GREENSBORO, N.C. – Georgia Tech catcher Joey Bart was named the 2018 ACC Player of the Year and the league’s Defensive Player of the Year, as a total of six Yellow Jackets earned ACC honors the conference office announced on Monday.
On top of the individual award honors, Bart also earned a spot on the all-ACC first team. Joining Bart on the first team was senior second baseman Wade Bailey, utility player Tristin English and starting pitcher Connor Thomas.
Sophomore Chase Murray was chosen to the second team, while fellow second-year Jacket Kyle McCann was named to the all-ACC third team.
The all-conference teams and end of the year awards are voted on by the league head coaches.
Bart, a native of Buford, Georgia, leads Georgia Tech into this week’s ACC Baseball Championship as the conference leader in batting (.368), on-base percentage (.481), slugging percentage (.651) and total bases (138 in 55 games). He is tied for third among ACC players with 16 home runs and has driven in 38 runs. Twenty-eight of his 78 hits have gone for extra bases.
A solid presence behind the plate in addition to posting standout offensive numbers, Bart boasts a .991 fielding percentage and has thrown out 12 of 33 baserunners on attempted steals. He has been named a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award, which is presented to college baseball’s top catcher. He also earned a spot on the midseason watch list for USA Baseball’s Golden Spikes Award and is a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy, presented to college baseball’s top overall player.
Bart is ranked as the No. 1 catcher in all of Division I baseball by Baseball America and No. 2 by D1Baseball.com.
The team co-captain, Bart is the fifth Jacket to be tabbed the ACC Player of the Year joining Ricardo Ingram (1987), Andy Bruce (1991), Jason Varitek (1993) and Mark Teixeira (2000).
For the second-straight year, Bailey was named an all-ACC first team second baseman. Bailey ranks third in the ACC in hitting (.345) and in hits (77), while he has also scored 49 runs on the season. The senior has recorded two home runs, one triple, 13 doubles and 31 RBIs, while swiping a team-high nine stolen bases.
Bailey enters tournament play on an 11-game hitting streak and has reached base safely in 26-straight games. He also has 289 career base hits and is looking to become just the fourth Yellow Jacket in program history to reach the 300-career hit milestone.
After missing all of last season due to Tommy John surgery, English picked up all-ACC first team honors for the second time, as he also earned first-team recognition as a freshman in 2016.
Named first-team all-ACC as the utility player, English wrapped up the regular season hitting .288 with six home runs, a triple, 17 doubles and a team-high 59 RBIs, which also ranks second in the ACC overall. He also drove in a league high 32 RBIs in ACC play.
On the mound, English stepped in to the weekend rotation midway through the season and has gone 2-4 over nine starts and 14 total appearances. He posted a 4.59 ERA and recorded 43 strikeouts over 51.0 innings of work.
English was named a midseason first-team all-American by Perfect Game/Rawlings and a midseason all-American by D1Baseball.
Receiving his first all-conference nod, Thomas was named to the first team as a starting pitcher. The sophomore lefty went 7-3 overall on the year with a team-low 2.87 ERA over 94.0 innings of work. Thomas, who has made a team-high eight quality starts this season, leads the ACC in complete games (3), strikeout-to-walk ratio (11.56) and in walks allowed per nine innings (.86), which all rank in the top-10 nationally.
Thomas also has the most strikeouts in a game for an ACC pitcher this season with 17 vs. Wake Forest and ranks fourth in the ACC in with 104 strikeouts on the season.
Earning a spot on the all-ACC second team was Murray, as the sophomore outfielder heads into the ACC Baseball Championship second on the team and in the conference in hitting (.355). He also ranks second in the league in sacrifice flies (6), fifth in hits (72) and just outside of the top-10 in runs scored (47).
Like Thomas and Murray, it is the first all-conference honor for third-team selection McCann. McCann hit .299 over 52 games with 15 home runs, a triple, nine doubles, 45 RBIs and 47 runs scored. His 15 home runs and .603 slugging percentage both rank fifth in the ACC for the year.