Jonathan Groff Named WAC Pitcher Of The Year, Nick Gonzales Named Freshman Of The Year

Written By: WAC Media Relations

MESA, AZ - The Western Athletic Conference has announced its All-WAC baseball teams and major awards as selected by the league’s nine head coaches. Grand Canyon’s Quin Cotton was named WAC Player of the Year while NM State’s Jonathan Groff was named WAC Pitcher of the Year. NM State’s Nick Gonzales was named WAC Freshman of the Year and GCU’s Andy Stankiewicz repeated as WAC Coach of the Year.

Cotton, a sophomore outfielder from Parker, Colo., posted a .417 batting average in league play to help lead the Lopes to their third WAC regular season title in the past four seasons. He led the WAC with 32 runs and 45 hits in league play and was tied for the lead in triples with three. He also tied for second in doubles with 10 and was second in the WAC with 70 total bases.

Groff, a senior left-hander from Castroville, Texas, went 5-1 in WAC play, posting a 2.26 earned run average in eight appearances. Over 51.2 innings pitched, he allowed opponents to hit just .234 against him and struck out 42 batters while allowing 46 hits. His 10 wins overall rank him top in the WAC this season.

Gonzales, a second baseman from Vail, Ariz., hit .373 in his first season in the WAC, driving in 24 RBIs on 31 hits with seven doubles, two triples and six home runs. His .723 slugging percentage in WAC play was second best in the conference and his four sacrifice flies led the WAC.

Stankiewicz led the Lopes to their third conference title in the last four seasons. Heading into this week, he holds a 216-162-1 record in seven seasons leading GCU, including 90-38 in conference play. It is the second WAC Coach of the Year award for the Pepperdine graduate, who previously won the award in 2017.

2018 First Team All-WAC
Catcher: Mason Fishback, Sr., NM State
First Base: Caleb Henderson, Jr., NM State
Second Base: Nick Gonzales, Fr., NM State
Third Base: Zach Malis, Jr., Grand Canyon
Shortstop: Joey Ortiz, So., NM State
Outfield: Quin Cotton, So., Grand Canyon
Outfield: Ian Dawkins, Sr., Sacramento State
Outfield: Tyler Wyatt, Jr., Grand Canyon
Utility/DH: Pikai Winchester, Jr., Grand Canyon
At-Large: Trevor Peterson, Sr., Utah Valley
Starting Pitcher: Jonathan Groff, Sr., NM State
Starting Pitcher: Parker Brahms, So., Sacramento State
Relief Pitcher: Austin Roberts, So., Sacramento State
At-Large: Kyle Bradish, Jr., NM State

2018 Second Team All-WAC
Catcher: Jake Ortega, Jr., CSU Bakersfield
First Base: Tyler Lowe, Jr., Chicago State
Second Base: David Modler, Sr., Utah Valley
Third Base: Dean Lawson, Sr., Northern Colorado
Shortstop: Keith Torres, Fr., Sacramento State
Outfield: Matt Smith, Jr., Sacramento State
Outfield: Marcus Still, Sr., NM State
Outfield: Dalton Hurd, Sr., Seattle U
Utility/DH: PJ Floyd, Sr., Sacramento State
At-Large: Jack Pauley, Jr., Northern Colorado
Starting Pitcher: Austin Root, Sr., Sacramento State
Starting Pitcher: Jake Wong, Jr., Grand Canyon
Relief Pitcher: Mick Vorhof, Sr., Grand Canyon
At-Large: Ethan Evanko, Sr., Grand Canyon

Player of the Year: Quin Cotton, So., OF, Grand Canyon
Pitcher of the Year: Jonathan Groff, Sr., LHP, NM State
Freshman of the Year: Nick Gonzales, IF, NM State
Coach of the Year: Andy Stankiewicz, Grand Canyon