May 19, 2009
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- UAB senior outfielder Brint Hardy has been selected to the All-Conference USA First Team, headlining a group of four Blazers who received postseason honors Tuesday.
Senior Cody McMurry was tabbed second-team all-conference as an outfielder, while junior Digger Towe was recognized as the designated hitter/utility player on the second team. Additionally, Jamal Austin was voted to the league's all-freshman team.
The awards were announced Tuesday on the eve of the 2009 Conference USA Championship in Hattiesburg, Miss. UAB enters the tournament as the No. 6 seed and will play third-seeded Houston at 9 a.m. (CT) Wednesday at Pete Taylor Park on the campus of Southern Miss.
Hardy wrapped up the regular season as the NCAA Division I leader with 46 stolen bases, and his 88 career steals as a Blazer are three shy of the school record of 91. At the plate in 2009, the Homewood, Ala., product has posted a .333 batting average with 12 doubles, five home runs and 49 RBI. Also a preseason all-conference selection, he has scored 64 runs to rank third on the school's single-season list.
McMurry ranks in the top 10 in Conference USA in nine offensive categories. A native of Hueytown, Ala., he leads UAB in doubles (18) slugging percentage (.641) and on-base percentage (.479), while ranking second on the team in batting average (.348), home runs (11) and RBI (50). His league-leading 49 walks are the fourth-most in a single season at UAB, and his 58 runs scored are the ninth-most in school history.
Towe -- a two-time C-USA Hitter of the Week and one-time Pro-Line Athletic National Hitter of the Week -- leads UAB with a .350 batting average. His team-best 60 RBI rank fourth in the league and 10th in UAB single-season history. A Charlotte, Mich., native, Towe owns 14 doubles and nine home runs, and he has tallied multiple RBI in 17 of the 48 games he has played.
Austin is hitting .300 entering this week's C-USA Championship, and he posted UAB's second-highest batting average in conference play at .337. The Kennesaw, Ga., product ranks fifth in the league with 19 stolen bases in 22 attempts and has also used his speed defensively, patrolling center field for 43 games as a true freshman. Austin has scored 39 runs on the year and driven in 23.
The Conference USA postseason awards are voted on by the league's coaches, sports information directors and selected media members.
Austin's selection marks the third straight season UAB has placed at least one player on the all-freshman team. Shay Crawford and Jonathan Merritt earned the honor in 2007 followed by Nick Crawford in 2008.
UAB has also had at least one player garner first-team all-conference recognition in each of the past three seasons. J.R. Bond and Danny Sawyer were named to the team in 2007, and Ryan Keedy was selected to the 2008 team. The Blazers have also placed one player on the second team for two straight years with Phil Bell earning that recognition last season.