Seven student-athletes for the University of Arkansas at Monticello baseball team earned All-Great American Conference recognition for the 2021 season, the league office announced Thursday.
The Weevils garnered three first team, two second team, one all-defensive team and one honorable mention selections.
Junior pitcher River Hunt, junior third baseman Jordan Johnson and senior shortstop Dylan Borman were each selected All-GAC First Team. Senior catcher Andrew Piraino and sophomore pitcher Mason Philley landed on the All-GAC Second Team. Flashing the leather for UAM, senior first baseman Aaron Gaela earned GAC All-Defensive Team honors. Rounding out the honorees for the Weevils was junior outfielder Grant Shepherd who was garnered All-GAC honorable mention recognition.
Hunt put together an unblemished junior campaign on the mound for the Weevils to earn All-GAC First Team honors. The Sherwood, Arkansas product led UAM on the bump going 8-0 in 11 starts during the regular season. His eight victories also tied for the most in the GAC while he also posted the second-lowest opposing batting average (.215) and the third-best ERA (3.76). Hunt also finished the regular season in the top 10 for strikeouts in the GAC with 58 in a team-high 55.0 innings pitched.
Johnson garnered All-GAC First Team following a season in which he led the Weevils in batting average (.374), hits (52) and RBI (42). The 6’5″ third baseman finished the regular season in the top 10 of the GAC in slugging percentage (.741), RBI and home runs (12). His stellar junior season vaulted Johnson to the top of UAM program history in career home runs (40), RBI (156) and doubles (44). Johnson also earned GAC Co-Player of the Week following a 10-for-12 weekend with four home runs and 11 RBI including a three home run eight RBI performance in game one of the series against Southern Nazarene.
Borman earned All-GAC First Team recognition after showing off his power at the plate during a strong senior campaign. The 6’5″ shortstop led UAM in home runs (15) and slugging percentage (.781) during the regular season. In those power categories, he landed second in the league in home runs and third in slugging percentage. Borman hit .344 in the regular season for the Weevils while putting together 14 multi-hit games including two multi-home run performances.
Piraino landed on the All-GAC Second Team after guiding the UAM pitching staff to 369 strikeouts and pushing the Weevils’ offense to a team batting average of .306. The senior catcher finished the regular season hitting .336 with eight doubles, three home runs and 34 RBI. Defensively, Piraino boasted a .986 fielding percentage while catching six runners stealing.
Philley picked up All-GAC Second Team honors following his sophomore campaign in which he led UAM pitchers in strikeouts with 84. The Monticello, Arkansas native also landed second in the conference in strikeout while holding opponents to a .269 batting average. Philley earned two wins while pitching 54.0 innings in 11 appearances during the regular season. The lefty also earned GAC Pitcher of the Week following a 15-strikeout performance in 6.0 innings to beat East Central.
Gaela flashed the leather at first base to garner GAC All-Defensive Team recognition. The Dublin, California product posted a .992 fielding percentage while only two errors in 239 chances this season. Gaela contributed with his bat as well hitting .326 with eight doubles, three home runs and 27 RBI.
Shepherd rounded out the honorees for the Weevils by earning All-GAC honorable mention. The junior outfielder finished the regular season second on the team in hits (46) and batting average (.354) while adding four home runs. Shepherd has recorded 14 multi-hit games and eight multi-RBI performances this season.
These seven All-GAC performers will take the field for the Weevils Friday as UAM travels to Northwestern Oklahoma State for the first round of the conference tournament. First pitch for the contest is set for 6 p.m.