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Chatham Named C-USA Player of the Year; Six Owls Earn Honors
May 24, 2016

BOCA RATON, Fla. – On the eve of the Conference USA Tournament, six Florida Atlantic University baseball players have earned All-Conference honors, led by junior shortstop CJ Chatham. Chatham was named the C-USA Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and earned his second-consecutive nod as a First Team All-Conference selection, as voted on by league coaches, media relations directors and media members.

Starting pitchers Brandon Rhodes and Marc Stewart, along with closer Cameron Ragsdale earned Second Team All-Conference honors while Tyler Frank and Nick Swan were named to the All-Freshman Team.

Chatham became the second-consecutive FAU standout to earn Conference USA Player of the Year honors, following Brendon Sanger in 2015. The junior, who was the C-USA preseason selection as well, is batting .373 with 47 runs, 47 RBI, 17 doubles, four triples and a .439 on-base percentage – all team highs. Chatham also belted seven homers, is slugging .578 with two sacrifice flies and is projected as one of the top prospects in the upcoming MLB Draft. The south Florida native owns 26 multi-hit and 13 multi-RBI games and was named the C-USA Hitter of the Week on May 2. FAU’s former conference Players of the Year include Todd Moser (1999), Robbie Widlanski (2007), Mike McKenna (2008), and Brendon Sanger.

 

 

Rhodes, a four-year force for FAU, owns a 6-3 record with a team-high 85 innings of work. He has dealt 44 strikeouts and walked just 14 with a complete-game shutout under his belt. With his next start, Rhodes will move into second all-time at FAU with 42 pitching starts. He has been a member of two NCAA Regional teams.

Newcomer Stewart boasts a perfect 6-0 record, and a 3.23 ERA with over 69.2 innings on the hill. Holding batters to an average of .231, Stewart has struck out 40 in 13 starts, allowing just 58 hits. The righty is 4-0 against C-USA opponents and earned his first FAU win in a 4-0 shutout at now-No. 1 and SEC Regular-Season Champion Mississippi State on Feb. 20.

Ragsdale leads Conference USA and ranks fifth in the nation with 14 saves on the season. He holds a 0.75 ERA and has 21 strikeouts. In C-USA games, Ragsdale has not allowed a run to score, recorded seven saves.13 strikeouts to just eight hits allowed and held batters to a .167 average.

Frank stepped in to help fill the role of catcher, a position he had not played since his freshman year of high school, in the spring and has made 34 starts on the season. Frank is batting .287 with 23 RBI, 18 runs, seven doubles and 22 walks for a .400 on-base percentage. Nineteen of his RBI have come against Conference USA foes, including a walk-off sacrifice fly last weekend to help FAU sweep WKU and capture the C-USA regular-season title.

Swan has been reliable for FAU both starting and coming out of the bullpen. The freshman owns a 3-0 record with a 3.00 ERA in 17 outings. He has struck out 21 over 33 innings and combined for a shutout at Old Dominion. Swan’s victories came against FGCU, Southern Miss and UTSA. In the USM game, Swan dealt 4.2 shutout innings and allowed just one hit in FAU’s come back for the series victory over the nationally-ranked Golden Eagles.

FAU opens the Conference USA Tournament on Wednesday, May 25 at 1:30 p.m. ET against Charlotte in Hattiesburg, Miss. Free radio broadcasts throughout the tournament are available on FAUSports.com.

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