Matheny, Petree Take Home MSU Team Honors
May 29, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- After turning in record-setting performances in leading Missouri State to its third-consecutive 30-win campaign, freshman outfielder Tate Matheny and junior pitcher Nick Petree made history yet again Wednesday when the Bears unveiled their team award-winners for the 2013 season. Matheny swept the club's A.E. "Ted" Willis Team Most Valuable Player and Danny Cook Rookie of the Year awards, becoming the first MSU freshman to take home team MVP honors in 39 years, while Petree claimed the Dave Dickensheet Outstanding Pitcher award for the third-straight season.
Matheny joins only Bob Blakley (1974) on the Bears' distinguished list of freshman most valuable players after leading Missouri State with a .336 batting averge this season. Matheny ranks among the Valley's top 10 in hits (77), runs scored (40), doubles (14), home runs (4), total bases (105) and multi-hit efforts (24) while starting all 54 games for the Bears in center field. The St. Louis native's average of 1.426 hits per contest is the third-highest on record for any MSU freshman in the 50-year history of the program, trailing only all-time hits leader Matt Gardner (1.491) and 2006 NL MVP Ryan Howard (1.456). Matheny, a Second-Team All-Missouri Valley Conference pick, recorded at least one hit in 45 of his 54 games as a Bear, failing to notch a safety in just seven games since opening weekend.
The third Bear in as many seasons to claim the MVC's Freshman of the Year award, Matheny matched a Missouri State single-game record with three doubles against SEMO on March 27, and drove in five runs in the Bears' March 9 win over Northwestern. He logged a pair of four-hit contests and posted hits in 12-straight games, April 6-26, marking his third separate hit streak of at least 10 games this season.
A First-Team All-MVC selection, Petree becomes the first Bear hurler to win the club's pitcher of the year honor three times. The right-hander is one 30 Division I players under consideration for USA Baseball's Golden Spikes Award, which honors the top amateur player in the country. A two-time MVC Pitcher of the Week honoree in 2013 and a College Baseball Hall of Fame Pitcher of the Year Award candidate, Petree earned his second-straight first-team all-conference nod after compiling an 8-1 mound record and a 1.61 earned run average. Petree was the Bears' lone representative on the MVC's All-Defensive Team for the second year in a row as well.
The Clinton, Mo., native leads the Valley in strikeouts (111) while ranking second in the circuit in wins, innings pitched (100.1) and ERA. Additionally, he became the first MSU pitcher to log back-to-back 100-strikeout campaigns and climbed to No. 2 on the Bears' career lists for both victories (27) and strikeouts (306).
Missouri State's annual team awards are named in honor of three former Bears who made significant contributions to the University's athletics programs. Ted Willis was an MSU football letterman in 1918, and the Bears' team MVP award carries his name through a plaque donated by his widow in memory of his long-standing interest and support of MSU athletics. The Bears' top rookie honor is named for Danny Cook, a standout third baseman for the Bears from 1966 through 1969 who died of leukemia in 1989. Finally, Dave Dickensheet is a Missouri State Athletics Hall of Famer who pitched for the Bears from 1979 through 1982 before succumbing to cancer in 1991.