Seventeen players were named to the first and second teams, while 36 others were honorable mentions.
Crawford finished the 2011 campaign with two brilliant outings in the NAIA World Series. He worked eight innings against LSU Shreveport and fanned 15 batters. In helping the Flames battle back through the loser’s bracket in the Series, he hurled a one-hitter as Lee defeated Lubbock Christian 1-0. Overall, the crafty lefty struck out 27 hitters over 17 innings.
For the overall season, he racked up an 11-2 mark, registered 138 strikeouts and walked only 35, posting an earned run average of 1.22.
“Shay had one of the most incredible individual seasons I have witnessed on the mound,” said coach Mark Brew after his Flames finished the season 51-14 and placed third in the World Series.
“He proved it throughout the regular season in one of the toughest conferences in the nation,” Brew continued. “He validated it on the national scene with two impressive performances against the top-hitting teams in the nation in Lubbock Christian and LSU Shreveport. It is an incredible honor to be recognized as one of the tops of your trade and we are really excited he received this accolade.”
Chris Grayson earned a spot on the honorable mention squad. The Flames’ designated hitter, who is blessed with tremendous speed, finished as Lee’s top hitter (.364). He had 11 triples, 11 doubles, five home runs, and knocked in 51 runs.
“Chris had the numbers to be a first or second-team All-American,” noted Brew, “but he was up against some great players. He also had an incredible year, leading our club in several offensive categories. He is one of the most talented players we have had at Lee and should get a shot to play professionally.”
The 2011 Rawlings-NAIA Player of the Year was Oklahoma City’s Kirk Walker. In 59 games played, the senior batted .423, with 24 doubles, three triples and eight home runs. He had 72 RBIs and struck out just 21 times in 234 at bats.
Pitcher Aaron Wilkerson of Cumberland University is the only repeat selection. Wilkerson was a Second-Team selection as a junior.
The 2011 NAIA Coach of the Year will be announced in January 2012 at the ABCA Coaches Convention.