Griffin, Hicks, Lively Earn All-C-USA Awards

May 24, 2011

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By Brian Ormiston

PEARL, Miss. (UCFAthletics.com) - With the Conference USA Championship presented by Trustmark just one day away, the league office announced its all-conference teams Tuesday. UCF senior first baseman Jonathan Griffin was voted onto the All-C-USA First Team, sophomore designated hitter D.J. Hicks received a spot on the second team and pitcher Ben Lively grabbed a spot on the C-USA All-Freshman Team.

The Knights have now had at two selections to either the first or second team every year since head coach Terry Rooney took over the program in 2009. This year, UCF posted its highest finish (fourth) in the C-USA standings since joining the league in 2006, and it also has its most victories (36) since 2005. And the trio of Griffin, Hicks and Lively certainly played a huge role in those accomplishments.

Griffin came to UCF last season and showed a powerful bat in the second half of the year. The Bradenton, Fla., native carried that over into 2011 where he leads the league with 16 homers, a .618 slugging percentage and 139 total bases. He also ranks fourth with 74 hits and fifth with 47 RBI.

A semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy which is given out to the nation's top player, Hicks also boasts some impressive power numbers. After redshirting last year, the 2009 C-USA All-Freshman Team performer is second in C-USA (behind Griffin) with a .583 slugging percentage, 119 total bases and 13 home runs. Meanwhile, Hicks, who hails from Altamonte Springs, Fla., leads the conference with 59 RBI, ranks seventh with a .338 average and eighth with a .424 on-base percentage.

And a product of Gulf Breeze, Fla., Lively made a statement right away for the Knights. The righty won his first-five collegiate starts, defeating Alabama, Dartmouth, Wagner, Columbia and Rice. Lively claims a 5-1 record with a 4.74 ERA, striking out 41 in 57.0 innings, including four in his most recent outing where he pitched 4.2 shutout innings against Marshall May 19.

No. 4 seed UCF is preparing for day one of the C-USA Championship presented by Trustmark as it clashes with No. 5 Memphis Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET in Pearl, Miss. No. 1 Rice and No. 8 UAB also are in the same pool as the Knights.

Check out below for the complete list of C-USA honors.

2011 All-C-USA Awards

PLAYER OF THE YEARChad Zurcher, Jr., IF, MemphisPITCHER OF THE YEARTodd McInnis, Sr., RHP, Southern MissFRESHMAN OF THE YEARAustin Kubitza, Fr., RHP, RiceNEWCOMER OF THE YEARDillon Napoleon, Jr., RHP, UABKEITH LECLAIR COACH OF THE YEARScott Berry, Southern Miss
FIRST TEAM ALL-CONFERENCEIF Jonathan Griffin, Sr., UCFIF Michael Ratterree, So., RiceIF B.A. Vollmuth, Jr., Southern MissIF Chad Zurcher, Jr., MemphisOF Jamal Austin, Jr., UABOF Marc Bourgeois, Sr., Southern MissOF Tyler Koelling, Sr., Southern MissC Jeremy Schaeffer, Jr., TulaneDH/UT Anthony Rendon, Jr., RiceP Austin Kubitza, Fr., RiceP Seth Maness, Sr., East CarolinaP Todd McInnis, Sr., Southern MissP Geoffrey Thomas, So., Southern MissRP Nick Pepitone, Jr., Tulane
SECOND TEAM ALL-CONFERENCEIF Nick Crawford, Sr., UABIF Adam Doleac, Sr., Southern MissIF T.J. Rich, Jr., MemphisIF Kenny Socorro, Sr., MarshallOF Drew Martinez, Jr. MemphisOF Caleb Ramsey, Sr., HoustonOF Trent Whitehead, Sr., East CarolinaC Zach Wright, Jr., East CarolinaDH/UT D.J. Hicks, So., UCFP Kevin Brandt, Jr., East CarolinaP Brad Mincey, Sr., East CarolinaP Dillon Napoleon, Jr., UABP Ryan Woolley, Sr., UABRP Collin Cargill, Jr., Southern Miss
ALL-FRESHMAN TEAMC Jared Bales, Southern MissSS Jack Reinheimer, East Carolina3B Shane Hoelscher, RiceOF Ben Fultz, East CarolinaOF Landon Appling, HoustonDH Chase McDonald, East CarolinaP Aaron Blair, MarshallP Austin Kubitza, RiceP John Simms, RiceP Alex Facundus, TulaneP Ben Lively, UCF ="https://ucfknights.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="http:>