La Jolla, California - Four University of California San Diego student-athletes were named to 2018 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) All-West Region teams on Wednesday.
Zander Clarke was one of three outfielders on the 14-player first team, with fellow juniors Tyler Durna, Alex Eliopulos and Preston Mott making the 15-player second team. Durna is the lone repeat honoree, having made the NCBWA All-West Region First Team last season.
Durna is the first baseman on the NCBWA All-West Region Second Team, with Eliopulos the third baseman and Mott one of three starting pitchers. Another 10 players picked up honorable mentions.
All four Tritons had made the All-CCAA First Team, announced last week, which made them eligible for the NCBWA awards.
Clarke (Newbury Park/Newbury Park HS) is in his first season as a Triton after transferring from UCLA, and leads the CCAA in batting average (.399), RBI (74) and slugging (.697). He achieved the CCAA Triple Crown for the 44-game league slate, leading in average (.409), home runs (13-tied) and RBI (61) despite missing two contests. Clarke remains in contention for a CCAA Triple Crown for overall games, just one home run behind a trio of leaders in that category, with 15.
Durna (Chino Hills/Ruben S. Ayala HS) paces the CCAA in runs (61) and is second in walks (57) and on-base percentage (.493). He is batting .355, second on the Tritons after Clarke, with a team-best 15 doubles, two triples and seven home runs.
Eliopulos (La Jolla/La Jolla HS) is second in the CCAA in RBI (69), behind only Clarke, and is also second on the team with his 14 home runs, including four over the last eight games. The second-year Triton is batting .325 with 10 doubles, and is the only UC San Diego player to have appeared in all 53 contests, starting each.
Mott (Clovis/Clovis HS) is 7-1 with a 2.82 ERA and 75 strikeouts against 25 walks over his 13 starts. He leads the team in wins, ERA, starts (tied) and strikeouts.
California Baptist's two-way sophomore, Andrew Bash, was selected as the NCBWA West Region Player of the Year, with Stanislaus State senior ace Joe Ryan the NCBWA West Region Pitcher of the Year. Cal State Monterey Bay skipper Walt White is the NCBWA West Region Coach of the Year.
UC San Diego is ranked No. 22 nationally and has won eight straight and 18 of its last 20 games. As the third seed and defending champion, the Tritons open play at the NCAA West Regional in Azusa on Thursday night, May 17, against city rival Point Loma (33-16), the No. 4 seed. First pitch at Cougar Baseball Complex on the campus of host Azusa Pacific University is slated for 7 p.m. Parking is free.