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Weisberg, Stevens named SAA Coach, Pitcher of the Year

Blake Stevens & Jan Weisberg (photos by Cari Dean)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Birmingham-Southern Head Coach Jan Weisberg and junior hurler Blake Stevens were named Southern Athletic Association Coach and Pitcher of the Year, the league office announced today.

The Panthers also landed eight players on the All-SAA teams. Junior catcher Jacob Mayfield, sophomore infielder Matt Brown, senior pitcher Miles Nordgren, and Stevens all earned First-Team honors, while senior infielder Evan Grovenstein and junior pitcher David Bourbonnais landed spots on the Second Team. Senior outfielder Jeremy Hatley and freshman designated hitter Zach Wingate were named Honorable Mention All-Conference.

Stevens, a right-handed pitcher from Atlanta, Ga., was dominant on the mound in 2014 for the Panthers on his way to claiming Pitcher of the Year honors. He led the SAA in both ERA (0.75) and strikeouts (47) while also dominating opponents with a meager .169 batting average against through 48 innings pitched. A pitching perfectionist with pinpoint control, Stevens struck out 71 batters throughout the season while only issuing 10 walks. He posted a 7-2 overall record while anchoring a BSC squad that's been ranked in the Top 15 nationally for the past six weeks. Stevens' season was typified by his outstanding performance against Millsaps in March when he pitched seven innings of shutout ball, allowing just four hits and striking out 11. A starter, Stevens allowed only a scant four earned runs in 48 innings pitched for the Panthers in conference play to punctuate his candidacy as the league's top pitcher.

Weisberg just completed his eighth season at the helm of the BSC program, which he has turned into a national powerhouse. He guided Birmingham-Southern to a 33-10 overall record in 2014 as they captured their first SAA regular season crown and were ranked inside the Top 20 nationally throughout the 2014 campaign. Previously, Weisberg was named 2010 Alabama College Coach of the Year by the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association and Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Co-Coach of the Year. In 2012 he was named the D3baseball.com South Region Coach of the Year. Prior to coming to BSC, Weisberg led Transylvania University to a second-place regular-season finish in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, the highest finish ever in school history, and to its first-ever conference tournament berth in 2006. Weisberg earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Kentucky in 1993.

The 15th-ranked Panthers will face No. 26 Rhodes in a best-of-three series for the SAA title beginning Monday, May 5, at 6 p.m. at Striplin Field.