Clarksville, Ark.-Seven University of the Ozarks baseball players have earned American Southwest Conference East Division honors, announced by the league office on Tuesday.
Senior catcher Caleb Hilton was named to the ASC All-East Division Second team and freshman third baseman Tim Renshaw was named the ASC East Division Tri-Freshman of the Year as voted upon by the conference head coaches. Seniors Brett Hays, Brian Heckmann and Tyler Gideon received All-East Division Honorable Mention as did Renshaw, junior Kyle Hudson and sophomore Robby Finnell. Hilton, a 5-10, 195-pound native of Clarksville, led the ASC at the end of the regular season in home runs (13), hits (68) and total bases (121). He led the team in ten different offensive categories, including home runs, hits, total bases, batting (.400), at bats (170), runs (44), triples (3), RBI (39), slugging percentage (.712) and stolen bases (14). His 2006 totals in slugging percentage, at bats, hits, triples, home runs, RBI and total bases set single-season school records. He finishes his three-year career as the school’s all-time leader in home runs (27). He also ranks first at Ozarks in career slugging percentage (.624), triples (6) and total bases (275). He had a team-best 25 multiple-hit games and 12 multiple-RBI games. He finished eighth in NCAA III in home runs per game (.33). Hilton’s best game of the year came against Sul Ross State University when he went 4-for-5 with 2 home runs, 4 runs scored and 2 RBI. He is a three-time All-Conference performer. Renshaw, a 6-0, 215-pound native of Oklahoma City, Okla., finished third on the team in RBI (29), fourth in batting (.342) and sixth in hits (38). He had nine multiple-RBI games, second-best on the team, and 14 multiple-hit contests. His best game of the season came against UT-Dallas when he went 3-for-4 with 3 RBI. Hays, a 6-4, 210-pound first baseman from Little Rock, finished second on the team in RBI (34), hits (52), total bases (76), home runs (6) and runs (33), third in slugging percentage (.497) and fifth in batting (.340). He had 17 multiple-hit games. His best game of the year came against Hendrix College when he went 4-for-4 with 6 RBI and 2 home runs. He finishes his career as the school’s all-time leader in hits (178), runs (122), games played (153), at bats (545) and fielding percentage (.983). He is a two-time All-Conference performer and was named an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American last year. Heckmann, a 5-11, 170-pound pitcher/second baseman from Little Rock, finished third on the team in batting (.344) and fourth in hits (44). He had 14 multiple-hit games. On the mound, he led the team in strikeouts (47) and ranked second in innings pitched (54.2). He compiled a 3-4 record with a 4.28 ERA. His best hitting performance came against Eureka College when he went 4-for-4 with 2 RBI and 4 runs scored. His top pitching performance came against Hendrix College when he threw six scoreless innings and struck out eight to earn the win. He finishes his career ranked first at Ozarks in wins (10) and strikeouts (98). He has a career-best 15 sacrifice hits. Gideon, a 5-10, 150-pound pitcher/infielder from Rogers, went 1-0 on the mound with seven strikeouts and two saves in 25.0 innings of work. Gideon had 16 RBI in 22 games. His top pitching performance came against Louisiana College when he pitched five and two-third innings and struck out two to earn the win. He went 3-for-4 with 3 RBI against LeTourneau University in his top performance at the plate. Hudson, a 6-0, 175-pound pitcher from Clarksville, led the team with a 5-3 record, and had a team-best in saves (3) and appearances (17). Hudson finished third on the team in innings pitched (49.1) and fourth in strikeouts (33). His best performance came against East Texas Baptist when he improved his record to 4-1 after he pitched eight and one-third innings and struck out seven. He already is the school’s all-time leader in saves (9). He is a two-time All-Conference selection. Finnell, a 6-0, 215-pound outfielder from Tulsa, Okla., ranked second on the team in batting (.377) and slugging percentage (.554) and third in doubles (7), hits (49) and total bases (72). He had 13 multiple-hit games. His best performance came against Hendrix College when he went 4-for-5 with 4 RBI and 2 home runs. He was named ASC Hitter of the Week in April. “They were all very deserving of their conference honors,” said head coach Jimmy Clark. “We always tell the guys to go out and play hard and the individual awards will come at the end of the year. It is nice that they got recognized. I was proud of all those guys.” “Caleb probably had the best offensive season anyone has ever had here during our time at the NCAA III level,” said Clark. “Coming into the season I felt like he would be the league’s top hitter, and he really reflected that. He carried the team on his back and has done all of this when opposing pitchers knew how good his bat was. Tyler is the unsung hero. He’s played wherever we needed him. He did a good job on the mound for us, too. Heckmann has been the heart and soul of the team for four years. He is an all-around good player. I was proud to see him recognized. Hays is a smart kid and plays hard every game. He plays the game the right way.” “It’s exciting to see Tim win the Freshman of the Year award,” said Clark. “He is a solid player. I look for Robby to be one of the best players in the conference next year. Kyle had another solid year. He pitched well early in the season. He had some arm injuries down the stretch, but he was a good performer for us.”