RICHMOND – The VCU Rams hold the number one seed for the Atlantic 10 Tournament, which begins today. However, despite not having seeing the field until Thursday, the Black and Gold cleaned up well on Wednesday as six total players earned Atlantic 10 All-Conference accolades. For the second straight season, the Rams would walk away with the A-10 Rookie of the Year, this year presented to freshman Paul Witt. VCU would also put out the 2017 A-10 Player of the Year, awarded to senior outfielder Logan Farrar.
Farrar and Witt also both landed on All-Conference teams, as Farrar was named First Team All-Conference, while Witt landed Second Team All-Conference as a second baseman. Also joining Farrar on the first team was Darian Carpenter at first base, and Sam Donko as a relief pitcher. Landing on the second team with Witt was starting pitcher, Brooks Vial.
Vial also landed himself on the All-Academic team, while Witt and Steven Carpenter were named to the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team. All in all, the Rams picked up 10 total awards, putting them tops in the league, topping St. Bonaventure who came away with eight, including Pitcher of the Year, Aaron Phillips, and Coach of the Year, Larry Sudbrook.
Farrar batted .344 during the regular season, with 74 hits, 24 of which went for extra bases. He had eight home runs, and drove in 29 RBI. Farrar scored 46 runs in leading the Rams to a first-place finish in the A-10, playing all 51 games for VCU. He also drew 23 walks, stole four bases and had 141 putouts from the outfield, third most on the team. He was in the top five in the league in runs scored and doubles.
Witt, a second baseman, lead the conference with a .374 batting average, was second in on-base percentage and tied for first with 75 hits. During the regular season, he scored 33 runs on 76 hits, with 11 extra base hits and 33 RBI. He embraced hitting in the middle of the lineup for the Rams, earning the Atlantic 10 batting crown in 2017 as a freshman.
Carpenter, a first baseman, hit .273 on the season playing in all 53 games for the Rams. He led the team in total bases, and tied Brandon Inge for second-most home runs in a season with 15. He also hit 15 doubles and two triples, putting up a team-high 47 RBI. He slugged .603, also a team high. He will go down in the top 10 in multiple categories in the VCU Baseball record book.
Donko has stayed elite over his two years in Black and Gold, as he put up 13 saves this season, a league high. Earlier this season, he broke the program's all-time saves record that was set in 1993. This season, he finished the regular season with a 2.44 ERA and a 3-3 record in 23 appearances. He only walked seven batters over 48 innings of work, striking out 51.
Vial stepped up as Mr. Consistency for the Rams, going 8-3 on the season, including a 7-0 mark in Atlantic 10 games. In 14 appearances, he pumped out a team-high 83.2 innings, striking out a team-high 77 batters. In the classroom, he was also awarded the A-10 Postgraduate Scholarship just a week ago.
Carpenter embraced a utility role for the Rams shortly into the season, running with a .311 batting average over 35 games. He launched five doubles and two home runs, finishing with a .433 slugging percentage. He made his mark on the season with a walk-off single against Longwood at The Diamond.
For a complete list of winners, check out the Atlantic 10 release here.