ST. LOUIS — Bradley freshman first baseman Connor O’Brien has been named to the all-Missouri Valley Conference baseball first team in a Tuesday announcement by the league office.
O’Brien, from San Diego, is hitting .289 with 24 RBI for the Braves, who begin play in the MVC tournament against Southern Illinois on Tuesday night at Normal.
Six Braves earned second-team recognition — shortstop Luke Shadid, catcher Keaton Rice, outfielders Dan Bolt and Andy Shadid, starting pitcher Mitch Janssen and relief pitcher Theron Denlinger. Rice was also tabbed for the Valley’s all-Defensive team.
Luke Shadid ranks among the league leaders in several categories. He’s third in batting average (.348), tied for third in runs scored (48) and hits (71), sixth in RBI (41) and fourth in total bases (117). Bolt leads the Valley in on-base percentage (.459) and Janssen tops the Valley in earned-run average (1.94).
Illinois State outfielder Joe Aeilts was named the Joe Carter Player of the Year. Aeilts, from Champaign, leads the Valley in hitting (.353) and hits (79) and ranks among the top five in slugging percentage, RBI, doubles and total bases.
Three other Redbirds copped first-team honors in helping Illinois State share the regular-season title with Dallas Baptist.
They include third baseman Joe Butler, outfielder John Rave and starting pitcher Brent Headrick. Headrick, at 7-0 with a 1.31 earned-run average, was selected as the MVC Pitcher of the Year.
Other specialty award winners included Indiana State’s Collin Liberatore, Newcomer of the Year; Missouri State’s Dakota Kotowski, Freshman of the Year; Indiana State’s Jake Means, Defensive Player of the Year and Illinois State’s Steve Holm, Coach of the Year.
Named Honorable Mention from Bradley were third baseman Brendan Dougherty and starting pitcher Sam Lund.
FIRST TEAM ALL-MVC: 1B – Connor O’Brien, Bradley; 2B – Jarrod Watkins, Indiana State; 3B – Joe Butler, Illinois State; SS – Jimmy Glowenke, Dallas Baptist; DH – Bryce Ball, Dallas Baptist; OF – Joe Aeilts, Illinois State; John Rave, Illinois State; Dakota Kotowski, Missouri State. SP – MD Johnson, Dallas Baptist; Collin Liberatore, Indiana State; Brent Headrick, Illinois State; Tyler Grauer, Indiana State; Burl Carraway, Dallas Baptist.
SECOND TEAM ALL-MVC: 1B – Tanner Craig, Evansville; 2B – Chase Dawson, Valparaiso; 3B – Jackson Glenn, Dallas Baptist; SS – Luke Shadid, Bradley; C – Keaton Rice, Bradley; DH – Blake Billinger, Valparaiso; OF -- Dan Bolt, Bradley; Jack Duffy, Missouri State; Andy Shadid, Bradley; Roby Enriquez, Indiana State; Mitch Janssen, Bradley; Jordan Martinson, Dallas Baptist; Logan Wiley, Missouri State; Tyler Ward, Indiana State; Theron Denlinger, Bradley.