COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - South Carolina junior pitcher Michael Roth was named National Player of the Year by CollegeBaseballInsider.com on Thursday. Redshirt sophomore Matt Price joined Roth on the outlet's All-America first team, while senior hurler John Taylor made the second team. Sophomore first baseman Christian Walker earned an honorable mention.
Roth went 14-3 in 2011, posting a 1.06 ERA in 145 innings of work. The junior, in his first full year as a starting pitcher, struck out 112 batters and walked 41 to help lead the Gamecocks to their second-consecutive NCAA Division I national championship. Roth also tallied a 1.17 ERA in Southeastern Conference play, the lowest of any starter in the league. His 14 wins tie for fifth most by a Gamecock in a single season. It's Roth's second first-team All-America nod this off season, as he made Baseball America's first team, while the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) selected Roth for its second team. Roth was a third-team selection by Louisville Slugger.
Price anchored the bullpen for the SEC and NCAA champs, going 7-3 with 20 saves, tied for second most in Gamecock history, in 59 innings of work. Appearing in 36 games, Price fanned 75 and walked 20 on the year to post a 1.83 ERA. Price garnered second-team honors from the NCBWA and third-team recognition from Baseball America.
Taylor earns his first postseason honor this year, as the senior went 8-1 in 50 relief appearances, a new school record. Compiling a 1.14 ERA, Taylor struck out 63 and walked 28. He finished fourth on the staff with his 71.1 innings of work. Taylor also led the staff in opponent batting average, holding foes to a .185 mark.
Walker led the Gamecocks with a .358 batting average, 10 home runs and 62 runs batted in, also topping the squad with 64 runs, 21 doubles and a .554 slugging percentage. In 271 at bats, he walked 36 times and fanned just 30. His .438 on-base percentage ranked second, just behind senior Scott Wingo. Walker picked up second-team accolades from Baseball America already.
The four Gamecocks on the lists matched Vanderbilt and Virginia for top honors among teams. The Cavaliers' Danny Hultzen and Branden Kline join Roth and Price as the only teammates as first-team All-Americans.
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