Despite a disappointing season in which UCR baseball (19-33, 7-17) finished last place in the Big West Conference, the Highlanders still had six players receive All-Conference honors.
The most notable award received by any Highlander was the Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year, given to Cole Percival. Percival becomes just the third player to earn this award in UCR program history. The first-year pitcher finished the season with a 5-4 record, a 3.19 earned run average (ERA), and a team-leading 63 strikeouts. Percival was also selected to the Big West Second Team.
Fellow freshman Nathan Webb was named to the Big West Second Team alongside Percival. Webb finished the season with a modest batting average of .232, but played well during conference season where he hit 17 doubles, the second highest record in the conference.
Another standout who was recognized was sophomore Connor Cannon who was named to the Big West First Team. Cannon finished the year leading UCR in home runs (10), RBI (33), and slugging percentage (.520). Cannon’s 10-homerun record was the second highest in the conference.
The Highlanders also had three seniors receive Honorable Mentions in their final season, including shortstop Colby Schultz, and pitchers Trent Toplikar and Max Compton. Schultz led UCR in hits (64), runs (31), assists (142), and double plays (17) on his way to earning his second Big West honor. Toplikar had the best pitching record on the team at 6-3 and also finished second in innings pitched (84) and strikeouts (62). Compton had the best season of his career, pitching in a career high 21 games and throwing the third most innings (50.1) and strikeouts (47).
The Highlanders appear to have a solid foundation to build on next year as three of the six winners will be returning for next season.
Full list of winners:
Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year: Cole Percival
Big West First Team: Sophomore first baseman/pitcher Connor Cannon
Big West Second Team: Freshman third baseman Nathan Webb
Big West Second Team: Freshman pitcher Cole Percival
Honorable Mention: Senior shortstop Colby Schultz
Honorable Mention: Senior pitcher Trent Toplikar
Honorable Mention: Senior pitcher Max Compton