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Menendez caps storybook season as NAIA Baseball Player of the Year

06.05.2018 | By: Texas Wesleyan University
Kiki Menedez is at bat at a recent baseball game wearing the navy blue uniforms and helmet.

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics has announced the 2018 Baseball All-America teams as selected by the NAIA-Baseball Coaches' Association All-America Committee. Kiki Menendez was named Player of the Year, the first player to do so in the program's 49 seasons of competition.

Menendez, a senior outfielder from Austin, TX, had the single most prolific offensive season in Texas Wesleyan history.

He led the nation with a school record 26 home runs and has combined that power with incredible consistency. In addition to the home run record, his .466 batting average (3rd NAIA) and his .995 slugging percentage (1st NAIA) both crush the previous school records of .444 and .856.

He set school records with 89 hits and 190 total bases (1st NAIA) and posted 84 RBI (T2nd NAIA), seven shy of the school record of 91. He also had a school-record 21-game hitting streak.

The exercise science major also holds school records with a streak of 30 consecutive games reaching base safely, 5 hits in a game, and 3 home runs in a SAC Tournament game.

What makes this even more impressive is the fact that Menendez has done this in just 191 at bats, which ranks 179th in the nation.

For his career, he holds school records in career average (.437) and career slugging (.836).

Jonathan Bermudez of Southeastern (Fla.) was selected Pitcher of the Year. Five other ballers from the SAC join Menendez as All-Americans. Lane Millgan (Oklahoma City) and Gregg Veneklasen (Wayland Baptist) received first team honors, while Joe Lytle (Oklahoma City) coined second team. Keisy Portorreal (Oklahoma City) and Garrett Foster (Mid-America Christian) were honorable mentions.

The first and second teams are also recognized as ABCA/Rawlings All-Americans by the American Baseball Coaches Association and Rawlings Sporting Goods. The ABCA began recognizing All-Americans in 1949 and named the first ABCA NAIA All-America team in 1969.

Menendez caps an impressive 2017-18 school year for Texas Wesleyan Athletics, as 11 student-athletes from six different sports reached All-American status. Six of those student-athletes were given first team honors (Branden Jenkins, Rowan Lester, Leo Mathard, Kiki Menendez, Alex Schies, and Bailey Terry).

Ramblings

  • Menendez was held without a hit in only 5 of 51 games played this season.
  • Menendez is projected to be drafted in the 2018 First-Year Player Draft on day 3 (tomorrow). The draft resumes at 11:00 a.m. CST on MLB.com.
  • The five sports who join Baseball in boasting All-Americans are Men's Golf (4), Women's Golf (2), Men's Basketball (2), Softball (1), and Volleyball (1).
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