BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Kamren Dukes of Texas Southern was voted the Southwestern Athletic Conference Player and Hitter of the Year, as the league announced its 2018 baseball postseason honors on Monday. The honors were voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors.
Dukes, a Pearland, Texas native, led the SWAC in batting average this season at .394, runs scored (57), and hits (84). The senior also racked up 40 RBIs, which ranked eighth. His 84 hits ranks third nationally.
In conference play, Dukes was fourth in batting average (.448), scored 26 runs, totaled 46 hits and 32 RBIs to help lead the Tigers to a West Division Title. Dukes also has an active streak of 34 straight games with a hit.
Aaron Solis of Texas Southern was voted the Pitcher of the Year. The senior and League City, Texas native had a 1.99 ERA, and a 7-1 record in SWAC play this season. Solis had an 8-3 record overall, which included three complete games.
Jose Tirado of Jackson State was voted the Relief Pitcher of the Year. Tirado finished the regular season with a 2.78 ERA, which ranked first on the Tigers. The senior from San Juan, Puerto Rico also led Jackson State in opposing batting average (.170), saves (13) and was second on the team in strikeouts (67). The 13 saves also ranked first in the SWAC.
Raul Hernandez from Jackson State was voted the Newcomer of the Year. The junior from Cidra, Puerto Rico was third in the league in batting average (.384) fifth in slugging percentage (.579), third in hits (.73) and fifth in RBIs (46). In SWAC play, Hernandez ranked tied for third in RBIs (32) and fifth in hits (40).
Nikelle Galatas of Jackson State was voted the league’s Freshman of the Year. Galatas was fourth on the Tigers with a 4.27 ERA. The Ladera Heights, Calif. native was second on the team with nine wins, and pitched the second-most innings (86.1). He also struck out 53 batters this season.
Alabama State head coach Jose Vazquez was voted the Coach of the Year. In just his second season at the helm of the Hornets baseball program, Vazquez led Alabama State to an 18-6 record in SWAC play (27-20 overall) and an East Division title.
Jackson State earned the most All-SWAC selections with seven players. Grambling State had the second-most players with six players voted All-SWAC, and Texas Southern earned five all-conference selections.
Alabama State had four players receive All-SWAC recognition and Arkansas Pine Bluff and Alcorn State each had one player earn All-SWAC honors.
The entire All-Conference honors are below.
Player of the Year
Kamren Dukes (Texas Southern)
Pitcher of the Year
Aaron Solis (Texas Southern)
Relief Pitcher of the Year
Jose Tirado (Jackson State)
Hitter of the Year
Kamren Dukes (Texas Southern)
Newcomer of the Year
Raul Hernandez (Jackson State)
Freshman of the Year
Nickelle Galatas (Jackson State)
Coach of the Year
Jose Vazques (Alabama State)
First Team All-SWAC
C – Stephan Vidal (Jackson State)
1B – Christian Sanchez (Texas Southern)
2B – Gaudencio Lucca (Texas Southern)
3B – Ray Hernandez (Alabama State)
SS- Marshawn Taylor (Grambling State)
DH– Richard Ortiz (Grambling State)
OF – Kamren Dukes (Texas Southern)
OF – Joseph Estrada (Alabama State)
OF – Isaiah Torres (Grambling State)
SP – Aaron Solis (Texas Southern)
SP – Darrius Wright (Alabama State)
RP – Jose Tirado (Jackson State)
Second Team All-SWAC
C – Hunter Allen (Alabama State)
1B – Rafael Ramirez (Grambling State)
2B – Wesley Reyes (Jackson State)
3B – Jesus Santana (Jackson State)
SS – Horance LeBlanc (Texas Southern)
DH – Robert Perteet (Jackson State)
OF – Lamar Briggs (Jackson State)
OF – Sergio Esparza (Arkansas Pine Bluff)
OF – Desmond Chumley (Jackson State)
SP – Raul Baduel (Grambling State)
SP – Carlos Lopez (Alcorn State)
RP – Daniel Beizer (Grambling State)