Harris, Matheny Named Freshman All-Americans by Collegiate Baseball
June 5, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A pair of Missouri State freshmen picked up national recognition Wednesday, as Collegiate Baseball tabbed pitcher Jon Harris and outfielder Tate Matheny for its 2013 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America squad, marking the third consecutive season a Bear has been selected for the publication's top rookie squad.
Harris became the third Missouri State pitcher in the last three seasons to earn a spot on Collegiate Baseball's Freshman All-America team after posting one of the best starts by a Bears pitcher in recent memory. The right-hander notched wins in each of his first eight starts as a Bear before finishing with an 8-2 overall mark and a 3.87 earned run average. Harris shared the team lead for victories with First-Team All-American Nick Petree, finishing second in the Missouri Valley Conference for the season after going 4-0 in league play.
A product of Florissant, Mo., Harris's victory total trails only Petree (9) on the Bears' freshman wins list, while his 61 strikeouts for the year rank seventh all-time among MSU rookie hurlers. Harris tossed six scoreless innings as part of MSU's first shutout of the season March 3 vs. Northwestern State, then fanned a season-high 10 batters in his next outing against Northwestern (March 9).
Matheny led Missouri State with a .336 batting averge for the year, ranking among the Valley's top 10 in hits (77), home runs (4), total bases (105) and multi-hit efforts (24) while starting all 54 games for the Bears in centerfield. 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-MVC pick and the Bears' A.E. "Ted" Willis MVP, 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.
Harris and Matheny become the 29th and 30th Missouri State baseball players to garner All-America recognition and the 11th and 12th Bears to pick up Freshman All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball. Sophomore pitcher Tyler Burgess earned his spot on the list last spring, while Petree was chosen for the same honor in 2011.