Clarksville, Ark.-Ten University of the Ozarks baseball players received All-Conference honors from the American Southwest Conference, it was announced Wednesday, May 9.
Senior first baseman Patrick Clifford and sophomore pitcher Gyeongju Kim were named to the All-Conference Second Team. Senior second baseman Josh Woolly, senior outfielder Justin Crider and junior outfielder Breyden Varner were named to the All-Conference Third Team. Senior catcher Bryce Elder, junior shortstop Fielder Dufrene, senior outfielder Patrick Mixon, junior designated hitter Dakota Ebarb and junior utility player Sam Swartz received Honorable Mention All-Conference.
Clifford, a native of Grand Prairie, Texas, ranked among the ASC's top-15 in batting average (.366), ranked second in home runs with 10 and third in slugging percentage (.683). He led the team in all the aforementioned categories as well as total bases (84) and on-base percentage (.444). Within the team, he ranked third in RBI (28) and hits (45) and second in doubles (9) and runs (34). He had 15 multiple-hit games and hit safely in 28 games. He drove in five runs on two occasions. He scored three runs against two different opponents. Against Howard Payne, he had three hits behind a home run, a double and drove in five runs. His ten home runs are the fifth-most in a single season at Ozarks. He is sixth all-time in career home runs (14) at Ozarks.
Kim, a native of Seoul, South Korea, ranked among the top-10 in the ASC in ERA (3.33). Kim led the team in innings pitched (70.1), strike outs (55), starts (11) and complete games (2). Kim opened the season with a five-hit, seven-strike out performance against Berea College. He did not allow a run in that game. He went on to strike out five in his next outing and then followed with strike outs of seven, six, six and five in his next appearances. He threw a four-hitter in six innings of work against Concordia University Texas and went another six innings and allowed just three hits and one run against Howard Payne. He also threw a three-hitter against East Texas Baptist. In total, he allowed one or less runs five times during the season. In just two seasons, he's already among the program's all-time leader in career strike outs, lowest earned run average and most strike outs per nine innings.
Woolly, a starter in all 40 games, tied for the team-lead in doubles (11), and finished second in hits (47) and runs (34). The Spiro, Okla., product was third in home runs (4) and RBI (28). He hit .296 on the season with one triple while posting a .453 slugging percentage. He owned a .978 fielding percentage. He had 14 multiple-hit games and drove in two or more runs five times. He went 3-for-4 with four RBI against Howard Payne and 2-for-4 with five RBI against Belhaven. He had a four-hit and four-run game against Mary Hardin-Baylor. He also earned All-Conference last season.
Crider, a native of Dallas, Texas, was again among the team leaders in several offensive categories, including home runs (7), RBI (28), doubles (7), batting average (.298), total bases (76), slugging percentage (.539), runs (36), triples (3), stolen bases (8), walks (35) and hits (42). He was the team leader in triples, stolen bases and walks. He had 14 multiple-hit games and drove in runs in 16 different games. He had two or more RBI eight times. He opened the season in a four-game series against Berea College going 6-for-15 with eight RBI and two walk-off hits. In game four, he scored four times. In game four against Hardin-Simmons, he homered twice and drove in four runs. He ends his career as the program's all-time leader in triples with 10. He ranks among the top-10 at Ozarks in career slugging percentage (.538), home runs (13), walks (66) and stolen bases (21). Crider was All-Conference and All-Region last season.
Varner, a native of Skiatook, Okla., had an immediate impact in his first season at Ozarks, leading the team in RBI (35), hits (51) and doubles (11). He posted a .323 batting average, second-highest on the team, and recorded 83 total bases to go along with a .525 slugging percentage. He homered seven times. He posted 16 multiple-hit games and drove in two or more runs 11 times. He had four three-hit games. He drove in four runs against Mary Hardin-Baylor and had two doubles three times. He scored four times against Howard Payne and Belhaven. He was one of only two players to start in all 40 games.
Elder, a native of Ottawa, Kan., hit .270 with 13 RBI and 24 hits. Elder posted six doubles and scored 20 times. Defensively, Elder was outstanding throwing out 17 runners on stolen base attempts. He owned a .987 fielding percentage. Elder had three three-hit games during the season and had four multiple-RBI games. He was a perfect 3-for-3 and scored three runs against Hardin-Simmons. In just two seasons, he finishes second all-time with 38 career hit by pitches. He owns the single season record for most hit by pitches with 22. He threw out 29 runners, second-most in a career at Ozarks. Elder was All-Conference last season.
Dufrene, a native of Clinton, Ark., produced 14 RBI, 30 hits and 16 runs. He also had two doubles, one triple and one home run. He had eight multiple-hit games, including two three-hit performances. He went 3-for-6 with 2 RBI and two runs against Mary Hardin-Baylor. He drove in three runs in game one against Mary Hardin-Baylor.
Mixon, a native of Lewisville, Texas, drove in 29 runs behind a four home run, 39 hit season. Mixon had eight doubles, a triple and 61 total bases to bat .271. He totaled three three-hit games, including a 3-for-3 performance against Berea College. He went 3-for-5 with six RBI against Mary Hardin-Baylor.
Ebarb, a native of Lavon, Texas, drove in 16 runs while producing 23 hits and six doubles. He scored 19 times and had three home runs. He hit safely in 16 games and had five multiple-hit games. He homered, doubled and drove in six runs against Concordia. He had three hits with two doubles in game three against Concordia. He was All-Conference last season.
Swartz, a native of Granby, Mo., hit .296 with seven doubles, four home runs and 20 RBI. He drew 24 walks and owned a .437 slugging percentage. He had 12 multiple-hit games, including four three-hit games. He drove in three runs against Sul Ross State. He had a two-hit, three-RBI performance in game three against Sul Ross State. Swartz had the game-winning hit in the Eagles' first playoff win since 2008.
In 2018, the Eagles qualified for the ASC Championship Tournament for the first time since the 2009 season.