COLUMBUS, Ohio – Junior first baseman Justin Childers (Pickerington, Ohio) picked up his second Midwest Region Player of the Year, this time from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA), while classmate Lee Sponseller (Mason, Ohio) and senior Kyle Burson (Brunswick, Ohio) were also recognized.
Last week, Childers was named the D2CCA Midwest Region Player of the Year following a stellar season that saw him bat .451 with 14 homers, 17 doubles, five triples, 60 RBIs, 62 runs scored and 18 stolen bases in 48 games. Through games played as of May 14, Childers ranks second nationally in slugging percentage (.846) and third in batting average while his .526 on-base percentage is ninth.
The GLIAC Player of the Year, Childers closed the season with a 14 game hitting streak and had two or more hits in 12 of those games, hitting .609 with six homers, 25 RBIs and 14 walks in that stretch. On the season, he had 28 multi-hit games and 19 multi-RBI games, earned two GLIAC Player of the Week awards, and was also named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team.
In three seasons with the Panthers, Childers has a .363 batting average with 22 homers, 122 RBIs, 32 doubles and 137 runs scored.
Sponseller joined Childers as a First Team All-Midwest Region selection, an honor he also earned last week from the D2CCA. A two-time First Team All-GLIAC honoree, he batted .341 with 14 homers, 11 doubles and 37 knocked in. He also walked a GLIAC-best 41 times, which led to a .474 on-base percentage, and slugged .665. Entering the GLIAC Tournament, he ranked second in the league in homers, fourth in slugging and eighth in OBP, and his 46 runs scored were also the ninth-best mark in the conference.
Sponseller earned GLIAC Player of the Week honors in April, the fifth time he has earned that award in his career, and was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team. In 131 career games, Sponseller has a .367 batting average with 26 homers, 108 RBIs, 32 doubles, 100 walks and a .488 OBP with a .626 slugging percentage.
Burson was named to the NCBWA's Second Team All-Midwest Region and was also a First Team All-GLIAC selection. ODU's everyday shortstop for the last three years, Burson set career highs in nearly every offensive category this spring, batting .323 with three homers, eight doubles, 19 RBIs and 29 runs scored. He finished with a .393 OBP and a .427 slugging percentage and led the GLIAC in assists with 146. On the mound, Burson finished with a 4-3 record and a 4.02 ERA, logging 40.1 innings on the mound.
For his career, Burson appeared in 169 career games and had a lifetime .284 batting average, six homers and 59 RBIs.
Contact: Scott Miles