Weisberg, Gaines voted SAA Coach, Pitcher of the Year

Jan Weisberg and Ryan Gaines (photos by Jimmy Mitchell)
Jan Weisberg and Ryan Gaines (photos by Jimmy Mitchell)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Birmingham-Southern Head Baseball Coach Jan Weisberg and junior Ryan Gaines have been named the Southern Athletic Association Coach and Pitcher of the Year, the league office announced today.

Gaines was joined on the SAA First Team by senior Taylor McCracken (3B), junior Sam Roberts (OF), sophomore Brayden Housel (OF), and junior Stephen Himic (P). Earning Second-Team honors is junior David Scott (2B), and Honorable Mention accolades were given to freshman A.J. Hunt (C), senior Matt Brown (SS), senior Kyle Royalty (P), and senior Wilson Jamison (P).

Gaines, from Dunwoody, Ga., enjoyed a dominant season on the mound for the Panthers in 2016. In 10 starts he compiled a sterling 9-1 record to produce the most victories and fewest defeats on anyone to take the hill as a starter that number of times. He led the league with a 1.57 ERA and threw the most innings of work (74.1), yet still only walked 12 batters all season long. He tallied 58 strikeouts (third in the SAA) and tossed a complete game shutout against Berry on April 16 to help cement the regular season title for the Panthers.

Wesiberg just completed his 10th regular season at the helm of the Panther program and 2016 was a banner year like many that have preceded it under Weisberg's watch. He guided 'Southern to a 30-9 overall record in 2016 and the Panthers' third consecutive SAA regular season crown. His squad enters the postseason ranked No. 7 in the country by D3baseball.com. Weisberg earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Kentucky in 1993.

The Panthers open post-season play Friday as the top seed in the tournament, hosting No. 8 Sewanee at 6 p.m.