Wichita State Shockers

WSU's O'Brien, Lowell honored by MVC

OMAHA — Wichita State's stay at the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament is off to a great start.

Catcher Chris O'Brien was named Joe Carter Player of the Year and lefty Charlie Lowell earned Pitcher of the Year honors at Monday's banquet.

WSU, which finished second in the regular season, swept the top individual awards for the first time since 2006.

O'Brien and Lowell, both juniors, joined first baseman Johnny Coy and designated hitter Preston Springer on the All-MVC team. Shortstop Tyler Grimes and relief pitcher Cale Elam were named to the second team.

O'Brien, who enters the tournament on a 24-game hitting streak, leads the MVC with a .412 batting average and 23 doubles and is second with 62 RBIs.

He hit. 477 with a .779 slugging percentage in 21 conference games, driving in 22 runs.

He is the first Shocker to win the Player of the Year award since second baseman Damon Sublett in 2006.

Lowell went 9-4 with a 2.77 ERA and was more dominant in MVC games. In seven starts, he went 5-0 with a 1.12 ERA and two complete games. He struck out 59 and walked 18 in conference games.

"He's grown up," WSU pitching coach Brent Kemnitz said. "He can battle through when there's some adversity, when in the past we would have to hook him. It's been a rewarding year for him and us."

Lowell is the first Shocker to win Pitcher of the Year honors since Aaron Shafer in 2006.

Coy, a sophomore, hit .329 in MVC games with three home runs and 16 RBIs. Springer, a senior, hit .322 with five homers and 24 RBIs in conference play.

Grimes hit .310 with four doubles. Elam made nine appearances in MVC play and didn't allow a run. He earned three saves.

All-MVC

First team

1B — Johnny Coy, Wichita State

2B — Kevin Medrano, Missouri State

SS — Jimmy Swift, Creighton

3B — Ryan Court, Illinois State

C — Chris O'Brien, Wichita State

DH — Preston Springer, Wichita State

UT — Cody Fick, Evansville

OF — Trever Adams, Creighton

OF — Tyler McNeely, Illinois State

OF — Robby Ort, Indiana State

SP — Jonas Dufek, Creighton

SP — Cody Forsythe, Southern Illinois

SP — Charlie Lowell, Wichita State

RP — Dan Kickham, Missouri State

RP — Kenny Long, Illinois State

Second team

2B — Trentt Copeland, Evansville

SS — Tyler Grimes, Wichita State

C — Jeremy Lucas, Indiana State

DH — Brock Chaffin, Missouri State

UT — Luke Voit, Missouri State

OF — Mike Gerber, Creighton

OF — Jordan Sivertsen, Southern Illinois

OF — Mike Tauchman, Bradley

SP — Joe Bircher, Bradley

SP — Ty Blach, Creighton

SP — Nick Petree, Missouri State

RP — Kurt Spomer, Creighton

RP — Cale Elam, Wichita State

Honorable mention

Kevin Tokarski, 2B, Illinois State; Jason Leblebijian, SS, Bradley; Brad Kimball, DH, Bradley; Jared Baehl, OF, Evansville; Greg Wallace, OF, Evansville; JD Learnard, SP, Illinois State; Corey Maines, SP, Illinois State; Justin Hauer, RP, Illinois State

Player of the Year — O'Brien

Pitcher of the Year — Lowell

Newcomer of the Year — Kickham

Freshman of the Year — Petree

Coach of the Year — Ed Servais, Creighton

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