01 Jun UCA’s Gray recognized
University of Central Arkansas senior Tyler Gray was named the Southland Conference Pitcher of the Year by the league office.
A senior from Fort Smith, Gray led a contingent of 10 Bears to receive All-SLC honors. Gray was a first-team All-SLC selection, along with junior catcher William Hancock. Senior third baseman Rigo Aguilar and junior left fielder Hunter Strong were second-team selections, while junior first baseman Tyler Smith was a third-team selection.
Aguilar, Smith and Hancock were all named to the SLC All-Defensive team, while senior shortstop Josh Somdecerff and senior designated hitter Colby LeBlanc were honorable mention All-SLC selections. UCA, Northwestern State and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi lead the way with five all-conference picks each.
Gray, a right-handed starting pitcher from Fort Smith Southside High School, had a record-setting senior season. Gray broke both the school single-game strikeout record with 15 against Abilene Christian University, and the career record of 269 that was held by Matt Whitaker. Gray (6-1) currently has 281, including 113 of those this season, which ranks second in the SLC. Batters are hitting just .211 against him in his team-high 92.2 innings pitched.
Gray, who has a 2.91 earned-run average, is UCA’s first player to earn SLC Pitcher of the Year honors.
The All-Southland Conference teams are nominated and voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors. Voting for oneself or one’s own athletes is not permitted. To receive honorable mention, a player must appear on 25 percent of ballots.