Sam Houston State designated hitter Anthony Azar has earned a postseason recognition this week by being named to the ABCA All-South Central Region Team as a first team selection.
Azar led the Bearkats in 2012 with a .354 batting average. The sophomore from The Woodlands also had a team high three home runs, 38 RBI, 10 doubles and a .402 on base percentage. He had an OPS of .899 which was also tops on the club.
Azar started 43 games this season for the Bearkats, missing nearly a month with an injury. He was named a Southland Conference first-team selection as well.
He helped lead the Kats to a record season, as they won 40 games for just the third time at the NCAA level and received the school’s first at-large selection to the NCAA Regionals as a member of the Southland Conference.
Of Azar’s three home runs this season, two were potential season changing blasts. Early in the year, Azar connected on a ball from Southland pitcher of the year Travis Ballew for a two-run homer in the seventh to give the Bearkats a 4-3 win in the opening game of the series against Texas State. The Kats went on to sweep the favorites to win the league and cruised to their first Southland regular season title since 1989.
In the Southland tournament in San Marcos, needing at least one more win to boost the team’s NCAA postseason chances, Azar delivered a bottom of the ninth, first-pitch fast ball over the left field fence for a walk-off victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
The ABCA South Central Region consists of players from the Southland Conference, Sunbelt Conference, Conference USA and the Southwestern Athletic Conference. By earning a first team selection, Azar is eligible for ABCA All-America honors which will be selected at the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.
FIRST TEAM (eligible for All-America)
C - Blake Johnson, UALR
1B - Alex Williams, Louisiana Tech
2B - Brock Hebert, Southeastern Louisiana
3B - Mike Martinez, FIU
SS - Hunter Dozier, Stephen F. Austin
DH - Anthony Azar, Sam Houston State
OF - Sean Bignall, UALR
OF - Preston Beck, UT Arlington
OF - Justin Guidry, Middle Tennessee
OF - Trent Miller, Middle Tennessee
SP - Matthew Reckling, Rice
SP - Daniel Minor, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
SP - Jacob Lee, Arkansas State
RP - Stefan Lopez, Southeastern Louisiana
C - Craig Manuel, Rice
1B - Joey Rapp, ULM
2B - Christian Stringer, Rice
3B - Danny Collins, Troy
SS - Jeremy Sy, ULM
DH - Jeremy Hill, Nicholls
OF - Kendall Logan, Jackson State
OF - Jeremy Rathjen, Rice
OF - Jabari Henry, FIU
SP - Lance Day, UT Arlington
SP - Quintavious Drains, Jackson State
SP - Chance Cleveland, UALR
SP - Travis Ballew, Texas State
RP - R.J. Alvarez, Florida Atlantic