UCA pitcher honored

CONWAY — University of Central Arkansas’s Tyler Cleveland was named the ASUN Conference Pitcher of the Year on Tuesday when All-Conference awards were announced by the league.

Tanner Leonard was also named to the ASUN All-Freshman team.

Tanner Leonard

Cleveland, who was the Southland Conference Relief Pitcher of the Year a year ago, led the ASUN in strikeouts with 101 in the Bears’ first year in the league. He also tied for the lead with seven victories (7-2 record) and was third in earned run average with a 2.93. He was named first-team All-ASUN.

Cleveland, who started 14 games as UCA’s Friday starter, had four complete games and struck out at least five batters 11 times, including 12 against Jacksonville State and 10 twice, against Eastern Kentucky and Bellarmine. His 192 career strikeouts places him in the Top 5 in UCA history in just two seasons.

Leonard, a second baseman from Searcy, Ark., led the Bears in hitting in ASUN play with a .393 batting average. For the entire season, Leonard was UCA’s third-leading hitter at .292 with 33 hits, 10 doubles and two home runs, along with 16 runs batted in. He also stole seven bases and drew 18 walks and had a .434 slugging percentage and a .409 on-base percentage. 

Leonard, who did not become UCA’s full-time starter at second base until April, had 10 multi-hit games and three multi-RBI games. He had a season-best three hits three times, vs. Bellarmine and North Alabama (twice).