AZUSA, Calif.-- Junior outfielder Joseph Daris led a group of five Azusa Pacific baseball players on the All-Pacific West Conference team following the Cougars’ second place season, the conference office announced Thursday. Daris was the lone Azusa Pacific player to be named to the first-team, while Sr. outfielder Matt Kimmel was a second-team honoree. Josh Staumont, Jordan Brower, and Daniel Martin rounded out the honors with third-team recognition.
“I’m proud of each of the guys, and as is with any individual award, it’s a result of team success. To have five players recognized really speaks to our team as a whole and the hard work they put in all season,” said head coach Paul Svagdis. “I thought Joseph did a great job for us getting on base and putting pressure on the opponent, and Matt did what he’s been doing his whole career in the middle of our lineup. Then we had Jordan and Danny come up big for us in crucial times this year. I also thought Josh had some really impressive outings, and we’re excited to see what he can do next year.”
Conference champion Dixie State, and California Baptist each led the way with nine players on the All-PacWest team, while Azusa Pacific’s five recipients were third most in the league. CBU’s Andy Crowley was the PacWest Player of the Year, and Lancer sophomore Trevor Oaks was the Newcomer and Pitcher of the Year. DSU’s Trey Kamachi was the Freshman of the Year, and Red Storm skipper Chris Pfatenhauer was named Coach of the Year. For the complete PacWest release with the all-conference team click here.
JOSEPH DARIS: (first-team) Jr., OF, Oceanside, Calif., El Camino HS
Widely regarded as one of the fastest players on the West Coast entering the season, Daris proved he was much more than an athlete throughout his junior campaign. The centerfielder led Azusa Pacific with a .377 batting average out of the leadoff spot, and added 19 RBIs and two homers. The Oceanside native posted the team’s lengthiest hitting streak, going 19 consecutive games with a hit; each of which came during the Cougars’ 20-game road trip. He also stole 15 bases in 16 tries, and added a team high four triples to finish with a .919 OPS.
MATT KIMMEL: (second-team) Sr., OF, Redmond, Wash., Redmond HS
Kimmel closed out his prolific Cougar career with his third straight season batting over .300 (.358). The 2012 NAIA All-American, and 2013 All-PacWest performer led Azusa Pacific with 14 doubles and a .517 slugging percentage and over the past three seasons he’s played in every Azusa Pacific game, starting in all but one. His four homers, three triples, and 40 RBIs each ranked second on the team, and his 10 stolen bases trail only Daris’ 15. Kimmel also led the Cougars with 23 multi-hit games and had a team-high nine three-hit performances.
JORDAN BROWER: (third-team) Jr., 1B, Newbury Park, Calif. Newbury Park HS
In his first season with the team the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo transfer powered the middle of the Cougar lineup. The first baseman paced the team with 41 RBIs, and hit a team-high eight homers, four more than any other Azusa Pacific player. He batted .323, and was one of two Cougars to post a .500 or better slugging percentage. The Newbury Park native also came up big in the clutch, blasting a walkoff bomb into the right field net to complete an Azusa Pacific sweep of Holy Names, and hitting a game-tying homer against California Baptist to ignite a Cougar comeback win.
DANIEL MARTIN: (third-team) So., 3B,Escondido, Calif., La Costa Canyon HS
Martin closed out his sophomore season on fire, ending the year riding an 11-game hitting streak. In that span he batted .425, lifting his average to .345. He tabbed a .475 slugging percentage, adding nine doubles and three homers while successfully stealing eight bases in 10 tries. The sure-handed third-baseman, who battled through injuries all season, also registered 70 assists and helped turn 10 double plays.
JOSH STAUMONT: (third-team) So., RHP, La Harbra Heights, Calif., La Habra HS
Staumont splashed onto the scene with 24 strikeouts in his first three starts, including a 15 strikeout performance over 7.1 innings of work in a 6-0 win against Concordia on Feb. 18. The Baseball American Division II Preseason Pitcher of the Year tallied 89 Ks in 80.2 innings , while tabbing a 7-6 record with a 4.24 ERA in his first season with Azusa Pacific. His seven wins paced the Cougar rotation, and his two complete games were tied for the team-lead.