By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced the 2014 NAIA Baseball Preseason All-America Team on Monday. The 17-member squad was selected by the NAIA-Baseball Coaches Association (NAIA-BCA) All-America Committee.
Headlining the team is reigning Player of the Year Matt Page of Oklahoma Baptist. Last season, the Redwood City, Calif., native led the NAIA in RBI with 85, while ranking second in home runs (15) and total bases (147), fifth in slugging percentage (.707) and 16th in doubles (20). Page, who started all 63 games for the Bison last season, paced the squad in nearly every offensive category, including batting average (.385) and hits (80). His previously mentioned national rankings were also team highs. Page recorded 27 multi-hit games, including a string of four-straight from April 21-25, 2013. Defensively, he owned a .981 fielding percentage, committing only six errors in 311 chances. Page was the second Oklahoma Baptist player to earn the honor since the award began in 1983.
Five other 2013 First Team All-Americans garnered a position on the team – catcher Tyler Latham of Bryan (Tenn.), third baseman Nate Mullins of Bellevue (Neb.), outfielder Steven Karkenny of The Master’s (Calif.), designated hitter Michael Cruz of Faulkner (Ala.) and starting pitcher Jarrod Jameson of Tennessee Wesleyan. Additionally, three second team award winners and five honorable mention All-Americans were selected to the preseason squad.
Northwood (Texas) teammates Isaac Maturino and Cody Gray, along with Peru State (Neb.) shortstop Randy Santiesteban were named to the team despite not receiving All-America mention last season.
There are six players on the squad whose programs participated in the 2013 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series in Lewiston, Idaho, last year.
For more information on NAIA baseball, click here.
2014 NAIA Baseball Preseason All-America Team
|Tyler Latham||Bryan (Tenn.)||C||Sr.||Spring City, Tenn.|
|Blake Marchant||Grand View (Iowa)||C||Jr.||Indianola, Iowa|
|Matt Page||Oklahoma Baptist||1B||Sr.||Redwood City, Calif.|
|Isaac Maturino||Northwood (Texas)||2B||Sr.||Grand Prairie, Texas|
|Nate Mullins||Bellevue (Neb.)||3B||Sr.||Snohomish, Wash.|
|Randy Santiesteban||Peru State (Neb.)||SS||Jr.||Hialeah, Fla.|
|Jordan Crowell||Point Park (Pa.)||UT||Jr.||Milford, Ohio|
|Seth Neely||Arizona Christian||OF||Sr.||Phoenix, Ariz.|
|Cody Lavalli||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||OF||Sr.||Apple Valley, Calif.|
|David Kuhne||St. Francis (Ill.)||OF||Sr.||Metamora, Ill.|
|Steven Karkenny||The Master’s (Calif.)||OF||Jr.||Chatsworth, Calif.|
|Michael Cruz||Faulkner (Ala.)||DH||Sr.||Dominican Republic|
|Chris Good||Belhaven (Miss.)||SP||Jr.||Forney, Texas|
|Anthony Gomez||Cumberland (Tenn.)||SP||Sr.||Norwalk, Calif.|
|Jarrod Jameson||Tennessee Wesleyan||SP||Sr.||Oklahoma City, Okla.|
|Stetson Nelson||Embry-Riddle (Fla.)||SP||Jr.||Leesburg, Fla.|
|Cody Gray||Northwood (Texas)||RP||Sr.||Glendale, Ariz.|