Roupp named Pitcher of the Year, Six other Seahawks receive All-CAA honors

WILMINGTON,NC (UNCW Sports)–Led by Colonial Athletic Association Pitcher of the Year Landen Roupp, UNCW landed seven players on the league’s all-conference squads announced on Tuesday.

The Seahawks had five players on the first team, marking the fourth time in program history they had at least five with the last being in 2016. Roupp is the fourth Seahawk to be named pitcher of the year, joining Mat Batts (2013, 2014), Ryan Foster (2016) and Alex Royalty (2017).

“During this challenging year, I’m proud of the way our players responded on the field, in the classroom and during times of traveling,” said Head Coach Randy Hood. “These honors are indicative of the daily efforts and hard work our student-athletes endured to be successful. I’d like to congratulate our seven award winners and am looking forward to them competing with their teammates this week in the conference tournament.”

Roupp was joined by battery mate Matt Suggs on the first team along with Cole WeissBrooks Baldwin and Hunter HodgesKip Brandenburg and Adam Smith were second-team honorees and Hodges was also named to the All-Rookie squad.

Roupp entered the season as the league’s Preseason Player of the Year and didn’t disappoint, entering this week’s championship tournament with a 7-4 record and a 2.75 earned run average over the course of a league-leading 88.1 innings in 14 starts. Opponents hit just .206 against him this spring and in conference play, he allowed a mere five extra base hits.

Roupp compiled a 4-1 record in seven conference starts and fashioned a 1.70 ERA. He led the circuit with 97 strikeouts and tied for the lead with those 14 starts.

Suggs played in a career-high 47 games for the Seahawks and posted career-best numbers of a .282 batting average, 29 runs scored, 48 hits, 10 doubles, 11 home runs, ranking third in the CAA, and 36 runs batted in. Behind the plate, Suggs threw out 16 potential base stealers, helped the pitching staff post a 3.87 ERA and committed just two errors.

Weiss was named to the first team for the second time and is a three-time All-CAA honoree. He finished the regular season with a .275 batting average, scored 32 runs and drove in 35, ranking third on the team. In conference play, he hit .297 and three of his five home runs on the season came in the CAA.

Baldwin led the Seahawks in nearly every offensive category in 2021. He hit a team-high 13 home runs, scored 44 runs, knocked in 42, collected a league-leading 129 total bases and slugged .587. He became the first Seahawk since Andrew Cain in 2012 to hit 10 or more home runs and steal at least 10 bases, finishing with 11.

Hodges, who also was named to the All-Rookie team, rounds out the first-team honorees for the Seahawks. The freshman righthander was a vital part of the bullpen, finishing with a 2-2 record and three saves in 22 appearances. He struck out 48 in 37.1 innings while holding opponents to a meager .140 batting average overall and .073 in conference play, where he allowed just four hits.

Brandenburg carries a .298 batting average overall into the conference tournament and hit .338 in conference play. In his first full season with the program, he led the Seahawks with 14 doubles and was second on the club with 41 runs scored. Brandenburg slugged .453 and reached base at a .396 clip. He strung together a 20-game hitting streak to open the season.

Smith, meanwhile, stepped into the starting rotation midway through the season after serving as the closer. He led the staff with a 2.28 ERA, went 5-1 and converted three saves. He finished with 55 strikeouts in 55.1 innings, all career-bests for the righthander. He made nine appearances in conference play, struck out 33 in 31.2 innings and compiled a 1.442 ERA.

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