July 3, 2012

Felton, Kirkland Earn NCCSIA All-State Honors

BUIES CREEK, N.C.-Campbell juniors Michael Felton and Jake Kirkland have been named to the 2012 North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) University Division All-State Baseball Team, the organization recently announced.

The ninth-annual team consists of NCAA Division I student-athletes from North Carolina colleges and universities. North Carolina sports information professionals submitted the nominees and NCCSIA members voted for the All-State team.

Felton was named Second Team All-American by both the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America. The Tempe, Ariz. native also earned First Team All-Atlantic Region accolades from the ABCA, Big South First Team All-Conference and College Sports Madness First Team All-Big South.

Felton was the nation's leader in hits (103) prior to the NCAA Tournament, breaking the Big South and school record in the category. He also set Campbell single-season records in singles (87) and at-bats (243), and ranked fourth in the nation with a .424 batting average.

The junior second baseman led the Big South in batting average and hits. He also ranked second in on-base percentage (.474) and total bases (124) in the league and tied for fourth in runs scored (52).

Kirkland joined Felton on the All-Big South First Team after finishing second among league leaders in RBI (55), fourth in hits (79), eighth in runs scored (47), third in doubles (19) and third in total bases (123).

Kirkland smacked a walk-off home run against Valparaiso in a 3-2 Camel victory on March 10. He also had a three-run go-ahead homer in the eighth inning over Charleston Southern that helped Campbell to a 5-2 league win over the Buccaneers.

The Fighting Camels broke 10 single season team records in 2012, including a program-best 41 overall wins. The duo also helped the Fighting Camels produce several new program highs with games played (59), at-bats (2038) and sacrifice hits (60). Campbell finished 2012 with a national top-10 team ranking in batting average, runs scored, hits, stolen bases, on base percentage and hit by pitch.

Campbell's return to the Big South Conference was highlighted by the club leading the league in hitting with a .314 batting average en route to a 15-9 second place regular season finish. The Camels also boasted a 23-3 start and an 18-game winning streak, both marking the best in CU program history.

The pair of Camels were joined by Tyler McSwain and Thomas Pope from UNC Wilmington, Carlos Rodon, Chris Diaz, Trea Turner and Ryan Mathews of NC State, Western Carolina's Preston Hatcher and Ross Heffley, Elon's Alex Swim and Charlotte's Shane Brown. 

2012 NCCSIA All-State Baseball Team (University Division)
SP – Tyler McSwain (Sr.; UNC Wilmington)
SP – Carlos Rodon (Fr.; NC State)
RP – Preston Hatcher (Jr.; Western Carolina)
C – Alex Swim (Jr.; Elon)
INF – Chris Diaz (Jr.; NC State)
INF – Michael Felton (Jr.; Campbell)
INF – Ross Heffley (Sr.; Western Carolina)
INF – Trea Turner (Fr.; NC State)
OF – Shane Brown (Sr.; Charlotte)
OF – Ryan Mathews (Sr.; NC State)
OF – Thomas Pope (Sr.; UNC Wilmington)
DH – Jake Kirkland (Jr.; Campbell