Seven Eagles Earn Baseball All-Conference Honors

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NORFOLK, Va. – Seven student-athletes on the North Carolina Central University baseball team were voted to postseason All-Conference teams the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference office announced on Tuesday, May 17.

Junior outfielder Carlos Ortiz (Cleveland, Ohio) earned his third consecutive All-MEAC honor by being voted to the First Team, and he is joined on that team by senior reliever Andrew Vernon (Raleigh, N.C.).  Senior utility man James Dey (Charlotte, N.C.) was voted to the second team along with junior infielders Ellington Hopkins(Lansing, N.Y.) and Thomas Prospero (Batavia, N.Y.).  Senior right hander Alex Dandridge (Arlington, Texas) was tabbed for the third team along with junior outfielder Zachary Marszal (Cary, Ill.).

Seven All-Conference honorees is the most for NCCU since it landed three in 2014.

Ortiz finished in the top-five in the MEAC in slugging percentage at .545, home runs with nine, and RBI with 41 driven in, and he was in the top-10 in total bases with 91.  Ortiz is also in the top-five of single-season records at NCCU in each of those categories, and he has an opportunity to break those marks during the conference tournament.

Vernon checked in at 12th in NCAA Division I with 11.93 strikeouts per nine innings, and topped the MEAC with 76 punchouts which is a new single-season record at NCCU in the modern era.  He kept the lowest ERA among qualified pitchers on the NCCU staff and was fifth in the league with a 3.45 ERA.  Vernon was also tied for third in the conference with four saves, and that also allowed him to break the career saves record.

Dey had his best season at the plate in his senior year on his way to Second Team honors, and he ends the regular season third on the club with a .312 batting average.  Dey hit five home runs and also made 14 appearances from the bullpen for a 3.50 ERA and nailed down his first career save against Longwood University during this season.

Hopkins led NCCU in batting average in his first year with the club after transferring in at a rate of .330, and placed in the fourth in the MEAC in runs scored with 48, and was in the top-10 in on base percentage at .439, hits with 61 and stolen bases with 14.  He is in the top-10 in NCCU single season records in those categories, and he is most notably third in runs scored with an opportunity to be only the second Eagle to touch home 50 times in one campaign.

Prospero clocked in second on the squad with a .317 batting average, and finished the regular season fifth in the MEAC in assists as a shortstop.  Prospero tallied 57 hits which is in the top-10 of single season records at NCCU, and he also drove in 29 RBI while slugging .433.

Dandridge holds a record of 4-2 on the mound in 13 appearances and 12 starts, and an ERA of 4.34 which is in the top-10 of the MEAC.  Dandridge tossed 55 strikeouts over 64 and one-third of an inning, which is the second most on the team in both categories.

Marszal batted over .300 in his first year with the maroon and gray and drove in 30 RBI which is good fo third-most on the roster.  Marszal picked up nine doubles with a triple and three home runs, and knocked 53 hits on his way to a slugging percentage of .415.

NCCU opens the MEAC Baseball Championship on Thursday, May 19 against Delaware State University, and that game will be carried live on the NCCU Sports Network, available at NCCUEaglePride.com.  Live Twitter updates can also be found by following @NCCUAthletics.

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