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Merch Madness
Five JMU Baseball Players Collect All-Region Honors
Courtesy:JMUSports.com Release:06/28/2011
Courtesy: JMUSports.com

HARRISONBURG, Va., June 28, 2011 - Catcher Jake Lowery (Midlothian, Va./Cosby), shortstop David Herbek (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield), outfielders Alex Foltz (Mathias, W.Va./East Hardy) and Johnny Bladel (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) along with pitcher Sean Tierney (Midlothian, Va./Clover Hill) represented James Madison as All-Region selections by the American Baseball Coaches Association.

Lowery was also named a Second Team All-American by the ABCA with Herbek claiming Third Team All-America honors.  The pair was joined on the All-East First Team by Foltz and Bladel while Tierney was a Second Team choice.  The five all-region selections ties the 1988 squad for the most in program history.

The All-America honor was the sixth for Lowery, who was named First Team by Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America, Second Team by the ABCA, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and Perfect Game along with a national all-star selection by College Baseball Lineup.

Herbek was also chosen as a First Team All-American by the NCBWA and Second Team by Collegiate Baseball in addition to the ABCA Third Team selection.

Three of the honorees have already moved on to professional careers.  Lowery was drafted in the fourth round of the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Cleveland Indians.  The nation's RBI and total bases leader is picking up where he left off, leading the New York-Penn league with 25 total bases and ranking third with nine RBIs while hitting .318 for the first-place Mahoning Valley Scrappers.

Herbek was picked in the 15th round by the Chicago White Sox.  After homering in his professional debut with the Great Falls Voyagers, he is batting .273 with five runs scored, four RBIs, and a .448 on-base percentage.

Foltz signed a contract with the Evansville Otters of the independent Frontier League.  He is hitting .200 with a pair of doubles through 15 games.

Lowery is one of three finalists for the Johnny Bench Award, which will be presented Thursday, June 30 to the nation's top collegiate catcher.  He finished one of the most dominant offensive seasons in JMU history batting .359 with 22 doubles, eight triples, 24 home runs, 91 RBIs, 80 runs scored, 200 total bases and a .797 slugging percentage.  He set or matched JMU and CAA records for RBIs, home runs, extra-base hits (54) and total bases in a season.  He also finished fourth in CAA history with 80 runs and seventh for slugging percentage.

Through the completion of the NCAA super regional round, Lowery leads the nation in runs (80), RBIs (91) and total bases (200).  In fact, his 91 RBIs are the most by a college player since Florida State's Buster Posey (San Francisco Giants catcher) had 93 in 2008.  Lowery is second in slugging percentage (.797), fourth in on-base plus slugging (1.239), second in home runs (24) and fourth in triples (8).  Not to be overlooked defensively, Lowery ranked second in the nation prior to regionals for runners caught stealing and threw out 43% of runners for the season.

In addition to being a Johnny Bench finalist, Lowery was one of 30 semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award and one of 36 on the watch list for the Dick Howser Trophy, both given to the nation's top player.  Collegiate Baseball newspaper bestowed upon Lowery the fourth First Team All-America honor in JMU history.  He was the CAA Player of the Year, First Team All-CAA and selected to the CAA All-Tournament Team.

Herbek was named with Lowery to the 36-player watch list for the Dick Howser Trophy awarded to the nation's best player.  He was also among 25 semifinalists for the Brooks Wallace Award for the nation's best shortstop.  He became the fifth player in JMU history to collect First Team All-America accolades, combining with Lowery to form the first set of teammates to reach First Team.

In his senior season, Herbek led JMU with a .362 batting average.  He posted 83 hits, including 20 doubles and 15 home runs.  He scored 56 runs and drove in 76 while posting a .672 slugging percentage and .443 on-base percentage.  His RBI total is second in JMU history behind only the 91 posted by Lowery this season and ranked sixth in the nation heading into the NCAA super regional round.  He also ranks eighth on the JMU charts for season doubles, seventh for season total bases (154), fourth for hit by pitches (17), first for season sacrifice flies (10) and 10th for assists (158). 

For his four-year career, Herbek started 191 games and hit .341 with a .589 slugging percentage and a .952 fielding percentage, all at shortstop.  He holds the JMU career records for hit by pitches (55, also CAA record) and sacrifice flies (25).  He also ranks seventh in career at bats (745), sixth in games played (210), 10th in hits (254), sixth in runs (189), fourth in RBIs (195), second in doubles (62), sixth in home runs (35), fourth in total bases (439) and sixth in assists (506).

Foltz quietly played a major role in JMU's memorable season, hitting .359 with 12 doubles, seven home runs, 44 runs and 44 RBIs while batting primarily leadoff or cleanup.  He was second on the team with a .463 on-base percentage and third with a .538 slugging percentage.  Foltz earned Third Team All-CAA honors for the third time in his career.  He finished his time wearing purple and gold by ranking fifth in career at bats (752), eighth in hits (259), 11th for runs scored (180), fifth for stolen bases (69), eighth for walks (113) and sixth for hit by pitches (27).

Bladel earned Second Team All-CAA honors after hitting .360 with 12 doubles, five triples, four home runs, 69 runs scored, 41 RBIs, 42 walks and 26 stolen bases.  He led the Dukes with a .478 on-base percentage while posting a .521 slugging percentage.  Bladel was JMU's top performer in the postseason, batting .517 in seven games with 11 runs, five RBIs and five steals en route to earning Most Outstanding Player honors for the CAA Championship and All-Regional honors for the NCAA Chapel Hill Regional.  He ranked fifth in the nation in runs per game (1.23), 40th in on-base percentage, 38th in steals, 46th in walks per game (0.75) and ninth in sacrifice flies (8).  He also fourth in JMU history for season runs, second for sacrifice flies and also placed top 10 for triples, steals, walks and hit by pitches.

Tierney claimed Third Team All-CAA honors after emerging from three years of limited collegiate action to move into the top starter spot for the Dukes.  He went 10-1 with a 3.43 ERA and .254 opponent batting average in 63 innings.  He struck out 47 while walking 25 in 18 appearances, including eight starts.  He was instrumental down the stretch with a 3-0 record and 0.78 ERA in the month of May after allowing two earned runs in 23 innings.  That included JMU's first nine-inning shutout since 2006 as he earned All-Tournament honors after shutting out Georgia State in the CAA opener.  He placed third in JMU history and 24th in the nation for season victories with 10.

JMU went 42-19 overall in 2011 while winning the regular season in the CAA at 21-9 and claiming the program's second CAA Championship with a 3-0 run in the league tournament.  The Dukes won multiple games in a regional and finished as the runner-up in a regional for the first time since 1983.  They established season records for games (61), runs (541), RBIs (486), triples (27), hit batters (85), sacrifice flies (47) and innings pitched (550 1/3).







Logan Billbrough- William and Mary

Joe DiRocco- Seton Hall

Nick Meyers- Monmouth

Mike Thomas- Rider

Charlie Conorie- Towson

Kyle Hald- Old Dominion

Sean Tierney- James Madison

Relief Pitcher

Tyler Smith- Rider

Pat Christensen- LaSalle

Mark Montgomery- Longwood


Jake Lowery- James Madison

Kevan Smith- Pitt

First Base

David Chester- Pitt

Hunter Ridge- UNC Wilmington

Second Base

Ryan Terry- Monmouth

Scott Davis- Delaware State

Third Base

Steve Nikorak- Temple

Matt Campbell- UNC Wilmington

Kevin Mihalik- Lehigh


David Herbek- James Madison

Grant Buckner- West Virginia


Johnny Bladel- James Madison

Alex Foltz- James Madison

Brendon Kelliher- George Washington

Andrew Cain- UNC Wilmington

Byron McKoy- Temple

Danny Poma- Hofstra

Designated Hitter

Thomas Pope- UNC Wilmington

Bryan Chaikowsky- Maryland Eastern Shore

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