BRADFORD, Pa. -- Though the January weather reminds us it is still the dead of winter, baseball is just around the corner.
The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford baseball team is beginning its season with senior catcher Austin Parent earning a spot on the 2019 D3Baseball All-America First Team.
"Austin's success last year definitely warranted him being a Preseason All-American," Head Coach Zach Foster said. "He had a fantastic year. He's in great shape already and ready to get rolling and I'm excited to watch him play again this year. Congrats to Austin on yet another great accomplishment for not only himself and his family but also in representing Pitt-Bradford baseball and the University."
Parent is coming off a 2018 season of unprecedented success in which he garnered both D3Baseball and American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) All-America First Team honors as well as the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Player of the Year award.
The native of Gilbert, Ariz., started all 33 games and hit .496, which is the top batting average of any of the three NCAA levels in 2018. The nation's top hitter also led the country with a .616 on-base percentage and is second nationally with a .916 slugging percentage.
He was awarded with his two NCAA Stat Category Leader plaques when he returned to campus in the Fall.
His nine home runs in 2018 are the most in Pitt-Bradford program history, while Parent's 48 RBIs and 109 total bases ranked second in the AMCC.
The catcher posted a .963 fielding percentage and threw out nine would-be base stealers.
His consistency at the plate showed as he finished out the season riding an 18-game hitting streak.
Parent was the driving force for the Panther team that finished 17-16 overall and 10-8 in AMCC play. He helped lead the team to one of its most successful seasons in recent time, as the 10 regular-season conference victories were the program's most since 2010. As a result, Pitt-Bradford earned the No. 4 seed in the AMCC Championship Tournament and hosted Penn State-Altoona for the First Round.
Pitt-Bradford will begin its 2019 regular season on Feb. 23 in New Market, Va., with a doubleheader against Wells.