AIKEN, S.C. – USC Aiken’s Travis Howard continued to rack up the postseason awards on Friday as the 2009 Daktronics Southeast Region Player of the Year was named to the 2009 Daktronics, Inc., All-America Baseball Team as the first team designated hitter.
The first team All-America nod by Daktronics was not the only award that Howard received on Friday. He was also named to the 2009 ABCA Southeast All-Region first team.
Howard (Bonneau, S.C./USC Salkehatchie) was USC Aiken’s only ABCA Southeast Region first team member, but he was not the only player to be honored by the ABCA with Ken Raborn (Evans, Ga./Evans) and Cody McMorris (Canton, Ga./Southern Union CC) both receiving second team plaudits.
Raborn was named to the ABCA Southeast Region second team as the first baseman, while McMorris was tabbed to the team as a second team outfielder.
Howard, who also was named to the All-Peach Belt Conference first team as a designated hitter, captured one of the most prolific regular seasons on offense in 2009 not only in USC Aiken and Peach Belt Conference history, but in NCAA Division II history.
Howard ended the 2009 season with 103 RBIs to tie Jason Jones’ (Kennesaw State) PBC record of 103 originally set in 1998. He just missed out on tying the all-time NCAA Division II record of 104 set by Jarred McAlvain of Central Oklahoma in 1997.
Howard’s proclivity to bring in runs in 2009 has him atop the NCAA Division II landscape in runs batted in and runs batted in per game. He is overall in the top 100 in NCAA Division II in 11 different offensive categories.
Howard had an incredible 38 extra-base hits in the 2009 regular season, finishing the regular season with 19 home runs, 16 doubles and three triples. The power numbers helped Howard own a slugging percentage of .694.
The only player to be named the Peach Belt Conference Player of the Week three times in 2009, Howard ended the year in the top 10 in the Peach Belt Conference in ten different offensive categories, including hits, runs scored, home runs, doubles, RBIs, total bases, slugging percentage, total plate appearances, at-bats and sacrifice flies.
Howard had 31 multiple hit games in 2009, finishing the year with 29 multiple RBI games, including four contests with five or more RBIs.
Raborn concluded his Pacer career as a two-time All-Peach Belt Conference selection. The Pacer first baseman was chosen All-PBC last year as a utility player. He was tabbed as a first baseman in 2009.
Also a 2009 Daktronics All-Region selection along with McMorris and Howard, he was a second team National College Baseball Writers Association All-South Atlantic Region team member in 2008.
Named preseason All-Conference and as a “Player to Watch” in the Southeast Region by Collegiate Baseball prior to the start of the year, Raborn owns one of the finest careers in school history.
Raborn entered the year as the school’s all-time leader in walks, but this year he has also became the career record holder in school history in hits (289), runs scored (199), RBIs (213), total bases (484), at-bats (827) and home runs (41). In total, Raborn currently holds the school record in seven different offensive categories.
Raborn hit a team second-best .385 during the regular season. He had 32 extra-base knocks during the regular season, including a team-best 19 doubles.
Raborn was in the top ten in the PBC in 11 different offensive categories in 2009, including hits, runs, home runs, doubles, RBIs, total bases, walks, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, sacrifice flies and total plate appearances.
Raborn obtained 25 multiple hit contests and 21 multiple RBI games in 2009.
McMorris was fourth-best on the nation’s top-hitting team with a .367 batting average. He was tops among USC Aiken and Peach Belt Conference players with 39 stolen bases. He swiped 18 of the 38 stolen bases during USC Aiken’s conference campaign.
The 39 stolen bases currently have him in the top ten in NCAA Division II.
McMorris was especially potent during USC Aiken’s 2009 Peach Belt Conference campaign, batting a team-best .394 in conference games with all but three of his 43 hits during the Pacers’ PBC campaign coming on singles. The Pacer leadoff hitter scored a team-best 33 runs during USC Aiken’s 27 conference games.
McMorris ended the year in the top ten in the PBC overall in eight different categories, including hits, runs scored, stolen bases, on-base percentage, total plate appearances, at-bats, steal attempts and hit by pitch.
McMorris scored a total of 72 runs during the regular season. Starting every game in centerfield for the Pacers, McMorris is also in the top five in NCAA Division II in runs scored. McMorris overall is in the top 15 in NCAA Division II in four categories currently (hits, runs, stolen bases and stolen bases per game).
McMorris at one point during the 2009 season hit in a Pacer season-high 24 consecutive games. He tied Howard for most multiple hit games with 31, which includes a team-best 24 two-hit games.
Howard is now eligible for ABCA NCAA Division II All-America consideration via his first team region selection.