Maxwell, Stevens named SCAC Player, Freshman of the Year

Bruce Maxwell
Bruce Maxwell

MILLINGTON, Tenn.—For the second consecutive year, Birmingham-Southern produced the league's Offensive Player-of-the-Year as Bruce Maxwell earned the honor, and Blake Stevens was voted the league's Freshman-of-the-Year in exclusive voting by the conference's head coaches.

Ben Klimesh of Trinity University repeated as the league's Pitcher-of-the-Year, while Trinity head coach Tim Scannell was selected SCAC Coach-of-the-Year for the third consecutive year.

As for the All-SCAC team, Trinity, who posted the best record in the SCAC West with a 16-4 league mark, led the way with seven First Team selections while Millsaps College also placed seven on the First Team. Birmingham-Southern, winners of the SCAC East at 14-1, and Hendrix College (2nd, SCAC West) followed with four selections each.

Maxwell, a junior catcher/first baseman from Toney, Ala., led the SCAC during the regular season with a .500 batting average and also led the league in homeruns (13), doubles (22), total bases (120), slugging percentage (1.017) on-base percentage (.647) and walks (49). He was fourth in runs batted in (39), second in runs scored (46) and fourth in hits (59). With this week's SCAC tournament and one regular season game remaining against Emory University next week, Maxwell currently has 36 career homeruns – the fourth highest total in SCAC history. He also is currently tied for sixth in league history with 58 doubles. Since the SCAC started naming a Freshman-of-the-Year in 2008, Maxwell becomes the first player in league history to earn both SCAC Freshman-of-the-Year (2010) and SCAC Player-of-the-Year laurels during his playing career.

Maxwell received eight votes in the Player-of-the-Year balloting followed by Millsaps' Wes Perkins, who received the remaining three votes.

Stevens, a first-year right-handed pitcher from Atlanta, Ga., was 5-2 with a 2.98 ERA while leading Birmingham-Southern pitchers with 60.1 innings of work. His 60.1 innings pitched ranked ninth among all SCAC pitchers. He ranked fourth in the league with 64 strike outs and averaged 9.55 strikeouts per nine innings. Stevens threw two complete games, including one for a shutout as he helped the Panthers to their third straight 30-win season. In the five years since the SCAC began selecting a Freshman-of-the-Year, Stevens is the third BSC player to earn the honor.

With seven votes in the balloting, Stevens earned SCAC Freshman-of-the-Year honors ahead of Millsaps' Samuel Doucet who received the remaining four votes.

Maxwell was also named All-SCAC, along with senior shortstop Jon Walker, junior pitcher Blake Yance, and sophomore pitcher Miles Nordgren. Sophomore Austin Justice and Stevens were also named to the Honorable Mention All-SCAC Team.