KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Bellevue University catcher Jake Browne became just the second player in NAIA history to win back-to-back Gold Glove Awards as the American Baseball Coaches Association announced the 2017 ABCA/Rawlings-NAIA Baseball Gold Glove Team, as selected by the NAIA-Baseball Coaches Association All-America Committee.
This marks the 11th season of the award where nine players are chosen based upon their defensive success.
Browne headlined this year's group as the only repeat selection. The senior catcher caught 43.6 percent of would-be base stealers and posted a .990 fielding percentage while starting 59 of BU's 62 games behind the dish. Chad Carman (Oklahoma City) is the only other player to win the award in back-to-back seasons, doing so in both 2011 and 2012.
Browne should also receive credit for helping the Bellevue pitching staff post a 3.32 ERA for the year which ranked fifth nationally despite playing a Strength of Schedule which would rank among the nation's elite.
Offensively, Browne produced a .324/.414/.424 slash line that paired nicely with 13 extra-base hits and 32 RBI.
Bellevue concluded another strong season last month with a 51-11 mark that saw them earn their second-straight NSAA Regular-Season title after going 23-1 in league play. The Bruins hosted the NAIA Opening Round Bellevue Bracket where they reached the final round. The National Tournament Appearance was the 19th in the storied history of the Bruin Baseball program.
2017 ABCA/Rawlings-NAIA Gold Glove Team
|C||Jake Browne||Bellevue (Neb.)||West Richland, Wash.|
|1B||Glen McClain||Indiana Tech.||Fremont, Ind.|
|2B||Matt Saliba||Webber International (Fla.)||Winter Haven, Fla.|
|3B||Michael Fuchs||Vanguard (Calif.)||Irvine, Calif.|
|SS||Dante Biagini||Indiana Tech.||San Francisco, Calif.|
|LF||Andrew Fogerty||Truett McConnell (Ga.)||Jefferson, Ga.|
|CF||Brandon Sandoval||Vanguard (Calif.)||Fallbrook, Calif.|
|RF||Alexander Lorenzo||Loyola (La.)||Miami, Fla.|
|P||Matthew McKenzie||St. Xavier (Ill.)||Oak Forest, Ill.|