WINGATE, N.C. - Continuing to pile up plaudits, Ethan Goforth and Tyler Thompson were named second-team All-Region selections by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Wednesday. The honors come one week after the duo were tabbed second-team All-Region by D2CCA.
The last time the Eagles placed a pair of athletes on all-region clubs came back in 2016 when left-handed pitcher Vince Apicella was a first-team pick and third baseman Brandon Roberts slotted into the two hole. Prior to this season, Ryan Addington was the last individual to earn the plaudit doing so in 2017 as a second-team outfielder by the NCBWA and the ABCA.
Goforth was the fourth C-N catcher to earn a spot on the first team all-conference and first since Matt Harper in 1998. After being a second team pick in 2018, he is the second catcher is school history to be a two-time All-SAC selection joining Wes Ward who was a two-time second-team honoree in 2002 and 2003.
The Blacksburg, Va. native put together one of the best years in recent memory with a .376 batting average, 11 homers, 42 RBIs, 70 runs scored and 15 stolen bases. Those numbers put him in the top 10 in average, homers and runs scored, where he led the country during the regular season. His 70 tally is good for third on the school's all-time runs scored list, three behind the program record of 73 set by Shap Stiles in 1999 and Jim Higgins in 2002.
The junior went 0-for-4 in the first game of 2019 and did not see his average dip below .357 since the opening series. The junior's 15-game hitting streak from March 19-April 15 was the longest by an Eagle since Paul Kirby hit safely in 16 in 2017. During that span, he went 27-56 with three long balls, 12 RBIs, 24 runs with eight multi-hit games. The right-handed hitter was been hit by 22 pitches this season to reset the school record that was previously 14.
He produced 22 multi-hit games on the year including a third of the team's four-hit games with 11 multi-RBI efforts. On 19 occasions, he crossed the plate at least twice.
Earning a spot on the SAC's all-defensive team, Goforth was on the list for the second year in-a-row becoming the first Eagle to do that since the inception of the honors at the beginning of the decade. He is the third Eagle to be a first-team selection and defensive team pick in the same year joining pitcher Robby Thigpen in 2012 and Roberts in 2016.
He led all catchers by a wide margin with 32 assists on the year committing five errors in 420 chances for a .988 fielding percentage. He also threw out 16 of the 38 runners attempting to steal a bag, a 42 percent rate, to lead the league among players with at least a dozen attempts against.
Thompson was the first C-N outfielder to be on the top team in the SAC since Jeff Lockwood in 2010 becoming the 25th outfielder to earn a year-end plaudit. The sophomore led the team with 25 multi-hit games and 12 multi-RBI affairs.
The Gallatin, Tenn. native is the conference's batting champion by nearly 20 points hitting .438 on the season while pacing the SAC in on-base percentage with a .528 clip and slugging percentage by over 50 points finishing the year with a .756 tally. His batting average set the program's NCAA record for a single season passing Stiles's mark of .414 from 1999 to become the sixth Eagle in the Division II era to hit over .400.
He started the year 1-for-5 in the opener before rattling off five straight hits. On the year, his batting average did not dip below .422 since the opener with that mark coming in the middle game of the Lincoln Memorial series on March 10. He followed that with three multi-hit games in-a-row. Thompson is the fourth SAC player since 2012 to hit above .430 in a season and first since Wingate's Shane Billings hit .444 in 2016.
The two-time SAC Player of the Week won the first and last honor of the season going 8-for-13 against Limestone with a homer and a couple steals. He was given the award after the final day of the regular season by the league going 7-for-18 over the past week with two bombs, seven RBIs and eight runs scored. Since the conference began naming weekly honors in 2007 Thompson is the first C-N hitter to earn the plaudit twice in the same year. Several pitchers have achieved that feat most recently done by Vince Apicella in 2016.
The NCBWA was founded in 1962 with its members including writers, broadcasters and SIDs in the sport from around the country. That group votes on the honors each season to select the best players regionally and nationally.
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