Miller earns Big South First Team honors; Four Bucs recognized with postseason conference honors

Miller earns Big South First Team honors; Four Bucs recognized with postseason conference honors

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern redshirt sophomore Jason Miller was named to the 2017 Big South Baseball All-Conference First Team to lead four Bucs receiving postseason conference honors, as announced by the Big South on Monday evening.

Cody Smith was named to the Big South Second Team, while Daniel Johnson and Aaron Miller were recognized on the conference Honorable Mention team. Johnson was also selected to the Big South All-Academic team.

Jason Miller became the Bucs' first recipient named to the conference First Team since Bobby Ison, Andrew Widell, and Alex Tomasovich earned the honors back in the 2014 season. Miller was the Bucs' offensive leader in the 2017 season leading CSU in batting average (.340), hits (69), and triples (2) on the year.

The Summerville, S.C. native was among the Big South leaders all season in both batting average (6th) and hits (4th). In conference play, the USC Sumter transfer was even better posting a .378 average in 24 games while tying for the Big South lead with 37 hits overall. He also posted CSU's longest hitting streak of the season at nine games (March 4-19), as well as the longest on-base streak at 16 games this season.

Smith was among the Big South pitching leaders all season and was key to a strong CSU bullpen effort that finished the year with a combined 3.87 ERA and 14-9 record, while posting a 287:88 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Smith made 23 appearances out the bullpen and led CSU with a 1.61 ERA on the year, finishing the season with a team-high eight saves. He posted a 43:6 strikeout-to-walk ratio on the year in 28.0 innings' pitched while limiting opponents to a .236 batting average.

Johnson was also a dominant performer from the CSU bullpen for Head Coach Adam Ward in the 2017 season. The junior left-hander finished the year third in the Big South in conference games in ERA (1.76), seventh in opponent batting average (.216), and seventh in strikeouts (44) in 30.2 innings' pitched. He was second overall in the conference in strikeouts per game (12.91) and recorded a team-best 10 strikeouts in five innings' relief against Campbell on April 2 on his way to earning co-Big South Pitcher of the Week honors.

Aaron Miller was among the conference's best hitters toward the end of the season and finished the year with a team-high eight home runs, six of which came in Big South play. He finished the season sixth in the conference in Big South games in slugging percentage and fourth in home runs. He earned back-to-back Big South Freshman of the Week honors on April 10 and April 17. Among his season highlights came in the Bucs' series win over UNC Asheville when Miller went 3-for-4 with a pair of home runs, including a grand slam, four runs scored and eight RBI in CSU's 19-3 win over the Bulldogs.

Johnson earned All-Academic honors for the first time this season. The Greenville, S.C. native has earned a 3.52 GPA while pursuing a degree in Accounting.

Liberty sophomore outfielder D.J. Artis and Radford junior hurler Zack Ridgely have been voted the 2017 Big South Baseball Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year, respectively, by the league's head coaches, it was announced at a special awards presentation.  In addition, Winthrop head coach Tom Riginos was voted Coach of the Year, while Eagles' pitcher Colten Rendon was selected Big South Freshman of the Year.  Campbell utility player Drew Butler was voted Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the Big South's sports information directors.

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