The awards continue to roll in for the University of Redlands baseball team, as the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings recently announced that six Bulldogs account for seven All-West Region awards. Highlighting the stellar crew, senior third baseman Brendan Gardiner (Mission Viejo, CA) was named the 2018 West Region Position Player of the Year. In addition, he joins senior catcher Rainier Aguilar (San Bernardino, CA), junior shortstop Aaron Singh (Anaheim, CA), senior pitcher Adam Stead (Rialto, CA), and senior second baseman Will Hall (Seattle, WA) on the First Team, while senior pitcher Felix Minjarez (Riverside, CA) snagged a spot on the Third Team.
Thanks to the contributions of these six individuals and the entire team, Redlands culminated its historic season with a record-setting 33-13 overall record and 19-5 mark in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC). These Bulldogs also helped the team make its first NCAA Championship appearance since 2011. Furthermore, multiple student-athletes broke individual school records, including several among these All-Region honorees.
Gardiner adds to his already impressive list of accolades by becoming the 2018 West Region Position Player of the Year. He reset the Redlands single-season record with 70 hits while landing among the top 10 in the region in nine categories, including 57 runs scored (1.24 per game) and 41 walks (0.89 per game). He also leads the Redlands starters with an impressive .405 batting average and .618 slugging percentage.
Aguilar makes his second appearance on the ABCA All-West Region squad with this year's First-Team nod. He reset the Redlands record, ranks first in the West Region, and lands fifth nationally with 22 doubles on the season for an average of 0.49 doubles per game. He also sits among the top in the West with six sacrifice flies. As the primary starting catcher, Aguilar consistently surprised runners on first and third with clutch 2-5 and 2-3 pickoff plays.
Singh also receives his second-consecutive All-West Region accolade from the ABCA. With 21 doubles this season, Singh currently ranks second in the region and eighth in the nation, just one spot behind teammate Aguilar. He also sits among the top on the team in multiple categories, including 61 hits on 172 at-bats, 33 RBI, 31 runs scored, 21 doubles, five triples, and three home runs. Fundamentally sound footwork and terrific transfer skills allowed him to execute 150 assists and 29 double plays for an awesome .982 fielding percentage.
Following his SCIAC Pitcher of the Year award, Stead collects his inaugural ABCA All-West Region First-Team nod. He ranks among the top five in the West with nine wins and sits sixth with a lowly ERA of 2.12 on the season, including a stellar 0.87 ERA against conference opponents. Overall, Stead has racked up 84 strikeouts in 13 starts and 85 innings pitched. Defensively, he has provided six assists and three putouts while picking off one runner for a perfect fielding percentage.
Continuing with his illustrious, senior season, Hall also earns a spot on the ABCA All-West Region First Team. He reset the Redlands single-season record with 34 stolen bases, which averages to 0.77 swiped bags per game to own the No. 1 spot in the region in both categories. Furthermore, he scored 60 runs on the year to equal 1.36 runs per game for the best in the West Region. As the Bulldogs' leadoff hitter, he racked up an incredible 65 hits in 180 at-bats. In the field, Hall executed quick turns to contribute to 40 double plays en route to a .953 fielding percentage.
Finally, Minjarez received a Third-Team nod in his final campaign with the Bulldogs. Minjarez lands fourth in the region with 94 strikeouts, including a team-best 9.33 strikeouts per nine innings. As Redlands' Friday starter, he has given up fewer hits (83) than innings pitched (90.2) and has only allowed 33 earned runs while registering a 7-3 overall record. Defensively, he has totaled 12 assists and picked off four would-be base stealers.
For a complete list of ABCA/Rawlings All-West Region honorees, please visit the organization's website.