The American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) has released its 2016 ABCA/Rawlings Pacific Association Division All-America teams, with College of the Canyons garnering two selections. In addition, the Cougars had three players named to both the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Southern California All-State and Southern California All-Region teams.
Earning ABCA/Rawlings Pacific Association Division All-America First Team honors is freshman catcher Anthony Lepre, who batted .401 with 13 home runs and 47 RBIs in 38 games for the Cougars in 2016.
Lepre also earned selections to the 2016 CCCAA Southern California All-State and Southern California Pacific Association ABCA/Rawlings All-Region First Team. Earlier this spring he was named an All-Western State Conference (WSC) First Team honoree.
Sophomore infielder Colton Burns was named an ABCA/Rawlings Pacific Association Division All-America Third Team selection, after batting .406 with 30 RBIs and 50 runs in 34 games.
Burns, who is heading to UC Santa Barbara in the fall, also earned Southern California All-Region First Team and CCCAA Southern California All-State honors.
COC freshman Chad Bible was named a Southern California All-Region Second Team selection after a season in which he topped the state in both home run (15) and RBIs (61). He batted an impressive .385 and scored 53 runs on the season.
Bible also earned CCCAA Southern California All-State honors, and was named the 2016 ‘Big Stick’ Award winner as the state’s top offensive player.
“All three of these hardworking student-athletes had outstanding seasons,” said COC baseball head coach Chris Cota. “Anthony, Colton and Chad are all very deserving of this recognition and it’s great to see them honored with such prestigious awards.”
Canyons finished the 2016 regular season with a 28-8 regular season record, placing two games behind conference champion Glendale College, and one game back of second place Bakersfield College.
Along the way, the Cougars led the state in nine offensive categories: hits (477), runs (337), batting average (.353), extra base hits (166), total bases (780), home runs (63), RBIs (305), on base percentage (.427) and slugging percentage (.577) — and saw 13 players earn All-WSC honors.
COC qualified for the 2016 postseason, but was eliminated in the first round by Chaffey College in a best-of-three games series.
The first ABCA Pacific Association Division All-America team was recognized in 2009 and is voted on by the ABCA Pacific Association Division All-America Committee, which is led by Paul Moore of the California Community Colleges Baseball Coaches Association.
The ABCA, founded in 1945, is the primary professional organization for baseball coaches at the amateur level. Its more than 8,200 members represent all 50 states and 23 countries. Association membership includes eight divisions: NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA, NJCAA, Pacific Association Division, High School and Youth.