05/21/08 — Three Pirates earn conference honors

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Three Pirates earn conference honors

Published in Sports on May 21, 2008 3:56 PM

NEW ORLEANS -- East Carolina headlined the league's top individual awards, winning three of the five major awards announced Tuesday at the 2008 Conference USA Baseball Championships.

Senior catcher Corey Kemp was named player of the year, right-handed pitcher Seth Maness grabbed freshman of the year honors and junior right-hander Justin Bristow earned newcomer of the year recognition.

Voting was done by a panel consisting of each head coach, each team's sports information director and a media representative from each city.

Kemp has been one of the most productive hitters in Conference USA all season long, leading the league in home runs (15) and RBI (66), while batting .358 with a .637 slugging percentage. He has produced 20 multi-hit and 17 multi-RBI games and has produced 11 game-winning RBI.

In 24 conference games, Kemp batted .319 with 10 homers and 38 RBI. A finalist for the Johnny Bench Award, Kemp was a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and became the second Pirate catcher in three years to earn first team All-C-USA honors.

Maness became just the second freshman in East Carolina history to win nine games, tying for the C-USA lead in victories. Maness is 9-1 on the season with a 2.79 ERA, third-lowest in the league. He has a team-best 75 strikeouts and has walked just 17 batters in 84 innings pitched.

Maness had two games in which he did not allow an earned run and had five outings in which he allowed one walk or less walks.

Bristow, a transfer from Auburn, has had a highly-successful first season in a Pirate uniform, posting an 8-2 record with a 3.05 ERA and 73 strikeouts with 22 walks. He has tossed a pair of complete-game shutouts and has allowed just three home runs in 82 2/3 innings pitched.

Senior outfielder Harrison Eldridge earned first-team, all-CUSA accolades. Junior infielder Stephen Batts joined Bristow on the second team. Shortstop Dustin Harrington grabbed a spot on the all-freshman team.

East Carolina (37-19 overall) opposed fourth-seeded Houston at 9 this morning in the opening round of the CUSA Tournament.