CUTHBERT, Ga. -- Andrew College's Chris Schwarzer was named a 2017 ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner as a catcher. The prestigious award is sponsored by the Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, and award winners are selected by coaches in the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) in honor of the best defensive player at each position, for nine divisions of amateur baseball. The ABCA, founded in 1945, is the primary professional organization for baseball coaches at the amateur level. Its over 8,000 members represent all 50 states and 25 countries. Since its initial meeting of 27 college baseball coaches in June 1945, Association membership has broadened to include eight divisions: NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA, NJCAA, Pacific Association Division, High School and Youth.
Schwarzer, a sophomore from Lawrenceville, Ga. and Collins Hill High School, put together a phenomenal season behind the plate, where he led the region by throwing out 20 would be base stealers, led all catchers with 37 assists, posted the highest percentage of runners caught stealing at 49%, and had an incredible no errors in 282 chances over 57 games.
Head Baseball Coach Blake Williams stated, "Chris is the best defensive catcher that I have ever coached, and you would be hard-pressed to find someone better. The stats are overwhelming coming from a position that handles every pitch, and to have zero errors, is phenomenal." Head Assistant and Pitching Coach Zac Cole added, "Chris did an outstanding job behind the plate this year, giving our pitchers the confidence to throw any pitch at any time, and single-handedly controlling the opponents running game."
Schwarzer also showed his prowess in the classroom, as he was named a 2017 NJCAA Third Team Academic All-American for posting a GPA of 3.65 for the past year. Schwarzer will play next year at the University of South Carolina-Aiken.
For Coach Williams, it's now two years in a row for having a Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner, as center fielder Mike Warren took home a Gold Glove last year. Said Williams, "One national Gold Glove defensive award winner in a coaching career is a highlight, back-to-back is a blessing. The bar is set pretty high for those two positions now at Andrew College."
Click HERE for the complete list of all Rawlings Gold Glove winners in 2017 at the amateur level.