Apicella, Roberts add to postseason laurels

Apicella, Roberts add to postseason laurels

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Senior starting pitcher Vince Apicella was named first-team All-Southeast Region and senior third baseman Brandon Roberts was tabbed with a second-team honor by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and Rawlings. 

The accolades add to the pair's honors from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and the Division II Collegiate Commissioners Association (D2CCA) Thursday afternoon.

This year marks the first time since the 2010 campaign that a pair of Eagles were named to all-region squads as Mills Rogers and Jeff Lockwood were each named to the second-team.

Apicella is an all-region honoree for the second time in as many seasons becoming the fifth C-N player in history to be an all-region selection multiple times in his career joining Derrick Lankford (96-97), Aaron Shaffer (01-02) Ryan West (02-03) and Nate Gravely (03-05).

The left-hander had another historic season for the Eagles being named a first-team All-South Atlantic Conference selection and a semi-finalist for the Brett Tomko Division II Pitcher of the Year Award. He is the first Eagle to be on All-SAC teams in consecutive years since Derek Long did so three times from 2008-2010 and the first pitcher since Matt Teague from 2005-07. The southpaw recorded the most complete games, seven, since the school moved to the Division II ranks in 1994. His complete game tally ranks eighth in the country. In 2016, the Dillsburg, Pa. native went 10-3 with a 3.45 earned run average and 105 strikeouts. With 111 punch outs as junior and 105 in 2016, the southpaw owns two of the top-three seasons in terms of total K's. His 10 wins make him the fourth pitcher to record double-digit wins in a single campaign since 1994.

The left-hander ranks third nationally in wins and fourth in punch outs. He recorded two shutouts being one of four players in the program's history to accomplish the feat as he has done so in each of the last two years.

The hurler was named the conference pitcher of the week on Feb. 16 and March 8 bringing his career total to four, the most by any C-N since the award was first handed out in 2006. Apicella has struck out 10 or more four times in 2016 and has won each of the last five outings.

Roberts is the third C-N third baseman to earn a first-team All-South Atlantic Conference nod and the first since Derrick Lankford in 1996. The senior ranks in the top-10 in the conference in hits (71 – 5th), batting average (.368 - 9th), RBIs (54 – 6th), slugging percentage (.622 – 9th) and total bases (120 – 8th). On March 1, Roberts was named the SAC and Tennessee Sportswriters' Association Player of the Week as he became the first C-N player to earn the SAC honor since Kevin Franchetti won on March 5, 2013. He began the year on a 17-game hitting streak and has notched 20 multi-hit games and 14 multi-RBI outings.

The third baseman tallied a .944 fielding percentage tallying 117 assists, second among players at the hot corner and ninth in the league while being a part of nine double plays.

Roberts joined Brandon Burchfield as the only two players to be named CoSIDA Acadmeic All-district as Burchfield was an All-American in 2006 and 2007. The Davie, Fla. native excelled in the classroom piling up a 3.54 GPA while studying in the Carson-Newman Communications School with a major of Media Studies.

Apicella is now eligible for balloting for All-Americans for the ABCA/Rawlings, NCBWA and D2CCA. Voting for the NCBWA awards is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists while voting for the D2CCA is conducted by members of the Division II Sports Information Directors.  The ABCA voting is done by the coaches.