March 1, 2013
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- Three Atlantic 10 baseball student-athletes are among 30 candidates for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate baseball. Butler’s Chase Byerly, Charlotte’s Shane Basen and Rhode Island’s Mike Le Bel are the group who excel both on the field and in the classroom.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. The complete list of candidates follows this release.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
The 2013 candidate class includes 15 candidates who have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher. Five were named to the CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-American team, and four were All-Americans.
Byerly, a native of Warsaw, Ind., was a third team Academic All-American and academic all-league pick after racking up 10 saves and 23 games finished last season as BU's closer. He posted a 3.57 ERA in 27 appearances, totaling 45.1 innings and struck out 32 batters against just five walks.
So far this season, the right-hander has struck out five over 4.0 innings and allowed just two runs in three appearances.
Basen has started all but one of Charlotte’s last 121 contests and after three seasons as Charlotte’s third baseman, Basen has made four starts at shortstop this season. He leads the team in hits and RBI, batting over .400 through the team’s first six games. He currently has an active 15-game hitting streak dating back to last season, the longest such stretch of his career. He has maintained a 3.97 grade point average with two majors (accounting and finance) and was the third baseball student-athlete at Charlotte to be named a Capital One Academic All-American. He has a chance to be the second baseball student-athlete at Charlotte to win the award twice.
Since LeBel's arrival at Rhode Island, the Rams have posted four consecutive 30+ win seasons. As a freshman, he helped lead URI to a school-record 37 victories. He entered this season having started in 168 games since 2009 and is a career .317 hitter with 208 hits, 158 runs, 38 doubles, 25 home runs, 114 RBI, 63 stolen bases and a .522 slugging percentage. Twice recognized in College Baseball Insider's coaches poll as the Atlantic 10's Best Infield Arm/Best Defensive Infielder (2012-13) and tabbed one of the Atlantic 10's top MLB Draft prospects by Baseball America, he has collected Atlantic 10 All-Conference, All-Championship and All-Rookie awards and also was selected to play in the 2011 New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) All-Star Game.
The candidate class will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2013 NCAA College World Series® in Omaha June 15-26.