FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – The Salisbury University baseball team was more than well represented on the Coast-to-Coast Athletic Conference (C2C) postseason teams, with 11 Sea Gulls earning recognition and seniors Justin Meekins and Clayton Dwyer winning Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year, respectively. Head coach Troy Brohawn also took home hardware as the C2C Coach of the Year.
Meekins wraps up a stellar career at Salisbury with his first Player of the Year award and fourth straight all-conference outfield selection. Through 25 games, including last weekend's C2C semifinal series, the Berlin, Md., native is slashing .359/.488/.576 with 31 runs scored, five doubles, five home runs, 28 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. Meekins leads the C2C in home runs and ranks second in RBIs, sixth in batting average and sixth in stolen bases. He recently became just the 10th player in SU history to amass 200 career hits and ranks top-10 in several categories, including runs scored, home runs and stolen bases. Meekins is also the Sea Gulls' career leader in times getting hit by pitch with 67, including 13 in 2021.
Dwyer steamrolled the competition all season long and is in line to win the C2C Pitching Triple Crown, currently leading the league in wins, ERA and strikeouts. Through 15 appearances (five starts), the Laurel, Md., native boasts a 9-0 record with a 1.29 ERA, one save, 83 strikeouts (13.34 K/9) and just five walks over 56 innings. Dwyer, a three-time C2C Pitcher of the Week this season, took a perfect game bid into the seventh inning on May 6 against St. Mary's (Md.) and enters the C2C Championship Series with a 15.1-inning scoreless streak dating back to May 1.
Meekins and Dwyer become the eighth and ninth Conference Players of the Year in SU history and the first since Pete Grasso earned the award in the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) in 2017.
Brohawn adds to his 2017 conference coach of the year award after providing a steady hand through a season of unique challenges. The Sea Gulls won 11 of their first 12 games and finished the season at 21-4, running away with the C2C regular season title with a conference record of 14-2. Salisbury has been ranked in the D3Baseball.com/NCBWA Top 10 for all 13 weeks of the regular season, peaking at No. 3 for five weeks. His team boasts national rankings in several statistical categories, including fielding percentage (.978, fourth), runs per game (10.0, 10th) and ERA (2.70, 11th).
Meekins and Dwyer headline an All-C2C First Team that also features pitcher Xavier Marmol, first baseman Sky Rahill, and second baseman Stephen Rice. The Sea Gulls placed six members on the All-C2C Second Team, including pitchers Jackson Balzan and Corey Burton, third baseman Luke Weddell, shortstop Jimmy Adkins and outfielders Kavi Caster and Cameron Hyder.
Marmol currently ranks second in the C2C in ERA (1.95). Through 32.1 innings over 13 outings (two starts), he sports a 2-0 record and one save, plus 26 strikeouts.
Rahill enjoyed a breakout season, slowly but surely climbing in the batting order throughout 2021. His .366 batting average puts him fourth in the C2C. Rahill is slashing .366/.487/.484 with 22 runs scored, three home runs and 19 RBIs. A defensive rock at the first sack, Rahill has committed just one error in 234 total chances for a .996 fielding percentage.
Rice locked up his first-team selection with a hot late-season stretch. He currently boasts a .301/.415/.447 slash line with 11 extra-base hits, including eight doubles, 16 RBIs, 27 runs scored and 14 stolen bases (fourth in C2C). Rice also notched a .990 fielding percentage, committing just one error in 100 chances.
Balzan's 2.76 ERA gives Salisbury three of the top four marks in the C2C. The southpaw is 6-1 over 12 games (11 starts) and has struck out 63 batters over 45.2 innings (12.42 K/9).
With the bullpen in flux for much of the season, Burton has been arguably the Sea Gulls' most effective full-time reliever. In 12 appearances he boasts one save with a 1.80 ERA and 20 strikeouts over 20 innings.
Weddell seized the starting role at third base midseason and gave SU security at the hot corner. He is slashing .352/.443/.443 with five extra-base hits, 19 RBIs and 19 runs scored.
A two-way star, Adkins made his C2C bones in 2021 at the plate, slashing .341/.455/.432 with one home run, eight RBIs, 19 runs scored and eight stolen bases over 14 contests. He also pitched in seven games with three starts, going 3-1 with a 2.78 ERA and one save.
Caster earned back-to-back C2C Player of the Week awards in March and never looked back. In 19 games he slashed .403/.500/.667 with 12 extra-base hits, 25 RBIs, 30 runs scored and 17 stolen bases (second in C2C). Caster has saved his best for postseason play: in Saturday's C2C semifinal game against Southern Virginia, he hit for the cycle, driving in four runs while scoring three of his own.
Hyder was equally effective at the plate and in right field for the Sea Gulls. He slashed .303/.394/.394 with seven extra-base hits, 19 RBIs, 25 runs scored and 10 stolen bases while punching out a .981 fielding percentage.
Salisbury, who finished 14-2 in C2C play to win the league regular season title, opens the C2C Championship Series on Friday afternoon against Christopher Newport. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. with coverage beginning on the Sea Gull Sports Network (SGSN) at 2:45 p.m.
To view the full All-C2C baseball team, CLICK HERE.