TERRE HAUTE —
Terre Haute South grad Cole Vicars was the fifth leading hitter for Alcorn State’s baseball team last spring, but this year he has found more success on the pitching mound in leading the Braves to the top seed in the Eastern Division for the upcoming Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament.
Vicars pitched the Braves to their 10th straight win earlier this month in a 5-1 win over Alabama State on Senior Day.
The Braves pushed their overall record to 22-20 on the season with that win and are 19-4 in the SWAC East. ASU clinched its first Eastern Division crown since 2002 and fifth overall.
Vicars improved his record to 4-1 with that win, pitching himself out of a jam in the eighth inning. Alabama State got an unearned run for its only tally of the game, and there were still two runners on with no outs. Vicars turned up the velocity on his pitches and retired the next three batters to end the inning with no further damage.
He finished with seven K’s.
Vicars will take a 4-2 record into the SWAC tourney, with a 4.83 ERA in 10 games and one complete game. He has pitched 50.1 innings, allowing 15 walks while striking out 35.
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Odds and ends from a wet spring mailbag:
• Gott named All-Summit — Bloomfield grad Shelby Gott of Oakland University was named to the All-Summit League softball first team.
Gott, a freshman outfielder, missed 10 games with injuries but still had 25 hits, stole nine bases and batted .362. In league play, Gott hit .367 and had 15 chances with no errors.
She is just the third freshman in school history to make first team all-league.
• Maggert honored — Paris grad Emily Maggert of the Ball State University women’s basketball team received Academic All-Mid-American Conference honors for the first time in her career.
Maggert, a senior exercise science major with a 3.255 grade-point average, was a 2010 All-MAC Second Team selection and voted to the 2009 All-MAC Tournament team. Maggert led the team in scoring (14.6), rebounding (251) and blocks (31) this season.
The Academic All-MAC honor is for a student-athlete who has excelled in athletics and academics. To qualify, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA and have participated in at least 50 percent of the contests for that particular sport. First-year students and junior college transfers in their first year of residence are not eligible for the award.
Maggert holds the BSU record for rebounds in a season (329), fourth all-time in career rebounds (933), third all-time in career scoring (1,691), third all-time in free throws made (389) and ranks fourth all-time in career field goals (611). She also ended her career with 29 double-doubles.
• Miller glad to have AA — Eastern Illinois men’s basketball coach Mike Miller is happy to have added Northview grad Austin Akers of Olney Central to his 2011 recruiting class.
“Austin has the proven ability to create offense for himself and his teammates,” Miller said. “He can shoot the ball with range and make plays for himself and others with his ball handling skills.
“We feel that he not only fills a need as a guard in our program but also brings leadership, character and a strong work ethic.”
Akers earned first-team NJCAA All-Region 24 honors and first team All-Great Rivers Athletic Conference honors this season after leading OCC to an 18-13 record. He was the team’s leading scorer at 13.5 points per game and ranked 53rd nationally with 4.7 assists per game. The 6-2, 195-pound guard added 3.9 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game.
Akers made 76 3-pointers in his career at OCC, starting all 62 games of his junior college career.
EIU added additional backcourt depth recently as former Connecticut player Darius Smith will join the Panthers following one season at the College of Southern Idaho, where he helped lead his team to the Junior College National Championship with a 33-4 record.
Schedules for the 2011-2012 season are not completed yet, but Todd Golden of the Tribune-Star reported last month that Indiana State is “anticipating” opening its season with a home game against Akers and the Panthers.
• Collett redshirting this spring — Terre Haute North grad Dougie Collett broke a few bones in his foot while practicing for Rose-Hulman’s baseball team several weeks ago and will miss the entire season.
He was medically released to practice last month, but he has been placed on medical redshirt status. Collett, a freshman who helped pace the Wayne Newton Post 346 team to a state championship last summer, is still practicing but will see no action.
• O’Leary getting attention — Terre Haute North senior-to-be basketball standout Matt O’Leary is playing this summer for Indiana Elite One, and is in action this weekend – along with THN classmate Ross Sponsler – in the Adidas May Classic at Bloomington.
O’Leary has received two scholarship offers so far this summer, one from Lewis University (a D-II school in northern Illinois in the Great Lakes Valley Conference) and one from St. Francis, an NAIA school in Fort Wayne.
O’Leary had one of his better games with 22 points last weekend at Fort Wayne in a loss to All-Iowa Attack, while Sponsler netted 13 against ACB Bank in the same tournament.
• Payton signs with SMWC — South Vermillion soccer standout Amanda Payton signed a letter of intent with Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College recently.
Payton lettered all four years as a varsity standout, anchoring the Wildcats in goal. She was named MVP in her sophomore year and was named All Western Indiana Conference honors in her sophomore and senior years.
She finished her career strong at South Vermillion, serving as captain and winning the school’s Gold Jacket Athletic Award.
Her coach, Sarah Guinn, says she has been “a great asset to the South Vermillion program, both on the field and in the classroom,” and is happy she’s taking her “great spirit and mental attitude to the Pomeroy squad.”
Payton has also been recognized as a leader at the high school and in her community, recently winning the prestigious Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Scholarship at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, awarded for a combination of academic excellence and service.
SMWC Coach Mike Aycock believes she will be able to step directly into a role in the Woods team. “Amanda will have a worthy challenge to step into a goalkeeper role with us, but I believe she has what it takes,” he said. “We’re delighted to have her, both as a player and as a student. She will see lots of action right away.”
• Maners named All-American — Owen Valley grad Jared Maners completed his collegiate career for the Oakland City men’s basketball team this winter, helping the Oaks to defeat the seventh-ranked Southeastern University Fire 61-56 in the consolation championship of the 2011 NCCAA Division I National Tournament.
It was the team’s 20th win for the season, matching their mark from last season, and finishing fifth in the tournament, two places above last year.
Maners scored a game-high 23 points, finishing his career with 1,050 points, and was named a NCCAA Division I First-Team All-American.
• Leonard invited to 19U tryouts — Robinson grad Meyers Leonard of the University of Illinois is one of 17 players who will compete June 17-24 for 12 spots on the 2011 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Championship basketball team.
Leonard, a sophomore-to-be for the Illini, is joined by Creighton’s Doug McDermott and Jeremy Lamb of national champion Connecticut among the invitees.
Others accepting invitations were Keith Appling of Michigan State, Melsahn Basabe of Iowa, Brad Beal of Chaminade College Prep, James Bell of Villanova, Anthony Brown of Stanford, Trevor Cooney of Wilmington, Del., Allen Crabbe and Richard Solomon of California, Tim Hardaway, Jr., of Michigan, Joe Jackson of Memphis, Travis McKie of Wake Forest, Tony Mitchell of North Texas, Josiah Turner of Sacramento, Calif., and Patric Young of Florida.
The team will be chosen on June 19, with the team leaving for Europe on June 24. The 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship for Men is being held June 30-July 10 in Valmiera, Liepaja, and Riga, Latvia.
Joey Bennett is a former Tribune-Star sports reporter and copy editor who now teaches at Northview High School in Brazil. He can be reached at email@example.com.