• Special to The Sun

Midway baseball receives postseason honors

During the River States Conference Baseball Tournament at VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, Ohio, conference officials released the members for the All-RSC Baseball Teams, as well as Gold Glove Team and Champions of Character Team. Representing Midway with First Team RSC honors were junior James Davenport, and seniors Jake McCoy and Hector Quinones. Also, junior Chase Heslep earned Second Team honors, while senior Josh Wenning was named to the Gold Glove Team and junior Carlos Cespedes was named to the Champions of Character Team. The 2017 season was the first-ever baseball season at Midway University. The program absorbed coaches and players from St. Catharine College (SCC) - an institution that closed its doors in June 2016. All six of the players honored transferred from SCC. Davenport, a native of Louisville, earned his first career First Team honor. During the season, the pitcher had a 5-1 record with a 2.15 earned run average in 54.1 innings pitched. He also struck out 58 batters and allowed a .239 batting average against. Davenport also went the distance a couple of times this season. He started nine games and tossed three complete games with one shutout and two combined shutouts. Closer Jake McCoy, also made an appearance on the First Team as a relief pitcher. The Mesa, Ariz., native led the team with a 1.16 ERA over 23.1 innings pitched. He also collected a 2-1 record with eight saves and struck out 48 batters for an average of over two Ks per inning. McCoy's eight saves led the conference and ranked 15th in the NAIA. While at St. Catharine, McCoy took home All-Mid-South Conference First Team honors in 2016 and All-MSC Second Team honors in 2014. Quinones was the final Midway player to earn First Team honors. A utility player from Barceloneta, Puerto Rico, he played either first base or pitched in all games for Midway this season. He is one of only three players to appear in all 56 of the Eagles' games. Quinones ranks in the top-10 statistically in 10 different pitching/hitting categories. In pitching, he ranks ninth in runs allowed (35), eighth in ERA (3.18), sixth in earned runs allowed (22), fifth in hits allowed per game (8.09), fifth in opponent batting average (.235) and fourth in hits allowed (56). In hitting, he ranks tied for ninth in doubles (12), sixth in total bases (94), fifth in at-bats (183) and first in home runs (10). He also was named the RSC Baseball Player of the Week on March 20. Rounding out the All-RSC honors was Heslep with his first career Second Team honor. From Bellingham, Wash., the pitcher had a 6-4 record with a 2.08 ERA. His opponents hit just .205 against him, as he led the team in innings pitched with 73.2. Heslep also ranks in the top-10 in eight different statistical categories. He is tied for 10th in wins (6), tied for fifth in innings pitched (73.2) and strikeouts (63), fifth in runs allowed (31), fourth in earned runs allowed (17), third in ERA (2.08) and hits allowed (55) and second in opponent batting average (.205). The River States Conference Gold Glove Team award is given to the best defender at each position. Senior Josh Wenning was named to the RSC Gold Glove Team as a second baseman. On the season, he committed just two errors in 188 chances for a .989 fielding percentage. The RSC Champions of Character Team recognized one player from each team who had best exemplified the five character values of the NAIA Champions of Character program, which are respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership and sportsmanship. Carlos Cespedes, a junior from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, represented Midway on the list. After winning the River States Conference Baseball Tournament in just their first season at Midway, the Eagles finished 28-28 overall and advanced to the NAIA Baseball National Championship.

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