LYNCHBURG, VA. (NCBWA) University of Florida catcher/designated hitter JJ Schwarz and Louisiana State University right-hander Alex Lange have been named the 2015 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association National Freshman Hitter and Pitcher of the Year recipients, as announced by the organization today.
Schwarz enters the week with a .332 batting average with 71 RBIs and 52 runs scored for the College World Series-bound Florida Gators. Having started all 65 Florida contests this season, the catcher/designated hitter leads the Gators with 16 doubles, 18 home runs and a .651 slugging percentage.
The Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., native was named second team All-SEC and to the league's All-Freshmen team. Currently, he leads the SEC and is third nationally in RBIs. He is also fourth in home runs and ninth in total bases nationally. In addition, he is second in home runs and slugging percentage and third in total bases in the SEC.
Schwarz has helped the Gators post a 49-16 overall record and advance to their ninth College World Series in program history. Florida, which claimed both the NCAA Gainesville Regional and Super Regional Championships, entered the Super Regional ranked No. 2 in the NCBWA Weekly Poll. In addition, Florida captured the SEC Tournament in May.
During the Gators' postseason, Schwarz is hitting .564 (22-for-39), with 17 RBI, 15 runs, five doubles and four homers. He has been selected the Most Valuable Player of the SEC Tournament and the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Gainesville Regional. During the SEC tournament, he hit .526 (10-for-19), with six RBI, five runs and three doubles, as Florida won its seventh SEC tournament in program history. In addition, Schwarz had been named the Louisville Slugger Co-2015 Freshman Player of the Year by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
Lange has posted an 11-0 record with a 1.89 ERA in 105 innings for the LSU Tigers, who will be making their 17th College World Series appearance this weekend. In 16 starts, the right-hander has struck out 121 and limited opponents to a .214 cumulative batting average.
The Lee's Summit, Mo., native was voted the SEC Freshman of the Year and received first team all-SEC recognition. Currently, the right-hander is sixth in wins and eighth in strikeouts nationally. In addition, he is his second in the SEC in ERA, wins and strikeouts and is fifth in the conference in opponent batting average.
Lange has helped the Tigers record a 53-10 overall mark. LSU, which claimed both the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional and Super Regional, entered the Super Regional ranked No. 1 in the NCBWA Weekly Poll.
Lange was selected the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional. The right-hander was named the 2015 Louisville Slugger Freshman Pitcher of the Year and was selected to the Louisville Slugger All-American first team by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. For more information about the NCBWA, visit the association's official Web site, www.ncbwa.com.