June 14, 2010

Courtesy of Chapman

ORANGE, Calif. - The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association has named Chapman University freshman pitcher Brian Rauh its NCAA Division III Pitcher of the Year for the 2010 season. Rauh, who picked up four-of-eight first-place votes, also earned ABCA and D3Baseball.com first-team All-America honors with an 11-0 record in his first collegiate season.

Rauh edged Johns Hopkins University sophomore Sam Eagleson for the most votes from the NCBWA. He becomes the first Chapman pitcher since Devin Drag in 2007 to earn national Pitcher of the Year honors. Wayde Kitchens in 2008 was the last Panther to earn West Region Pitcher of the Year honors. A Chapman pitcher has earned NCBWA West Region Pitcher of the Year four of the past five seasons dating back to 2006.

Rauh emerged as the ace of what was arguably the best pitching staff in the West Region, posting an 11-0 mark and a team-best 2.38 earned run average in over 83 innings on the mound. The rookie right-hander also added four saves in seven relief appearances and ranked in the top-10 in Division III in victories, strikeouts (100) and hits allowed per nine innings (5.5).

Last month he became the first freshman baseball player ever to earn All-America honors for Chapman and was the only freshman named to any of the three ABCA All-America teams after opponents batted just .175 against him.

After beginning the season with an ERA of 5.40 in his first two starts, Rauh solidified his position as the best in the West - and in Division III according to the NCBWA - with a 1.96 ERA over his next 15 appearances. Four times this season he had 10 or more strikeouts in a game, including a career-high 14 against Cal Lutheran on April 25.

Rauh helped the Panthers to their eighth consecutive NCAA Division III playoff berth and the Chapman pitching staff ranked No. 3 in the nation in team earned run average with a 3.33 mark. He tossed four complete games including a five-hit win over Trinity University (Texas) in the NCAA West Region playoffs.