Kirby-Jones and Oberacker selected 1st and 2nd team All-America by the American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings
Jun 25, 2010
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Tech juniors Chad Oberacker and
A.J. Kirby-Jones have been named to their 4th and
5th All-America teams by the American Baseball Coaches
Association (ABCA)/Rawlings. The ABCA All-American Teams are
amongst the most prestigious and selective in the nation, due to a
long history comprised of a lengthy selection process dating back
Each year, regional chairs representing the ABCA
All-American/Coach of the Year Committee conduct All-Region Team
voting, a poll that logs the votes of every coach in the region.
The regional chairs then meet to conduct the selection of
1st, 2nd and 3rd team All-American
Teams from the All-Region Team selections.
With nine All-America team appearances in the 2010 season, Tech
is climbing the ladder to join the ranks of some of the
nation’s premier college baseball programs.
Only seven teams in the nation boast multiple first and/or
second team ABCA All-Americans for the 2010 season. The other six
programs are ranked within the top ten in the NCAA. Tech’s
two honorees places TTU amongst the ranks of no.1 Virginia, no. 2
Arizona State, no. 3 Texas, no. 6 TCU, no. 7 Cal State-Fullerton
and no. 9 Louisville.
The significance of these two players being honored is
heightened by the fact that Tennessee Tech has not had more than
one All-American named in a single decade, let alone in a single
season. Four other Golden Eagles have received past accolades -
Cole Helms in 2002, Mark Maberry in 1997, Scott Baerns in 1988 and
Mike Winchester in 1975.
Named to the first team as a designated hitter, AJ Kirby-Jones
slugged a monumental .859 this season as Tech’s designated
hitter - a statistic that ranks second in the NCAA, led the Ohio
Valley Conference and shattered the single season record at Tech.
His career slugging percentage of .686 ties Jeremy Bonczyski for
first place in the Tech record books. He finished second in the
nation, first in the OVC in home runs with 26, and with 51 career
home runs takes the number one spot in Tech history.
The 6’0” utility player out of Knoxville, Tennessee
also ranks first at Tech in career total bases with 409, runs
scored with 143, hits with 207, doubles with 49, runs batted in
with 190 and walks with 128.
Kirby-Jones led the OVC and the Golden Eagles with 58 walks this
season, which puts him fifth in the nation for base-on-balls, and
holds the single season record for intentional walks with nine in
Starting the past 114 games consecutively, including all 56
competitions in the 2010 season as the designated hitter or first
baseman, he batted in 70 runs this year, breaking his own school
record for RBIs in the 2009 season to earn the two spot in the Tech
single season record books. His 2010 on-base percentage of .531
ranks second in the OVC, as do his RBI and total base (177) stats.
He holds the three spot in the conference for total plate
appearances with 275.
Kirby-Jones started for the Golden Eagles as a freshman, had a
record breaking sophomore year and topped it in his junior year. A
major part of the team’s success over the past two years, he
not only filled the role as Tech’s designated hitter, but
also flashed the leather periodically throughout his career as a
first baseman and a relief pitcher.
After hitting five home runs and two doubles, bringing in 13
RBIs and scoring eight runs, earning seven walks and maintaining a
.526 batting average, .655 on-base percentage and a 1.421 slugging
percentage, Kirby-Jones was named National Player of the Week in
March. Additionally, he was named the Ohio Valley Conference Player
of the Week for week five of the 2010 season and 2010 first team
All-OVC. Kirby-Jones is also a finalist for TTU’s Male
Athlete of the Year Award and is on the 2010 Dick Howser Trophy
watch list. He also appears on the second team of the Louisville
Slugger/Collegiate Baseball News, the Pro-Line Athletic National
Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and Ping!Baseball
All-American Teams, as well as on the third team for Baseball
Named a second team outfield All-American by ABCA, center
fielder Chad Oberacker of Erie, Pennsylvania finished his season
ranked no. 3 in the nation, leading the Golden Eagles and the Ohio
Valley Conference with a batting average of .452. Batting in the
clean-up position, Oberacker consistently hit over .400 for the
entire season, and finished fourth in the nation in total hits with
108 – a statistic that ranks first in the OVC - 40 of which
were for extra bases. His career batting average of .395 takes top
honors in Tech history.
Throughout the season he maintained an on-base percentage of
.527 and slugged .690, batting in 70 runs and becoming just the
fourth athlete in Tech history to bring in over 60 runs in one
season, earning him the three spot in Tech record books. He set
single season records in 2010 for hits and doubles with 29, which
ranks first in the OVC, and he ranks second in Tech’s single
season history in total bases with 165. Oberacker is also tied for
the top spot in Tech record books with nine career triples.
Being the only Golden Eagle to play and start all 56 games in a
field position this year, Oberacker recorded a conference-high 281
total plate appearances, rounding the bases 67 times and logging
five triples, six homers and 34 walks for 2010. He also recorded an
outstanding 36 multi-hit games and fielded .992 on the season.
Oberacker went 6-for-13 with two home runs and seven RBIs to
fuel the Golden Eagle sweep of Murray State in the final regular
season series of the year to claim the OVC title and no. 1 seed
outright for the first time since 1997.
Additionally, Oberacker received Ohio Valley Conference Player
of the Week accolades for week 13 of the season, was named first
team All-OVC and second team Academic All-District. He becomes the
first baseball player in history to be named to an All-America team
as well as to an Academic All-District team. He was named to the
2010 OVC all-tournament team, is also one of 10 finalists for
Tennessee Tech University’s Male Athlete of the Year award,
and is on the 2010 John Olerud Two-Way Player watch list. He was
also a first-team All-American selection by Louisville
Slugger/Collegiate Baseball, a second-team choice by Ping!Baseball
and was named to the NCBWA third-team.
“We’re so proud of these guys, they’re
both fantastic ball players and it has been my privilege to coach
them and watch them grow as athletes and as young men over the past
few years,” said Bragga. “The bottom line is that those
guys are not only tremendous baseball players but great guys,
they’re leaders and ambassadors to our team,” Bragga
continued. He believes that their performances have set a standard
for the program at Tech and will serve to motivate the team and
future players to strive for individual and team success.
“This is a huge accomplishment for these young men and the
program,” said Tennessee Tech Director of Athletics Mark
Wilson. “It serves as an excellent indicator for the future
of Tech baseball under Coach Bragga.”