KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The NAIA has released the 2019 Preseason Baseball All-America Team on Wednesday as the 2020 season is less than three months from beginning spring games. The 17-player list is selected annually by the NAIA-Baseball Coaches Association (NAIA-BCA) All-America Committee.
The list includes five, NAIA First Team All-America selections from a year ago in Colton Williams of Science & Arts (Okla.), Mitchell Lundholm of Fisher (Mass.), Josh Sears of Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.), Tyler Williams of Oklahoma City, and Drenis Ozuna of Oklahoma Wesleyan. Of the entire list, Sears is the lone player on the list whom was both a preseason All-America selection in 2018 and a first-team All-America selection in the Spring of 2019 to make this list.
Colton Williams was dominant much of the 2019 campaign and was named the NAIA Pitcher of the Year for his efforts. The southpaw tossed over 108 innings and held batters to a .186 average with a 1.33 ERA. The Houston, Texas native led the nation in wins with 16 and allowed just five earned runs over the course of the season, good enough for fifth in the NAIA in that category.
Lundholm hit .454 last season and came one hit shy of 100 for the season. Additionally, the Plymouth, Mass., native wacked 20 doubles, five triples and recorded 82 RBI on the year with only 17 strikeouts.
Tyler Williams was a big piece of the puzzle for coach Denny Crabaugh and the Oklahoma City Stars in 2019. The outfielder ranked No. 4 in the NAIA in slugging percentage (0.851) with 19 home runs and 79 RBI.
Ozuna, the standout outfielder from Oklahoma Wesleyan, put together a monster season for the Oklahoma Wesleyan Eagles. The Orlando, Fla., native averaged three total bases per game and 1.357 runs scored per game, both ranking him fourth in the nation.
Matt Merrill of Science & Arts, Payton Robertson of LSU Shreveport (La.), Max Guzman of Tennessee Wesleyan and Kelby Richardson of Benedictine Mesa (Ariz.) were all second team All-America selections a season ago.
Science & Arts leads the list with three players, while Freed-Hardeman features two representatives.
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2019 Baseball Preseason All-America Team
|SP||Mason Schwellenbach||Central Methodist (Mo.)||SR||Saginaw, Mich.|
|SP||Alex Huey||Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.)||SO||Columbia, Tenn.|
|SP||Colton Williams||Science & Arts (Okla.)||SR||Houston, Texas|
|SP||Matt Merrill||Science & Arts (Okla.)||SO||Tulsa, Okla.|
|RP||Hunter Avery||Mobile (Ala.)||SR||Mobile, Ala.|
|C||Andres Ugarte||Reinhardt (Ga.)||SR||Valencia, Venezuela|
|C||Gabe Austin||Georgia Gwinnett||SR||Summerville, S.C.|
|1B||Mitchell Lundholm||Fisher (Mass.)||SR||Plymouth, Mass.|
|2B||Clayton Surrell||Rio Grande (Ohio)||SO||Carroll, Ohio|
|3B||Payton Robertson||LSU Shreveport (La.)||SR||Orange, Texas|
|SS||Josh Johnston||Truett McConnett (Ga.)||SR||Atlanta, Ga.|
|UTIL||Max Guzman||Tennessee Wesleyan||SR||Miami, Fla.|
|DH||Josh Sears||Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.)||JR||Huntsville, Ala.|
|OF||Tyler Williams||Oklahoma City||SR||Peoria, Ariz.|
|OF||Drenis Ozuna||Oklahoma Wesleyan||SR||Orlando, Fla.|
|OF||Kelby Richardson||Benedictine Mesa (Ariz.)||SR||Marlow, Okla.|
|OF||Luis Pelayo||Science & Arts (Okla.)||SR||Santa Cruz, Aruba|