CUTHBERT, Ga. -- Andrew College catcher, Chris Schwarzer, was named the 2017 Spalding® NJCAA Div. I Baseball Defensive Player of the Year, as announced by the Division I Baseball Committee on Thursday from Colorado Springs, CO. The award is Andrew College's first National Player of the Year in any sport.
Schwarzer, a sophomore from Lawrenceville, GA and Collins Hill High School, put together one of the best overall years in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association posting a .312 batting average, with 54 hits, including 6 doubles and 6 home runs, and 25 RBI, but really flashed behind the plate, where he led the region by throwing out 20 would be basestealers, led all catchers with 37 assists, posted the highest percentage of runners caught stealing at 49%, and had an incredible no errors on 282 chances in 57 games.
Schwarzer's prowess both on the field and in the classroom, led to several awards this postseason, including the GCAA Defensive Player of the Year, a 2nd Team All-Region 17, an NJCAA 3rd Team Academic All-American for his 3.65 GPA, a 2017 ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner, and now the 2017 Spalding® NJCAA Div. I Baseball Defensive Player of the Year.
Andrew head coach Blake Williams commended Schwarzer's talents for the Fighting Tigers. "Chris was a transcendent player for us defensively as he is one of the best you will ever find behind the plate. I'm very proud and pumped up for Chris winning this prestigious award. I have been spoiled the past two years having Chris be our catcher and handling our pitchers as he made my job a lot easier. Chris is the best defensive catcher that I have ever had and you would be hard fought to find someone better than him."
Schwarzer also received praise from Andrew's pitching coach, Zac Cole. "Chris gave our pitchers the confidence to throw any pitch at any time and grew tremendously in his pitch calling. Without a doubt, our pitching staff would not have been the same without Chris."
Schwarzer will play next year at the University of South Carolina-Aiken.
Click HERE for the NJCAA web article.