Royalty, Golden headline All-CAA squads

WILMINGTON, North Carolina ( – For the second consecutive season, UNCW captured both the Colonial Athletic Association Player and Pitcher-of-the-Year awards as senior Casey Golden was named the league’s Bill Brooks Player-of-the-Year and sophomore Alex Royalty was recognized as the Pitcher-of-the-Year.

CAA Office Release

Both were also named first-team All-CAA along with sophomore catcher Ryan Jeffers and junior designated hitter Nick Feight. Overall, UNCW placed eight Seahawks on the all-conference squads.

Junior Brian Mims was named to the second team at second base and sophomore Clark Cota was on the third team as a relief pitcher.

Freshman Zarion Sharpe and senior Robbie Thorburn were named to the All-Rookie and All-Academic teams, respectively.

Golden is the sixth Seahawk to be named CAA Player-of-the-Year. The outfielder from Siler City, N.C., leads the league lead with a career-high 18 home runs, 130 total bases and a .622 slugging percentage. Golden, who moved into the leadoff spot early in the season, ranked third in the CAA with 50 runs scored.

Royalty, meanwhile, enters the postseason with a conference-leading eight wins after matching his 8-2 mark from his freshman season. The righthander tops the conference with 90.2 innings pitched and is tied for the league with 98 strikeouts. The Raleigh, N.C., native has won his last five decisions and was named CAA Pitcher-of-the-Week on Monday after tossing eight innings of four-hit, shutout baseball in a win at Towson. It was his second Pitcher-of-the-Week award this season.

Since the Pitcher-of-the-Year Award was instituted in 2014, UNCW has won the award four times, including Ryan Foster in 2016 and Mat Batts in 2013 and 2014.

Jeffers was named to the first-team in his first season as a starter after hitting a team-high 17 doubles and 10 home runs. Nine of his roundtrippers came in conference play. Jeffers ranks among the conference leaders in doubles, home runs, total bases (106) and slugging percentage (.602).

Feight repeated as a first-team honoree after hitting 14 home runs and driving in a team-best 46 runs, which ranks third in the circuit. Feight also is seventh in the CAA with 67 hits and eighth with 43 runs scored.

Mims enters the tournament ranked fifth in the CAA with a team-high 68 hits and .319 batting average. The Montclair, Va., native has scored 33 runs and knocked in 32 while stealing six bases.

Cota stepped into the closer role as a sophomore and responded with a 2-1 record and four saves in 18 innings. The righthander struck out 27 in 22 innings and held opponents to a .160 batting average.

Sharpe stepped into the UNCW rotation and posted a 6-1 record in 11 appearances, including nine starts. The lefthander has won his last six decisions and has struck out 43 in 53 innings while limiting batters to a .214 average.

Thorburn was an All-Academic selection after hitting .296 with 34 runs scored and 23 knocked in. He’s fielded 137 chances this spring flawlessly.

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