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Krauss Becomes First Bobcat to Win MAC Player of the Year

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OHIOBOBCATS.COM Junior Marc Krauss became the first Bobcat to ever win the MAC's Player of the Year award in baseball.
OHIOBOBCATS.COM
Junior Marc Krauss became the first Bobcat to ever win the MAC's Player of the Year award in baseball.
OHIOBOBCATS.COM

May 19, 2009

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio - Ohio University junior Marc Krauss made history Tuesday night when he was named the Mid-American Conference baseball Player of the Year by the league office, as he becomes the first Bobcat ever to earn the award, which has been handed out since 1986.

In addition to Krauss, who landed on the First Team for the third-straight year, Ohio had five other players named All-MAC, including two more on the First Team and three on the Second Team. Senior starting pitcher Chris Rigo and sophomore center fielder Gauntlett Eldemire earned First-Team accolades with Krauss, while seniors Brandon Besl and Hayden Johnston and sophomore Robert Maddox III garnered Second-Team honors. The three first-teamers are the most the ’Cats have placed on the All-MAC First Team since 2003, when they also had three named to the squad, while the six All-MAC selections tied Bowling Green for the most of any MAC team in 2009.

Krauss (Deshler, Ohio), who was also the MAC’s Freshman of the Year in 2007, has been named to the MAC’s First Team all three years in the green and white, becoming the first three-time First-Teamer since Anthony Gressick from 2004-2006. The third baseman/outfielder is one of just three Bobcats to start all 50 games this season and has rewritten the Ohio record books in the process. He has clubbed a MAC-best and single-season school record 24 home runs this season, shattering the previous record of 20, with the 24 round-trippers ranking third in MAC history for one season and tying for third in the nation. Krauss has also moved into second in Bobcat history with 42 career blasts during the course of the season.

The two-time 2009 MAC East Player of the Week also garnered National Player of the Week honors by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper April 5, when he hit five home runs in as many games during the week. In addition to his home runs, Krauss also leads the MAC with 64 RBIs, 162 total bases and an .814 slugging percentage (seven nationally), all of which rank second on Ohio’s single-season lists. The two-time MAC male Scholar Athlete of the Week is also second in the league with a .508 on-base percentage, third in runs scored with 69 (ranking third on the single-season ledger), second in walks with 43 and sixth with his .392 batting average. Krauss has tallied five multi-homer games this season and has a team-best 20 multi-RBI games, including a career-high tying five in a win at Miami May 9. He has registered 25 multi-hit games in 2009 and hit safely in 41 of 50 contests, including a career-long 17-game hit streak earlier in the year, while adding 12 doubles and stealing six bases during the campaign.

Rigo (Westlake, Ohio) has been a rock in Ohio’s starting rotation, starting a team-best 12 games on the mound and compiling a 5-4 record, with the five wins tying for fifth in the MAC. Rigo earned co-MAC East Pitcher of the Week March 30, when he went eight and two-thirds innings and allowed just one run at Western Michigan in game one of the series. The 2009 co-captain has a 5.91 ERA and has tossed a team-high 77.2 innings, which ties for fourth in the league, while his 62 strikeouts are seventh. His 60.1 innings pitched in MAC games only is tops in the conference, however. During the season, Rigo has also moved into Ohio’s career top-10 in both strikeouts and innings pitched.

Eldemire (Shaker Heights, Ohio) has had a stellar year as Ohio’s leadoff man and center fielder, blasting 20 home runs, which trails only Krauss in the MAC and ties for second in a single season at Ohio. The MAC East Player of the Week March 23, Eldemire has tallied three multi-homer games this season, including the first of his career when he hit a grand slam and a three-run blast for a career-best seven RBIs March 22 against Central Michigan. The sophomore has five leadoff homers and three walk-off home runs this season, including May 14 when did both in a win over Buffalo. Eldemire’s .703 slugging percentage is fifth in the league, while his 57 runs tie for sixth (and eighth on Ohio’s single-season chart) and his 54 RBIs tie for seventh in the conference. He’s hitting .324 in 2009 in 46 games played (all of which he started), while adding six doubles and two triples, collecting 130 total bases (eighth in the MAC). Eldemire is also 11-for-13 in stolen bases, tops on the team.

Besl (Cincinnati, Ohio) was tabbed to the Second Team for the second-straight year after starting 49 of 50 games this year, while rotating between second base, third base and shortstop. The senior co-captain is hitting .305 on the season, but has been on a tear as of late, hitting .451 in his last 19 games, during which he had a career-best 15-game hitting streak, the second longest by a Bobcat this year. Besl has a career-best 10 home runs this season to go along with 18 doubles, which ties for fifth in the MAC and ties for eighth on Ohio’s single-season chart. The utility man has driven in 39 runs this season and scored 46, while slugging .542 and totaling 110 bases. Besl earned his first-career MAC East Player of the Week May 11, when he hit four home runs in the series with Miami, including two bombs May 8.

Johnston (Strattanville, Pa.) has started all 50 games this season, mostly in right field, while having a career year. The senior leads Ohio with 27 multi-hit games and ranks first in the MAC with 85 hits, which is sixth in a single-season at Ohio. The 2009 CoSIDA First-Team Academic All-District IV honoree is eighth in the league with both a .386 average and a .686 slugging percentage and has a team-best 22 doubles, which ties for second in the MAC, to go along with four triples (tied for sixth in the MAC). Johnston’s 22 doubles are second in Ohio history for one season, while his 56 runs scored and 151 total bases rank in the single-season top-10, with the latter ranking second in the conference. He also has 12 home runs (he had four in his first three years at Ohio), his latest of which came May 15 in a win over Buffalo when his two-run, walk-off bomb capped a five-run, ninth-inning comeback. Johnston has come an extra-base hit shy of the cycle four times this season and has had two hit streaks this year of 13 games or more.

Maddox (Euclid, Ohio) is the third Bobcat to start all 50 games this season and has moved up and down the batting order as Ohio’s designated hitter, producing no matter where he’s hitting. The sophomore has a career-best 12 home runs this season, three of which came April 24 in a win over then-No. 25 Kent State, when he became the first Bobcat to achieve the feat since Krauss did so as a freshman. Maddox tallied a career-high six RBIs in that game and has 54 on the season, which lands in Ohio’s single-season top-10, including 17 multi-RBI contests. He’s hitting .324 on the year and slugging .531 with six doubles, a triple and 113 total bases. He’s also scored 44 runs and stolen three bases, while his seven sac flies tie for second in the league.

Bowling Green’s Danny Schmitz was named the league’s Coach of the Year and the Falcons’ Brennan Smith claimed Pitcher of the Year honors, while Kent State left-handed hurler Andrew Chafin earned MAC Freshman of the Year. For a complete list of the All-MAC teams and award winners, click here.

The league’s 12 head coaches conducted the voting for the 15-member first and 16-member second All-MAC teams, as the teams and awards were announced in conjunction with the MAC Tournament.

The Bobcats open their 2009 MAC Tournament run against Toledo Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. ET at V.A. Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, Ohio.