Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

May 24, 2014

VSU’s Fears named All-American

Senior infielder earns honorable mention status

After having injuries shorten his first season at Valdosta State, Matthew Fears stayed healthy in 2014.

And the senior followed up an all-conference campaign with an All-American season. Fears, a senior second baseman, was named an honorable mention All-American on Friday when the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association announced the team. Fears becomes the first Blazer to earn All-American status since 2010. That year, outfielder Brandon Decker was a first-team selection and Clayton Cain was a third-team utility choice.

Fears started all 44 games for VSU this year after missing more than 30 in 2013 when he still hit .407 with 13 doubles, a triple and three home runs, scoring 24 runs and driving in 21 more to earn first-team All-Gulf South Conference honors as an outfielder.

Given the extra games this season, he made the most of them, hitting .361 with 41 runs and 31 RBIs as he split time at the top of the Blazers’ order and hitting cleanup and also returning to his natural second base position.

While he hit just one home run, he had two triples and a Gulf South Conference-leading 17 doubles as he slugged .503, which was third in the conference, with a team-best 61 hits. He also stole 12 bases on his way to first-team All-South Region honors before being named All-American.

Fears also finished in the top 10 in the GSC in batting average (seventh), on-base percentage (sixth), runs (10th) and total bases (eighth).

West Florida’s Jordan DeLorenzo was named the National Pitcher of the Year by the NCBWA after going 11-1 with a 0.93 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 87 innings. He also earned first-team All-American honors from Daktronics, where he was the lone GSC selection.

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