AZUSA, Calif. -- Junior first baseman Johnathan Erb became the first Azusa Pacific player named to the Rawlings-NAIA Gold Glove Team, earning recognition as the nation’s top defensive first baseman with his selection to the team.
Erb committed only one error in 2011 for a .998 fielding percentage, and he finished the season with 29 consecutive games of error-free play. He led the Cougars to a .968 team fielding percentage, which ranked second in the GSAC and eighth nationally in the category, and he is the first GSAC first baseman named to the NAIA’s national Gold Glove Team in the award’s five-year history.
Erb was one of six players from Azusa Pacific who earned national postseason honors, joining a program-record five Daktronics-NAIA Baseball Scholar-Athletes. Senior outfielder Josh Leite, junior catcher Daniel Shouldice and junior pitchers Tim Lu, Noah Northrop and Cameron Ross represent the first Cougar quintet to earn the Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete distinction in the same season. Azusa Pacific’s best representation previously was two Daktronics-NAIA Baseball Scholar-Athletes in the same season.
With over 225 athletes from 110 universities, Azusa Pacific was one of only three NAIA programs represented with at least five players on the Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete list, an awards program which honors student-athletes who maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status. Azusa Pacific produced a conference-record six GSAC Scholar-Athletes in 2011, a group that included Erb, who was not eligible for the national award as a first-year transfer student.
Azusa Pacific has produced 33 MLB draft selections all-time, the second-highest total of any NAIA program, and six former Cougars have played for MLB minor-league affiliates in 2011 including three at the Double-A or Triple-A levels.