SAN BRUNO, Calif. - Three West Coast Conference student-athletes haev been named Collegiate Baseball All-Americans with WCC Pitcher of the Year A.J. Puckett earning first team honors.
Puckett, the Pepperdine ace who was also named a Golden Spikes Award semifinalist this week, is joined on the Louisville Slugger All-American teams by a pair of third-teamers in Corbin Burnes of Saint Mary's and Michael Rucker of BYU.
The selections of Puckett, Burnes and Rucker marks the first time since 2011 that the West Coast Conference has had three pitchers named as All-Americans.
A.J. Puckett - 1st Team - RHP - Pepperdine Waves - COMPLETE RELEASE
Puckett put up the third best ERA in both Pepperdine and WCC history with a 1.27 mark in what was one of the most remarkable seasons in program history. Puckett finished the year fourth in the NCAA in ERA, 10th in WHIP (0.92) and 16th in hits allowed per nine innings (5.89), also leading the WCC in all three categories. He held opponents to a .191 batting average, all while striking out 95 batters and walking just 26. The junior put up one of the most dominant stretches in NCAA history, tossing 45.2 consecutive scoreless innings and 57.1 consecutive innings without giving up an earned run. Both marks were Pepperdine records and the 45.2 scoreless inning streak was the third longest in NCAA history.
Corbin Burnes - 3rd Team - RHP - Saint Mary's Gaels - COMPLETE RELEASE
Burnes was named to the third team after going 9-1 with a 2.23 ERA and 112 strikeouts in 15 starts this season. The junior from Bakersfield, Calif., has thrown three complete games, including two shutouts, with a 1.05 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) in 97 innings. He has limited opponents to a .208 batting average and carries a near-4-to-1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio with just 31 bases on balls. Burnes's 112 strikeouts are No. 17 in the nation, while his complete games (No. 37), hits allowed per nine innings (No. 40), strikeouts per nine innings (No. 45) and ERA (No. 49) are all top-50 marks in the country.
Michael Rucker - 3rd Team - RHP - BYU Cougars - COMPLETE RELEASE
Rucker tallied an 11-1 record with a 2.73 earned run average, 94 strikeouts and 102.1 innings during the 2016 season for BYU. His 11-0 start tied five others in BYU history for best start in a season. Rucker's selection makes him the first BYU upperclassman to receive All-America honors since pitcher Jesse Craig in 2007.