Matheny, Cheray Selected for All-MVC Honors
May 19, 2014
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - After spearheading Missouri State's attack throughout the 2014 season, outfielder Tate Matheny and second baseman Eric Cheray were selected for All-Missouri Valley Conference honors Monday by the league's head coaches. Matheny earned a spot on the MVC's first team and Cheray was tabbed as an honorable mention choice, while both were named to the Valley's nine-member all-defensive squad.
Matheny's selection to the Valley's top postseason squad brings the Bears' total number of First-Team All-MVC honorees to 76 since joining the league in 1991. A second-team all-conference pick as a freshman in 2013, Matheny led all MVC batters with 35 hits in league play and ranked among the conference's statistical leaders in nearly every significant offensive category during the Valley season. The sophomore batted .412 and slugged .671 with six homers and 57 total bases in MVC play, good for second in the conference in each category, while his 18 runs scored were third and his RBI (18) total ranked sixth.
In addition to posting a team-best 13-game hit streak this spring, Matheny has logged club highs with 21 multi-hit games and nine multi-RBI outings. His 10 home runs to date mark the first double-digit total for a Bear since 2009, while the St. Louis native also leads the Bears in batting (.337), slugging (.548), on-base percentage (.419), total bases (109), runs scored (38) and RBIs (36) for the season. A defensive stalwart in the outfield as well, Matheny has been charged with just one miscue in 138 chances while starting 49 games in center field.
Cheray, who was a utility honorable mention All-MVC selection, has anchored the Bears' infield as the top defensive second baseman in the MVC, posting a .980 fielding percentage and a team-best 27 double-play turns. The junior has logged time behind the plate for the Bears as well, handling all 41 chances flawlessly while throwing out the lone would-be base-stealer in his eight games as MSU's backstop. Cheray's 141 defensive assists rank fourth in the Valley, while the Topeka, Kan., product is second on the squad in hitting (.295), hits (57), runs scored (33), steals (6), RBIs (29) and total bases (77). Currently sitting in fifth on the Bears' career walks list (100), Cheray's 36 bases on balls this season rank sixth in the MVC and his two triples are tied for ninth in the circuit.
The Bears (23-29) will open play at the 2014 MVC Baseball Championship in Terre Haute, Ind., Tuesday (May 20) as the No. 6 seed versus third-seeded Dallas Baptist at 3:07 p.m. (Central). The tournament originates from Bob Warn Field, and continues through Saturday's championship game, which will determine the winner of the Valley's automatic NCAA Tournament bid.