dirtbags earning recognition on the second team. Junior Jarren Duran was a second team selection at second base, junior Chris Rivera was recognized at closer and Zak Baayoun was honored as a starting pitcher.
Andrews had a terrific year as both a starting pitcher and centerfielder for Long Beach State, but really excelled on the mound. He was a five-time Big West Pitcher of the Week, becoming just the third pitcher in conference history to win that many in a single season. He also ended the year by winning the honor in four consecutive weeks, becoming the first player in Big West history to accomplish that feat.
He led the conference with a 1.11 ERA during conference play, finishing with a mark of 1.99 on the season. His 118 strikeouts ranked 16th in the nation and was best the Big West, and his 11.21 strikeouts per nine innings during conference games was easily the highest among starters. The junior southpaw issued just 17 walks as a pitcher, giving him an impressive 118:17 K:BB ratio. He recorded 6.94 strikeouts for every walk he issued, which ranks 19th in the nation this season. Andrews allowed 78 hits and 17 walks in 99.2 innings pitched, giving him a WHIP of .950, which led the conference and ranked 23rd in the country.
Andrews also hit .302 offensively, led the Dirtbags with five triples, and was second on the team in RBIs (26), walks (25), and stolen bases (13) this season. He struck out just six times in 215 at-bats (35.8 AB/K), making him the toughest batter in the country to strike out. Andrews was also the first player in Big West history to win Pitcher of the Week and Player of the Week during the same season.
Duran earns All-Big West recognition for the second straight year, again checking in on the second team. The speedy junior led the conference with 17 stolen bases in 19 attempts this season, giving him 49 in his career. Batting near the top of the lineup, Duran led LBSU with 42 runs scored and 67 hits while playing solid defense at the keystone. Duran did not commit an error in 121 total chances during Big West play while helping turn 14 double plays.
Rivera is also a second team All-Big West selection for the second straight season. The junior closer earned 11 saves this season, but had just three in conference play as his role shifted to include more multi-inning relief appearances and the first start of his career. While serving exclusively as a late-inning reliever, Rivera’s numbers were outstanding. He had 11 saves in his first 16 appearances, posting a strong 0.49 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 18.1 innings pitched and a WHIP of .709.
Baayoun is a first-time All-Big West selection, picking up second team honors following his first season as a starting pitcher. The sophomore southpaw opened the season with an impressive 12-strikeout performance on Opening Night against Saint Mary’s, and established himself as the Friday starter for LBSU this season. Baayoun tied for second in the conference with nine wins, going 9-3 with a 3.58 ERA. He recorded 84 strikeouts in 98.0 innings to rank fourth in the conference in K’s and was twice named Big West Pitcher of the Week.
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