Tech’s Szefc named Coach of Year
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Clemson sophomore third baseman Max Wagner has been voted the 2022 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Player of the Year by the league’s head coaches, and Wake Forest sophomore righthander Rhett Lowder is the ACC Pitcher of the Year.
NC State designated hitter Tommy White earned ACC Freshman of the Year honors, while Louisville senior outfielder Levi Usher was selected as the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and Virginia Tech’s John Szefc received the nod from his peers as the ACC Coach of the Year.
The season award winners lead the All-ACC Baseball Team, which was also announced Monday morning.
Clemson’s Wagner will enter this week’s ACC Baseball Championship batting .379 with 74 RBI, and he is tied with Georgia Tech catcher Kevin Parada for second nationally in home runs with 26. The 26 home runs are tied for fourth-most in ACC single-season history.
Wagner leads the conference in slugging percentage (.867), on-base percentage (.506) and OPS (1.373). Wagner’s 26 homers are also tied for the second most in a single season in Clemson program history. The Green Bay, Wisconsin, native was named the NCBWA National Player of the Week on April 27, was honored as a National Player of the Week twice by Collegiate Baseball and became the first Tiger since 2012 to be honored consecutive weeks as the ACC Player of the Week (April 25 and May 2).
Wake Forest’s Lowder (10-3) is tied for the ACC lead in wins, and his ERA of 2.45 is second-best among conference qualifiers. The Albemarle, North Carolina, native’s 94 strikeouts in 88 innings are third most in the league. Lowder capped the regular season with a complete-game gem versus NC State last Thursday night, becoming the first Demon Deacon hurler since 2017 to go the distance in a win. He is just the 10th pitcher in program history to reach double-digit victories in a single campaign.
In 10 of his 14 starts this season, Lowder has pitched at least six innings while allowing no more than three earned runs in any appearance. He becomes the first Wake Forest player to earn ACC Pitcher of the Year honors.
NC State’s White, who hails from St. Pete Beach, Florida, has hit 23 home runs to set the ACC freshman record and is just three homers shy of the NCAA freshman mark. White made his college debut in convincing style by being named the February National Player of the Month by the NCBWA and is one of 39 semifinalists for the Dick Howser Trophy. White leads the Wolfpack and ranks among the ACC leaders in batting (.365) and RBI (68).
Louisville’s Usher has established himself as one of college baseball’s top defensive centerfielders, making numerous highlight-reel plays to rob opponents of extra-base hits while covering ground with the blazing speed that has produced an ACC-leading 33 stolen bases in 36 attempts. Usher has committed just two errors in 113 outfield chances this season. The Fairfax, Iowa, native was voted the ACC Player of the Week on March 14.
Szefc’s Virginia Tech squad was tabbed for a sixth-place Coastal Division finish in the ACC preseason coaches’ poll and was unranked by every major publication in February. The Hokies’ fifth-year head coach will take his team into the ACC Baseball Championship as division champion and the No. 1 overall seed. The Hokies (40-11) are now a consensus top-three team nationally, including a No. 2 ranking by Perfect Game. Szefc also reached a milestone by becoming the eighth active ACC head coach to reach the 500-win mark when the Hokies defeated No. 2 Miami in mid-April.
Atlantic Division champion Louisville leads all schools with eight total selections on the All-ACC first, second or third teams, followed by seven from Virginia Tech and six from Georgia Tech.
Each of the conference’s 14 baseball schools had at least one player voted to the All-ACC and/or ACC All-Freshman Teams.
2022 ACC Baseball Awards & All-Conference Teams
Player of the Year – Max Wagner, Clemson, So., 3B
Defensive Player of the Year – Levi Usher, Louisville, Sr., OF
Pitcher of the Year – Rhett Lowder, Wake Forest, So., SP
Freshman of the Year – Tommy White, NC State, Fr., DH
Coach of the Year – John Szefc, Virginia Tech
All-ACC First Team
Max Wagner, Clemson, So., 3B
Parker Messick, Florida State, So., SP
Kevin Parada, Georgia Tech, So., C
Andrew Jenkins, Georgia Tech, So., 1B
Chandler Simpson, Georgia Tech, So., 2B
Carson Palmquist, Miami, So., SP
Andrew Walters, Miami, So., RP
Tommy White, NC State, Fr., DH
John Michael Bertrand, Notre Dame, Gr., SP
Jake Gelof, Virginia, So., 3B
Alex Tappen, Virginia, Gr., OF
Gavin Cross, Virginia Tech, So., OF
Drue Hackenberg, Virginia Tech, Fr., SP
Jack Hurley, Virginia Tech, So., OF
Tanner Schobel, Virginia Tech, So., SS
Rhett Lowder, Wake Forest, So., SP
All-ACC Second Team
Luke Gold, Boston College, Jr., 2B
Bryce Hubbart, Florida State, So., SP
Tim Borden II, Georgia Tech, So., DH
Tres Gonzalez, Georgia Tech, So., OF
Jared Poland, Louisville, Sr., SP
Michael Prosecky, Louisville, Jr., RP
Dalton Rushing, Louisville, Jr., C
Levi Usher, Louisville, Sr., OF
Jacob Burke, Miami, So., OF
CJ Kayfus, Miami, So., 1B
Yohandy Morales, Miami, So., 3B
Danny Serretti, North Carolina, Jr., SS
LuJames Groover, NC State, So., 1B
Matt Gilbertson, Pitt, Sr., SP
Brian Gursky, Virginia, Gr., SP
Cade Hunter, Virginia Tech, So., C
All-ACC Third Team
Mack Anglin, Clemson, R-So., SP
Blake Wright, Clemson, So., 2B
Stephen Reid, Georgia Tech, So., OF
Christian Knapczyk, Louisville, So., SS
Cameron Masterman, Louisville, R-Sr., OF
Ben Metzinger, Louisville, Sr., 3B
Jack Payton, Louisville, So., DH
Vance Honeycutt, North Carolina, Fr., OF
Angel Zarate, North Carolina, Jr., OF
Devonte Brown, NC State, Sr., OF
Chris Villaman, NC State, So., RP
Ryan Cole, Notre Dame, Gr., OF
Billy Corcoran, Pitt, Jr., SP
Nick Biddison, Virginia Tech, Jr., OF
Griffin Green, Virginia Tech, So., SP
Nick Kurtz, Wake Forest, Fr., 1B
Brendan Tinsman, Wake Forest, R-Jr., C
*17 players on the third team due to a tie in the voting
Alex Mooney, Duke, SS
Jaime Ferrer, Florida State, OF
Logan Beard, Louisville, 2B
Karson Ligon, Miami, SP
Vance Honeycutt, North Carolina, OF
Tommy White, NC State, DH
Griff O’Ferrall, Virginia, SS
Casey Saucke, Virginia, OF
Carson DeMartini, Virginia Tech, 3B
Drue Hackenberg, Virginia Tech, SP
Tommy Hawke, Wake Forest, OF
Nick Kurtz, Wake Forest, 1B