ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University baseball team landed five players on the All-SCIAC teams and freshman Konnor Zickefoose was named the Newcomer of the Year, the conference announced on Wednesday. Sophomore Jared Love and sophomore Gavin Blodgett joined Zickefoose on the First Team while senior Matt Molnar and sophomore Conner Larkin earned Second Team honors.
Zickefoose, a third baseman from Chino Hills, Calif., became the first player in school history to earn Newcomer of the Year honors after a stellar freshman season. His overall .437 batting average ranked 23rd in the country and was the highest average of any freshman in Division III. The freshman held the eighth-best batting average in the conference at .398 this season. Zickefoose also finished second in the conference in slugging percentage at .688 and finished fourth in on base percentage at a .496 clip.
Love, the Panthers first baseman out of Brea, Calif., had another outstanding year at the plate for the Panthers on the way to his first career All-Conference honors. He slugging .539 this season and ranked third in the conference with five homers. The sophomore first baseman finished with 11 doubles while his 31 RBIs ranked fifth. His five homers ranked third in the SCIAC while his 43 hits ranked seventh.
Blodgett, the sophomore second baseman from Fullerton, Calif., also was honored for the first time in his career and ranked fifth in the conference with a .402 batting average. He also led the Panthers with 38 RBIs overall this year while 30 came in SCIAC games. He also ranked seventh in the conference with 43 hits. Blodgett was one of three Panthers in the top-10 in the SCIAC in doubles, smacking 10. He went yard four times this season.
Molnar, a right-hander from Aliso Viejo, Calif., led the Panthers on the mound. He went 8-4 overall and tossed a career-high 76-plus innings. He went 6-2 in conference with a 3.47 ERA and struck out 34 batters while only walking 14. His second team nod is the first of his career.
Larkin broke the Panthers single season triples record, topping the conference with nine this year overall. His seven triples in SCIAC games were four more than anyone else this year. The center fielder from San Diego, Calif., finished with a .353 batting average. He earned his first career postseason honor in baseball and was also an All-SCIAC selection in football in 2014.
Senior Greg Dillon was also named to the All-Sportsmanship team.
The Panthers finished the season 26-16 overall and 20-8 in conference. Chapman finished third in the conference standings and lose just two starters from the lineup.
By Drew Demarco & Steven Olveda
Sports Information Intern & Sports Information Director