JAMES REEVES NAMED SOCON PITCHER OF THE YEAR

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Connor Walsh, Drew Ellis and JP Sears also honored

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Citadel redshirt junior James Reeves has been named the Southern Conference Pitcher of the Year by the head coaches and SoCon Sports Media Association, it was announced Monday morning by the league office. The left-hander was joined on the first team by senior right fielder Connor Walsh. First baseman/DH Drew Ellis and pitcher JP Sears were chosen to the all-freshman squad.

Reeves is the ninth Bulldog to win top pitcher accolades in 24 seasons under head coach Fred Jordan and fourth in the past seven years. Wes Wrenn and Asher Wojciechowski were back-to-back recipients in 2009-10, and Austin Pritcher was honored in 2013.

Reeves enters his start against East Tennessee State in Tuesday’s SoCon Tournament game with a record of 7-3 and ranks second in the conference (first among starters) with an ERA of 3.44. He is first in the league in opponent batting average (.222), tied for second in strikeouts (103) and seventh in innings pitched (83 2/3).

He has turned in 10 quality starts (six or more innings and three or fewer earned runs) in 13 outings, allowed zero or one run five times and struck out 10 or more on four occasions. His average of 11.08 strikeouts per nine innings places him 19th in the nation.

Reeves tossed the sixth no-hitter in school history in a 4-0 win over Mercer on March 21. He struck out 14 in that game and was a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week for the second time this season. He also earned the honor after the season opener against Air Force when he allowed two hits and one run with 14 strikeouts in six innings.

In addition to his performance against Mercer, Reeves was also the SoCon Pitcher of the Week after defeating ETSU on May 8 when he blanked the Buccaneers on five hits while striking out 12 in seven innings.

Walsh was rarely used as a position player prior to this season but exploded on the scene in 2015, leading the Bulldogs in just about every offensive category. He paces the team in batting average (.347), slugging (.569), on-base percentage (.421), hits (70), runs (45), RBI (57), doubles (15), triples (3) and total bases (115) while ranking second in home runs with eight.

Walsh is tied for second in the SoCon in RBI and ranks eighth in batting average and ninth in doubles. He had seven of his home runs in conference games, including three to go along with seven runs scored and nine RBI in a sweep of ETSU to garner him Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week recognition.

Ellis leads the Bulldogs and is tied for 10th in the SoCon with 11 home runs in his debut campaign and also ranks second on the team in RBI (37) and slugging (.488). He had eight home runs in conference play including five in the final seven games of the regular season.

He is the first Citadel freshman to reach double figures in home runs since Richard Jones had 15 in 2007. Ellis had three home runs in the series against ETSU and added two more against Furman last weekend.

Sears has a record of 5-4 with an ERA of 4.61 in 16 appearances this season including 12 starts. In 70 1/3 innings he has struck out 72, the eighth-highest total in the SoCon, while walking only 18.

Sears joined the rotation against Georgia Southern on Feb. 24 and worked five innings of three-hit shutout ball with five strikeouts. He picked up a victory in SoCon play at Samford on May 2, going 5 1/3 innings and giving up six hits and two runs while fanning five. He has struck out at least seven in five starts with a season-high eight against Lafayette and Wofford.

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