Four OVC Players Make the 22nd Annual NCBWA All-America Team

Four Ohio Valley Conference baseball players have been named to the 22nd annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) All-America Team.

The selections included Morehead State sophomore outfielder Niko Hulsizer (first-team), Murray State junior outfielder Brandon Gutzler (second-team), Eastern Kentucky senior first baseman Ben Fisher (third-team) and Tennessee Tech junior designated hitter Ryan Flick (third-team).

Hulsizer, the OVC Co-Player of the Year, ranks second in the nation with 27 home runs, which is a Morehead State and Ohio Valley Conference single-season record. He also collected 193 total bases, which ranked as the best total in OVC and school history. With 21 doubles as well, he became the first player in program history with at least 20 homers and 20 doubles in the same season. Among national rankings entering the College World Series, Hulsizer ranks first in RBI per game (1.39), second in RBI (82), second in slugging percentage (.775) and total bases and sixth in runs scored (69). Hulsizer finished with a .349 batting average in the Eagles' 59 games and had a .435 on-base percentage while also recording six outfield assists. He had 87 total hits, and he tallied 28 multi-hit games, including 12 with three or more, and also had 19 multiple-RBI efforts. He drove in four or more runs eight times and finished with a team-best OPS (on-base plus slugging) of 1.210. Hulsizer also ranked second on the team with a personal-best 21-game reached-base streak earlier in the year.

Gutzler had one of the best offensive seasons in MSU history as he hit .353 with 16 home runs, 71 RBIs, 17 doubles and 57 runs scored. The 16 homers and 71 ribbies are both the second most for a single season in MSU history while the 57 runs are the fifth-best mark all time. In May, Gutzler was named first-team All-OVC after he led the Racers with 24 multi-hit and 19 multi-RBI games this past season. He also began the season with a 44-game on-base streak, which was the longest in the nation at the time it ended.

Fisher, the OVC Co-Player of the Year, finished the regular season leading the nation in home runs with 25, and runs with 71. He also finished third with a .762 slugging percentage and 170 total bases. His 72 RBIs were fourth in the nation at the end of the regular season. He also won the Academic All-America of the Year for Division I baseball. Earlier this year Fisher was named a semifinalist for the Dick Hoswer Trophy, awarded annually to the best player in college baseball, and was also on the Golden Spikes Award watch list. He was included on the Rawlings/Perfect Game Midseason All-America first team in April.

Entering the College World Series, Flick ranks sixth nationally in RBI (74) and total bases (168), eighth in doubles (24) and slugging percentage (.727), 16th in home runs (19) and 27th in batting average (.394). Flick was named MVP of the OVC Tournament after blasting five home runs and driving in 16 runs in leading TTU to a perfect 3-0 record and the championship. The designated hitter slugged 1.500 during the week, including setting a tournament record with three home runs in a single game. That earned him Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week honors.

Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. For more information about the NCBWA, visit the association's official Web site, www.ncbwa.com.

2017 NCBWA All-Americans From the OVC
OF - Niko Hulsizer, Morehead State (1st Team)
OF - Brandon Gutzler, Murray State (2nd Team)
1B - Ben Fisher, Eastern Kentucky (3rd Team)
DH - Ryan Flick, Tennessee Tech (3rd Team)