Baseball earns multiple All-Conference awards
The Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) announced the selections for the 2021 Baseball All-Conference Team and player of the year awards. OLLU earned six first-team selections, while Jose Diaz (SR/Pinar del Rio, Cuba) was a repeat first-team selection.
In addition, Diaz was named RRAC Player of the Year after leading the conference with a .403 batting average and 46 hits. As a reliever, he led the conference with seven saves. His senior leadership helped guide the Saints to a 34-15 overall record and bid to the NAIA World Series.
Brett Vasquez (SO/Mont Belvieu, Texas) took RRAC Pitcher of the Year. Vasquez was first in the conference with nine wins and second in ERA at 3.29. His strikeout-to-walk ratio was 3.4:1, and his overall record was 9-1 in 14 appearances. He set the Saints’ all-time single-season win total.
Head Coach Bryan Aughney said, “I’m very excited for our players who took home All-Conference and Gold Glove awards. Diaz has been a special player for OLLU for a long time. He is an outstanding teammate and worker and a great person. I could not be happier for him. Vasquez has put in a lot of work this past summer and fall and you could tell that he was on a mission. I’m very excited for him.”
Diaz, Matthew Klar (SO/San Antonio, Texas), Alec Martinez (JR/Corpus Christi, Texas) and Jacob Mitchell (JR/Harker Heights, Texas ) made the All-Conference First-Team. Robert Lopez (SR/San Antonio, Texas) and Ram Maldonado (JR/McAllen, Texas) were awarded Second-Team honors. Maldonado, Matt Mihalov (SR/Conroe, Texas) and Mitchell were part of the Gold Glove Team. Adrian Gonzalez Jr. (JR/Weslaco, Texas) made the Champions of Character Team.
Aughney commented, “Mitchell being named First Team at first base is outstanding. He’s been a huge part of our success hitting in the middle of our lineup and holding down first base. I’m excited for him as this is his third Gold Glove award. He takes pride in his game and it’s great to see the awards come in. Maldonado and Mihalov also won Gold Glove awards, which is very good. We have always put a premium on defense.”
Aughney continued, “Martinez has jumped into being our Friday game one guy from being a two-way in years past and has excelled. He has continued to develop into an outstanding player for us. Klar also had a great year so far, and he approaches the game with intensity and strives for excellence. Maldonado and Lopez making Second Team are very exciting. Lopez has been our guy behind the plate for the past four years, so I’m excited for him as we have asked him to do so much. Maldonado continues to improve, and I’m pleased to see his work begin to pay off.”