RICHMOND, Va. – Senior Sam Donko set the bar high last season, leading the NCAA and setting a new VCU Baseball record with 20 saves last season. Before this season has even started, Donko has been reaping the benefits, as he was named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s Association First Team Pre-Season All-American Team on Tuesday afternoon.

The selection is Donko’s third Pre-Season All-American honor, as he received such honors from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and Perfect Game/Rawlings. He is one of four relievers on the first team, joining Clemson’s Pat Kroll, South Carolina’s Tyler Johnson, and UL Lafayette’s Dylan Moore. 

The award is the latest one for Donko, who earned multiple awards after the conclusion of last season as well. He earned both ABCA/Rawlings All-East Region First Team honors, as well as Atlantic 10 All-Conference First Team recognition as well. However, most impressive, was his award to the NCBWA All-America Team as one of only five relievers on the list. 

Last season in his first season in Black and Gold after transferring from Iowa Western Junior College, Donko became a force in the back of the bullpen for the Rams. He began to rack up save after save, as he led the NCAA Division I ranks in that category, ending up on 20 for the season. That broke a VCU record that was previously set by Daniel Concepcion in 2015, as he compiled a 2.63 ERA in 54.2 innings over 30 appearances. He would finish third amongst all VCU pitchers with 53 strikeouts on the season. 

Donko was one of two A-10 players selected throughout all three teams, as Rhode Island’s Tyler Wilson was selected to Second Team honors as well. 

For a full list of the NCBWA All-American teams, click here.

February 13, 2017 2017 BASEBALL PREVIEW