BSB: SLC Announces 2000's All-Decade Team
June 13, 2013
Southland Conference 2000's All-Decade Team
FRISCO, Texas – UT Arlington had seven former Mavericks named to the 2000's All-Decade team. Michael Choice, Mark Lowe, Adam Moore, Daniel Ortmeier, Matt Otteman, Hunter Pence and Ryan Roberts were honored with a selection.
The Southland Conference, as part of its year-long 50th Anniversary commemoration, has announced its All-Decade Baseball Team from the 2000s. The team includes stars from its member institutions from the 2000 season through 2009.
A total of 56 student-athletes makeup the 2000s all-decade team, including honorees from 12 of the 13 institutions that made up the league during that era. Lamar leads all conference team with 10 selections, followed by Texas-Arlington with seven and McNeese State, Northwestern State and Sam Houston State with six selections apiece. Southeastern Louisiana had five, while former Southland teams Louisiana-Monroe, Texas-San Antonio and Texas State each had four. Nicholls had two selections while Stephen F. Austin and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi each had one.
“The new century brought more Southland baseball excellence between 2000 and 2009, with more NCAA berths and plenty of future big leaguers,” Southland commissioner Tom Burnett said. “Also, the decade again proved what a historical impact Lamar’s Jim Gilligan has made in the Southland, from his playing days in the 1960s to the recent years of coaching excellence.”
Gilligan, the winningest coach in Southland Conference history, is the coach of the all-decade team of the 2000s. Gilligan, who shared coach of the decade honors for the 1970s and 1980s and was a member of the 1960s all-decade team as a player, continued his historic run of success in his second term as the Cardinals’ head coach.
Lamar won 361 overall games from 2000-09, as well as 173 conference games on the way to a pair of regular-season (2003 and 2004) and tournament (2002 and 2004) titles. He led Lamar to three NCAA berths in 2002, 2003 and 2004, and the 2003 club was one win away from advancing to an NCAA Super Regional. His teams in the decade featured a player of the year, two hitters of the year, three pitchers of the year, three freshmen of the year, and 19 first-team All-Southland players.
A five-time Southland Conference coach of the year, Gilligan has 1,267 career wins which ranks sixth among all active NCAA Division I coaches. All but 10 of those wins have come while he was at Lamar, where he has coached from 1973-86 and again from 1992-2013.
Among Gilligan’s players, 10 were selected onto the 2000 all-decade team, including three players who twice earned first-team all-conference honors. Catcher Michael Ambort was the 2005 Hitter of the Year after earning all-conference honors in both 2005 and 2007. Second baseman Blake Justice earned all-conference honors in 2002 and 2003, while pitcher Brian Sisk was a two-time, first-team all-conference selection in 2007 and 2008.
Another five of Lamar’s players were individual award winners, including outfielder Colin Delome, the 2006 Player and Hitter of the Year; pitcher Tim Erickson, the 2008 Pitcher of the Year; pitcher Jesse Floyd, the 2003 Pitcher of the Year; pitcher Clay Hensley, the most valuable player of the 2002 tournament; and, Kyle Stutes, the 2004 Pitcher of the Year. Outfielder Eric Kanaby was an all-conference pick in 2007, the same year he batted .406 to lead the Southland in batting.
Hensley has spent the last seven seasons in the Major Leagues. He was drafted in the eighth round by the San Francisco Giants, but was later traded to San Diego, where he made his big-league debut in 2006. He has since pitched for the Padres, Astros, Marlins, Giants and is currently with the Cincinnati Reds. Lamar’s other all-conference selection to make the team is first baseman Micah Hoffpauir, who earned all-league honors in 2002 and would later play three seasons (2008-10) with the Chicago Cubs, the team that drafted him in the 13th round in 2002.
Among the members of the decade team, there are another 25 players who combined to earn 34 individual awards during the decade, including player, hitter, pitcher and newcomer of the year. Six of those have been named both the player and hitter of the year, including Louisiana-Monroe third baseman Willie Core, the 2001 Player and Hitter of the Year; Texas-San Antonio third baseman Mark Schramek, the 2002 Player and Hitter of the Year; Texas-Arlington third baseman Ryan Roberts, the 2003 Player and Hitter of the Year to go with his newcomer of the year award in 2002; Texas-Arlington outfielder Hunter Pence, the 2004 Player and Hitter of the Year; Texas State first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, the 2008 Hitter of the Year and the 2009 Player and Hitter of the Year; and, Texas-Arlington outfielder Michael Choice, the 2010 Player and Hitter of the Year.
Additionally, Northwestern State pitcher O.J. King was the 2002 Pitcher and Newcomer of the Year and McNeese State first baseman Chris Williamson was the 2000 Hitter and Newcomer of the Year.
Goldschmidt, Pence and Roberts all have played in the Majors. Roberts made his Major League debut with Toronto in 2006 and has also played for Texas and Arizona before finding a home with Tampa Bay this season. Pence, a two-time MLB All-Star, made his debut in Houston in 2007 and has also played for Philadelphia and is currently for San Francisco. Goldschmidt has been with Arizona since 2011. Texas-Arlington’s Mark Lowe, has been on MLB rosters for eight seasons, making his debut in 2006. He has played for Seattle, Texas and the Los Angeles Angels.
A total of 17 members of the all-decade team were two-time first-team all-conference selections.
Southland Conference 1970s All-Decade Team (2000-09; 56 players)
Coach of the Decade: Jim Gilligan, Lamar