CHICKASHA – The Sooner Athletic Conference recognized USAO five players as well as the Drovers’ head coach with major All-Conference baseball honors.
For the first time in his career, head coach Mike Ross was named SAC Coach of the Year, while five of his players earned All-SAC honors.
“With the quality of coaches in the league and the quality of teams, that I would be selected as Coach of the Year is a huge honor,” Ross said. “I wasn’t expecting it at all, and I was quite excited when I found out.”
Ross, however, gave the credit to his team, who worked hard for him all season.
“I could not have received the honor without our guys. They did all the work,” Ross said. “Without them, I’m not even considered for this honor.”
Joining Ross with conference honors, Heath Wilda, Jared Coon, Brian Vigo and Josh Goodman were named All-Conference First Team, and Blake McMullen earned All-Conference Second Team honors.
“I thought all the young men who got All-Conference honors were well deserved,” Ross said. “I don’t think there’s any doubt that the First Team guys especially were the best in the conference in their position and getting voted All-Conference just solidifies that.”
Leading the team in batting average, hits and runs, Coon was a clear choice for First Team Outfield honors.
As USAO’s starting left fielder, Coon started in every game of the season, accumulating a batting average of .390 and an on-base percentage of .422.
In the Drovers final game of the regular season, Coon broke the school’s single-season hits record, which previously had been set in 1999. He has 80 hits on the season and has scored 51 runs.
Additionally, he’s second on the team in RBIs with 51 and third in stolen bases with 10.
With just two errors all season, Coon has a fielding percentage of .980.
Coon was named SAC Player of the Week in February. This is the second year in a row he was earned All-Conference First Team honors.
He transferred to USAO in 2011 from McNeese State University. Coon graduated in April with a sociology degree. He is from Dale and is the son of Russ and Alana Coon.
Goodman was USAO’s go-to relief pitcher all season, seeing 28 appearances and collecting nine saves throughout the season. This season, Goodman broke school records in both the regular season and career in both categories.
With an ERA of 2.27, he has the lowest ERA on the team of any pitchers throwing at least 40 innings. That ERA puts him at the top of USAO’s record books for a single season.
He also holds single-season records in fewest hits allowed, fewest earned runs, fewest home runs and batting average against, which is .207.
He struck out a total of 27 batters and collected a win-loss record of 5-1 throughout the season.
Goodman was the only relief pitcher to earn All-SAC First Team.
Goodman joined the Drovers as a sophomore after at year at Pratt Community College. He is an accounting senior from Medford and is the son of Mark and Tammile Goodman.
Vigo was another crucial Drover outfielder this season, who came in second on the team in batting average and first in home runs.
Batting a .388 on the season, Vigo now is tied for second in school history in single-season hits with 73.
He led the team in home runs with 12 on the season, which puts him sixth in the NAIA in that category. He scored a total of 39 runs and drove in 48 more. He has a slugging percentage of .644.
He also leads the team — and is second in school history — in stolen bases with 20 on the season.
He was named SAC Player of the Week in February.
He is a physical education senior from Carolina, Puerto Rico, and is the son of Rafael Vigo and Cynthia Saurez.
Starting at third base for the last two years, Wilda earned All-Conference First Team honors for the second year in a row.
For the Drovers this season, Wilda batted an average of .385, with 70 hits and 42 runs on the season.
Batting third, he led the team in RBIs with 54 total, which is 16th in the NAIA. In RBIs, he is fifth in USAO’s record books.
He came in second on the team in home runs with seven bombs during the season. Also, he had an on-base percentage of .444 and a slugging percentage of .599.
Wilda joined the Drovers as a junior after a year at Redlands Community College and a year at Oklahoma State.
He is a business senior from Chickasha and the son of Kevin and Tammie Wilda.
As one of the Drovers’ starting pitchers, McMullen earned All-Conference Second Team honors.
With a 9-3 record on the season, McMullen is just one win away from tying the school record in most wins in a single season.
The senior led the team in strikeouts thrown with 88 on the season. Not only is that 12th in the NAIA, but it is also just one strikeout away from tying the school record, which was set in 2009.
He saw 15 starts and threw five complete games and two shutouts. Only two former USAO pitchers have thrown two shutouts in a single season.
In 83.1 innings, he has a batting average against of .268.
He is a business administration senior from Enid and the son of John and Tracey McMullen.