KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced today the 2019 Baseball All-America teams as selected by the NAIA-Baseball Coaches' Association All-America Committee. Included were three baseball players from Bellevue University; third baseman JT Patterson, shortstop Kory Longaker, and right-handed pitcher Stephen Knapp.
The first and second teams are also recognized as the ABCA/Rawlings All-Americans by the American Baseball Coaches Association and Rawlings Sporting Goods. The ABCA began recognizing All-Americans in 1949 and named the first ABCA NAIA All-America team in 1969.
Additionally, in the release, the NAIA recognized right-hander Colton Williams (Science & Arts) and shortstop Aaron Shackleford (The Master's) as the NAIA's Pitcher and Player of the Year, respectively.
JT Patterson – First Team
Patterson was the NSAA Player of the Year and a first team all-conference selection after hitting .367/.467/.752 with 38 extra-base hits and 91 RBI. He also scored 72 runs and tallied 13 doubles on the year as he wrapped up his BU career hitting .345/.436/.694 with 21 doubles, 40 home runs, 147 RBI, and 121 runs scored in 120 career games.
Patterson posted five multi-home run games including three games in which he went deep three times – an NAIA record – en route to setting BU single season records for home runs (24) and RBI. His RBI (2nd), home run (4th), total base (5th), and runs scored (8th) totals along with his slugging percentage (10th) all ranked in the top 10 nationally.
Kory Longaker – Second Team
After earning first team all-NSAA honors, Longaker was again named a second team All-American selection after previously earning the honor in 2018. In playing all 64 games at short, Longaker posted a .376/.440/.659 slash line to go along with 45 extra-base hits, 58 RBI, and 19 stolen bases.
Longaker led the team in hits (97), doubles (29), runs (83), and stolen bases (19) while playing terrific defense at the shortstop position as he committed just 14 errors in 272 chances for a .949 fielding percentage. He finished the season by leading the NAIA in runs scored and ranking in the top 10 in several other major offensive categories: doubles (2nd), total bases (5th), and hits (6th).
Stephen Knapp – Honorable Mention
The NSAA Pitcher of the Year and a first team all-conference selection, Knapp concluded his BU career by building upon last year's strong season. In 2019, Knapp pitched to a 10-3 record and 2.67 ERA in 14 starts as the Bruins' ace.
He posted a nearly 4:1 strikeout to walk ratio by whiffing 55 batters and issuing just 15 free passes in 101 innings on the hill. With a WHIP of just 1.010 and .230 opponent batting average, he was able to turn in a team-best eight complete games and five shutouts.
It is the most All-American selections that BU baseball has had in a season since 2015 when Osvaldo Gonzalez (First Team) Steve Sarcone (Second Team), Stephen Meyer (Honorable Mention) all earned All-American recognition.
Bellevue concluded the 2019 season with a 48-16 overall record and 23-1 mark in North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) play. The Bruins closed the year by winning 41 of their final 44 games en route to earning the program's 14th Avista NAIA World Series Appearance. The Bruins claimed both the NSAA Regular-Season and Tournament titles before going on to win the NAIA Opening Round – Shreveport Bracket.