NewsFour Cougar Seniors Earn NAIA All-American Honors
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - All four of the four-year seniors on the Mount Vernon Nazarene University baseball team were recently honored when the NAIA All-American Teams were announced.
Justin Clarey, a catcher from Columbus, Ohio, was named to the NAIA All-American First Team for the second time in his career as he becomes the first player in school history in any sport to earn NAIA All-American First Team status twice. The former Hilliard Darby High School star batted .410 with team-highs of three triples, eight home runs, and 51 RBI to go along with 15 doubles and three stolen bases. Clarey, who was the American Mideast Conference South Division and NAIA Region IX Player of the Year, also threw out 24 of the 44 base runners who tried to steal on him.
Adam Rowe, a left-handed pitcher from Wooster, Ohio, was named an NAIA Honorable Mention All-American after also being selected as the AMC South Division and NAIA Region IX Pitcher of the Year. The former Wooster High School standout, who was a member of the NAIA All-American Second Team in 2002, posted a 10-3 record with a 3.39 ERA this season. Rowe, who was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 20th round of the amateur draft on Tuesday, struck out 107 batters in 101 innings with only 35 walks.
Dan Matheney, a second baseman from New Concord, Ohio, joined Rowe as an NAIA Honorable Mention All-American. The former John Glenn High School product led the Cougars with a .427 batting average and 88 hits. Matheney also compiled 10 doubles, one triple, three stolen bases, 28 RBI, and 41 runs scored. In addition to being an NAIA Honorable Mention All-American, he was also named to the NAIA All-America Scholar-Athlete Team as he posted a 3.571 grade point average in the classroom.
Jason Irish, an outfielder/pitcher from Cortland, Ohio, also joined Rowe and Matheney on the NAIA Honorable Mention All-American Team. The former Lakeview High School graduate batted .396 with 16 doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 48 RBI, and 47 runs scored. Irish also posted a 7-3 record on the mound with a 3.24 ERA and one save. In 77 2/3 innings, he struck out 63 batters with just 24 walks.
MVNU finished the season with a 41-19 overall record. The Cougars won the AMC South Division title - the eleventh conference title in school history - and the NAIA Region IX Tournament. The team also earned the programís second berth in the NAIA World Series, where MVNU went 2-2 to finish tied for fifth. The Cougars were ranked 15th in the final NAIA national poll.