May 7, 2009
SAN BRUNO, Calif. -- The West Coast Conference was awarded four players on this year's 2009 ESPN the Magazine/CoSida Academic All-District VIII First Team, which was the most placed by any conference in the district. Evan Wells of Gonzaga University, Ryan Wheeler of Loyola Marymount University, Bryant Kraus of the University of Portland, and Drew Johnson of the University of San Francisco all made the team. All four players are now eligible to earn Academic All-America honors.
Wells, who owns a 3.90 GPA as a journalism major, has started every game this season and has a .311 batting average. He has team leading marks of 49 runs scored and 11 stolen bases. The native of Olympia, Wash. is currently on a seven-game hitting streak and has registered multi-hits in four of those games, with three games of three hits. He has also driven in at least one run in seven of his last nine games and has scored a run in five of his last six. This season, Wells has only failed to hit in consecutive games twice, going hitless in a two and a three-game span.
Wheeler, who owns a 3.41 GPA as a business major, is a 2009 Wallace Watch List player, a 2008 WCC All-Academic selection, and is the team-leader this year in runs scored with 59, doubles with 19, and hit-by-pitches with 10. His .330 batting average, .594 slugging percentage, .437 on base percentage, 47 RBI, 65 hits, three triples and five stolen bases all rank second on the team. The native of Torrance, Calif. has been held hitless just 11 times this year, and has failed to collect a hit in back-to-back games only three times, going hitless in the first three games against UC Santa Barbara from March 6-7, and hitless on April 18 and 19 at Pepperdine. In all, he has totaled a team-best 20 multiple-hit games, including 14 two-hit games and six three-hit performances.
Kraus, who owns a 3.81 GPA as an accounting major, is a native of West Linn, Ore., and is batting .351 with 13 doubles and two triples, while leading the team with a .649 slugging percentage and a .476 on-base percentage. He had a career long 12-game hitting streak earlier this season and currently ranks second all-time at UP with a career on-base percentage of .438. His career batting average of .329 ranks seventh all-time in program history, while his .529 career slugging percentage is eighth. Kraus has knocked in four runs during a game twice this season and he belted a three-run, game-winning home run in the bottom of the eighth inning of a 3-2 win over No. 22 Gonzaga on April 18.
Johnson, who owns a 3.94 GPA as an accounting major, owns the highest GPA of the group and becomes the third Don in a row to be placed on the Academic All-District team. A native of Reno, Nev., Johnson has started 41 of 48 games this season and owns a .307 batting average. His 55 hits rank third on the team, while his four home runs are tied for second. He has registered a hit in 14 of his last 16 games, including going a perfect 5-for-5 in a win over Sacramento State. During that span he has also tallied eight multi-hit games and has scored a run in all but three of those contests.
Nominations and voting for the CoSIDA Academic All-District Teams is conducted by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America. To be nominated, a player must have met the following criteria:
District VIII consists of schools located in California, Hawaii, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington.
Academic All-District 8 - University Division
Michael Leake, Pitcher, Jr., Arizona State
Scott Sobczak, Pitcher, Sr., San Jose State
Francis Larson, Catcher, Jr., UC Irvine
Bryan Resnick, Infield, Sr., UNLV
Evan Wells, Infield, Sr., Gonzaga
Ryan Wheeler, Infield, Jr., LMU
Karson Klauer, Infield, Jr., San Jose State
Bryant Kraus, Outfield, Sr., Portland
Drew Johnson, Outfield, Sr., San Francisco
Ray Wright, Outfield, Sr., Southern Utah