June 12, 2009
Air Force junior designated hitter/first baseman Matt Alexander was named to the 14th Annual Pro-Line Athletic National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association All-America Team announced Wednesday. Alexander earned first-team honors, becoming the first player in Air Force baseball history to earn the first-team distinction.
Alexander is the first Air Force All-American since Josh Phifer earned honorable mention honors in 2003 and the eighth all-time.
Alexander is also one of 16 semifinalists for the 2009 Dick Howser Trophy, given to the top player in collegiate baseball. He joins San Diego State right-hander Stephen Strasburg as the two representatives from the Mountain West Conference.
Alexander, a native of Oak Park, Calif., led the Mountain West Conference with 65 RBIs and was second with 15 home runs. The junior batted .383 on the year and cracked the Air Force single-season top ten categories in homers (7th), hits (6th) and RBIs (4th). He ranked in the MWC top 10 in several categories as well, including average, slugging (.710), hits (82) and doubles (19).
Alexander picked up several accolades on April 6 & 7 after a monster weekend at Utah Valley. Alexander batted .632 against the Wolverines, going 12-for-19, with six homers, 11 runs and 17 RBIs and just four games. His three home runs in game one of the Saturday, April 7, doubleheader was the first by a Falcon since 2002. For his efforts, Alexander garnered several awards listed below:
- Collegiate Baseball News Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week
- Mountain West Conference Player of the Week
- College Baseball Foundation National All-Star Lineup
- AirForceFalcons.com Athlete of the Week
The 2009 Pro-Line Athletic/NCBWA All-America Team includes eight now-consensus selections, and such Howser Trophy semifinalists as NCAA World Series-bound 1B Dustin Ackley of North Carolina and Arizona State pitcher Mike Leake, along with fellow luminaries pitchers Kyle Bellamy of Miami (Fla.), A.J. Morris of Kansas State, and Stephen Strasburg of San Diego State, and Johnny Bench Award finalist catcher J.T. Wise of Oklahoma.
Among the 57 standouts on the three units, there are student-athletes from 19 different conferences and 17 conference championships teams. The three All-America squads are also made up of 18 conference Player of the Year winners.
Some of the record-setting and nation-leading honorees are NCAA Division I total home run co-leader (28) OF Kent Matthes of Alabama, Pacific-10 Conference Pitcher of the Year (in both 2008 and '09) and national wins leader (16-1) Leake, versatile utility player Bryce Brentz (who tops the nation with a .465 batting average and 28 homers) of Middle Tennessee, and Strasburg (national strikeouts' pacesetter with 195 and the first player taken in Tuesday's Major League Baseball draft by the Washington Nationals). Most of the 2009 NCBWA Division I District Players of the Year made one of the three squads.
The three finalists, all among this group, for the 23rd Annual Dick Howser Trophy, as voted upon by NCBWA members and awarded since 1987, will be announced just on Saturday, June 13, in Omaha at 9:30 a.m. (CDT) at the Omaha Press Club at 16th and Dodge Streets (22nd Floor). The Dick Howser Trophy recipient will be named during the inaugural College Baseball Awards Show on July 2 at the United Spirit Center in Lubbock, Texas.
Previous Pro-Line Athletic NCBWA All-America teams from 1996-2008 have featured the likes of OF J.D. Drew of Florida State, P-DH Jason Jennings of Baylor, 1B Mark Teixeira of Georgia Tech, RHP Mark Prior of Southern California, SS Khalil Greene of Clemson, SS-2B Rickie Weeks of Southern and P David Price of Vanderbilt (all current Major Leaguers), among others.
Pro-Line Athletic is in its fifth year as a sponsor of the NCBWA. It produces and distributes plaques for National Hitter and Pitchers of the Week during the regular season and extends its award production to include plaques for each member of the Pro-Line/NCBWA All-America team.
During the Summer of 2006 Pro-Line launched into the custom game clothing business with all products being manufactured in its facility in Fort Worth, Texas. As a part of this transition, the company rebranded from Pro-Line Cap Co. to become Pro-Line Athletic - a full line athletic apparel company offering American Made headwear, workout gear and uniforms.