BUFFALO, NY - In a year full of firsts for the Buffalo baseball program, another impressive milestone was passed on Tuesday as a record four Bulls were honored with spots on the Mid-American Conference's All-MAC teams. Tom Murphy and Matt Pollock earned first-team honors, while Jason Kanzler and Cameron Copping made the second team.
The four UB players highlight the 31-player all-conference team that was announced today by the league office to go along with the upcoming MAC Tournament (May 23-26). The league's 12 head coaches conducted the voting for the first and second All-MAC teams.
Murphy is the first player in program history to earn a first team nod twice, and he joins Mike Folli (2005, '07) to be honored by the conference at least two times. Pollock and Murphy become the four and fifth players in program history to make the All-MAC first team, while Copping is the third pitcher in program history to make the MAC's postseason team.
Pollock had a year that put him at the very top of the conference's talent pool, as he hit a program-record 12 home runs and batted .364. With his banner season, he now owns program records in total bases and has an outside chance to also set the program record for hits in a season, needing just nine hits to pass Chris Ciesla's record of 84 that was set back in 2009.
Despite facing the very best the opposition had to offer, and an offseason filled with national attention, Murphy actually improved in many offensive categories. He set personal bests in home runs (with 11), runs batted in (47), doubles (19) and total bases (124).
The team's run to its first-ever appearance in the MAC tournament can largely be credited to the performance of Jason Kanzler. The junior outfielder tore up the opposition in the month of May and won the East Division Player of the Week honors for the final two weeks of the regular season. Thanks to a torrid May in which he hit .418, Kanzler is now second on the team with a season average of .343, and despite his reputation as the offense's table-setter, he is slugging .565.
Another key cog in the postseason run was senior Cameron Copping. With his scheduled start against Kent State tomorrow in the tournament opening round, Copping will now stand alone as the program's single-season starts leader, and with a good performance he could also earn the program record for innings and strikeouts. He has thrived under pressure thus far and has given up just six earned runs over his last 31.1 innings of MAC games.
The quartet will need to be on point tomorrow as they will lead the team into the tournament opener against the number one seed Kent State. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 pm, with live audio available through BuffaloBulls.com.
2012 MAC Baseball Second Team
C - David Lyon, Kent State
C - Will Arnold, Central Michigan
1B - Kevin Bower, Miami
2B - Brian Bien, Bowling Green
3B - Ben Magsig, Eastern Michigan
SS - Jordan Dean, Central Michigan
OF - Jason Kanzler, Buffalo
OF - Tyler Hall, Central Michigan
OF - Evan Campbell, Kent State
SP - Cameron Copping, Buffalo
SP - Ryan Bores, Kent State
SP - Tyler Skulina, Kent State
SP - Ryan Wilkinson, Toledo
RP - Brian Clark, Kent State
DH - Matt Delewski, Toledo
MAC Player of the Year - George Roberts, Kent State, 1B
MAC Pitcher of the Year - David Starn, Kent Starn, LHP
MAC Freshman of the Year - Matt Honchel, Miami, OF
MAC Coach of the Year - Scott Stricklin, Kent State