Courtesy of ABCA, Elizabethtown, and Scranton
The American Baseball Coaches Association is thrilled to announce the over 300 member college and high school programs from across the country who have been awarded the 2018-19 ABCA Team Academic Excellence Award. Teams from every level of college and high school baseball were recognized with this year's award, which highlights programs coached by ABCA members that posted a GPA over 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the entire 2018-19 academic year.
The Elizabethtown baseball team was one of 79 programs throughout Division III to be recognized with the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Team Academic Excellence Award. This marks the second-consecutive year that the Blue Jays has been recognized for its academic achievements. The 2019 Blue Jays saw numerous academic successes, including junior Derek Manning becoming the first two-time Google Cloud First Team Academic All-American in program history. Senior Anthony Knight also was named Landmark Baseball Senior Scholar Athlete and Elizabethtown's Male Distinguished Student-Athlete. Both Manning and Knight were named to the Google Cloud Academic All-District 4 Baseball Team for the second-straight year.
The University of Scranton baseball team was honored for their work in the classroom recently, as for the second straight season the Royals earned the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Team Academic Excellence Award. On the field in 2019, the Royals made their way back to the Landmark Conference playoffs in 2019 for the second straight season after finishing the campaign with 17 victories, nine of which came in Landmark Conference play.
Individually, junior Connor Harding put together a historic season on his way to becoming the 2019 Landmark Conference Player of the Year. An ABCA/Rawlings All-Region Second Team selection, a D3Baseball.com Third Team All-American, and a CoSIDA Academic All-American, Harding recorded a remarkable .464 batting average in 2019, the third-highest mark in Scranton history while setting program records with 70 hits and nine triples. He also hit eight doubles and three home runs while driving in 34 runs and scoring 46 runs while going 14-for-17 on stolen base attempts.
Coaches were able to nominate their teams for the ABCA Team Academic Excellence Award following the conclusion of their spring semesters prior to the nomination deadline of July 19. To be honored, teams had to meet the following criteria:
- Must be a high school or college team.
- Head coach must be a current ABCA member.
- Team must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 on a 4.0 scale during the 2018-19 academic year.
The American Baseball Coaches Association has a long tradition of recognizing the achievements of baseball coaches and student-athletes. The ABCA/Rawlings All-America Teams are the nation's oldest, founded in 1949, and the ABCA's awards program also includes the ABCA/Rawlings All-Region Awards, the ABCA/Diamond Regional & National Coaches of the Year and several other major awards such as the ABCA Hall of Fame and the Dave Keilitz Ethics in Coaching Award.