BUIES CREEK — Senior right-handed pitcher Michael Horrell was voted the Big South Conference Pitcher of the Year and rookie left-handed pitcher Ryan Chasse claimed Big South Freshman of the Year honors to highlight six Camels that were selected to the league’s all-conference teams.
Horrell and Chasse were also named first team All-Big South, alongside redshirt-junior outfielder Matthew Barefoot (Midway) and senior shortstop Luis Gimenez. Junior infielder Collin Wolf picked up second team All-Big South honors, while junior right-handed pitcher Wyatt Tyson represented the Camels on the Big South All-Academic team.
Horrell is the second consecutive Camel to claim Big South Pitcher of the Year honors, and he is the third student-athlete in program history to earn the league’s top pitching honor (Allan Winans, 2018; Ryan Thompson, 2013).
The right-hander from Winston-Salem finished the regular season with 68 strikeouts while issuing just 12 walks for a 5.67 strikeout-to-walk ratio, the 29th-best mark in the nation. He owns the league’s lowest WHIP at 1.03, a total that also ranks 59th nationally. In conference play, he owned a 2.35 ERA, the second best in the league and he tied for the conference lead in wins with eight. The senior owned a 6-0 record at home in his final season at Jim Perry Stadium, boasting a minuscule 0.83 ERA. After fanning 10 batters with two walks in seven innings at Gardner-Webb on April 6, Horrell was named the Big South Pitcher of the Week on April 8.
Chasse is also the second consecutive player to earn Big South Freshman of the Year honors, and he is the third player in Campbell baseball history to receive the league’s rookie of the year award (Logan Bender, 2018; Reggie Davis, 1994). The lefty from Apex finished as the league leader in ERA with a 2.60 overall mark. His 1.91 ERA in conference play also led the league, and his seven conference wins ranked tied for second. Chasse limited all opponents to a .215 batting average, and in conference action, he held Big South batters to a league-low .150 batting average.
The two-time Big South Freshman of the Week was also named the Big South Pitcher of the Week once during the season. He earned the league’s top weekly pitching honor after retiring the first 20 batters he faced on May 5 against Charleston Southern, taking a perfect game into the seventh inning. He needed just 116 pitches to toss a complete game, making him the only Big South freshman to accomplish the feat this season, and the first to do so in almost exactly two years (May 6, 2017; High Point’s Drew Daczkowski in a 4-1 win over Charleston Southern).
Barefoot earned his second-straight First Team All-Big South honor after taking home a Second Team All-Conference accolade as a redshirt-freshman two years ago. The now redshirt-junior leads Campbell in slugging percentage (.574), runs scored (49), home runs (12), RBI (44) and hit by pitches (12). He ranks third in the conference in slugging percentage (.686) and is tied for second in league home runs (9). The Dunn native also ranks tied for third in stolen bases with 22 steals on 27 attempts, and in Big South games, he ranks tied for fifth with 27 RBI. He was named the Big South Player of the Week on March 25 after going 10-for-22 (.455) across Campbell’s five games that week.
Gimenez picked up his first career All-Big South nod, representing Campbell on the league’s First Team. The Venezuelan infielder played and started all 51 games at shortstop during his senior season. He leads the conference with 26 stolen bases on 28 attempts, a total that also ranks tied for 32nd nationally. Gimenez is one of the toughest hitters to punch out nationally, ranking 32nd with an average of 11.9 at-bats between strikeouts. He currently ranks third in the league in doubles (11) and seventh in hits (64), and his .306 batting average is the third highest in the Campbell lineup.
In Wolf’s first season as a Fighting Camel, the junior from Tacoma Community College picked up Second Team All-Big South honors. Wolf played and started all 51 games between third base and second base, leading the Camels in both on-base percentage (.436) and batting average (.315). He drew a team-high 31 walks and was plunked by 10 pitches, making him one of four Camels to record 10 or more hit by pitches. The Puyallup, Wash., native collected 19 multi-hit games with nine multi-RBI games, including a pair of five-RBI games. In conference play, Wolf compiled a .327 average with five doubles, two triples and two home runs.
Tyson, a native of Red Lion, Pa., is carrying a 3.441 cumulative GPA as an accounting major. The junior right-handed reliever earned his first win of the season over No. 9 ECU on February 20, tossing one inning of relief with a strikeout. He also pitched a scoreless frame against No. 11 NC State on May 7, collecting a pair of strikeouts. Tyson has struck out three batters across his three conference innings, and owns 14 strikeouts over 11.0 overall innings.
The Camels begin postseason action Thursday, May 23, as the No. 1 seed in the Big South Baseball Tournament. First pitch against a to-be-determined opponent is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at Segra Stadium in Fayetteville.
(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report)