The VMI baseball team had eight players honored May 23, 2023, with the release of the 2023 All-Southern Conference teams, which were voted on by the league’s eight head coaches and the SoCon Sports Media Association. VMI leads all SoCon programs with six total all-conference selections by the coaches.
The Keydets had three players voted for the first team by both the coaches and SCSMA: Cole Garrett ’24 (catcher), Justin Starke ’23 (3B), and Cole Jenkins ’24 (OF).
Garrett has been an ironman behind the plate this season, starting all 54 games. The junior has an overall batting average of .352 with 17 doubles, 13 home runs, 53 runs, and 53 RBIs. He reaches base at a .440 clip and has a .638 slugging percentage. Defensively, Garrett has thrown out eight of 23 runners attempting to steal and has only two errors and one passed ball.
Starke, a redshirt junior, ranks in the top 10 in nine different SoCon offensive categories, including second in batting average (.390); third in hits (82), runs scored (61), and total bases (140); and fourth in on-base percentage (.483). Starke performed even better in 20 SoCon games with a .430 average, a .535 slugging percentage, and five home runs. He earned the SoCon Player of the Week Award March 20, 2023, and was the SoCon Freshman of the Year in 2021.
Jenkins’ overall numbers are impressive, but his conference-only statistics rank at the top of the league. The junior right fielder hit .469 in 20 SoCon starts with seven doubles, two triples, and eight home runs for a .901 slugging percentage and 31 RBIs. He earned the Perfect Game/Rawlings National Player of the Week honors April 10, becoming VMI’s first national player of the week since 2018, and was the SoCon Player of the Month for April.
Ty Swaim ’24 (2B), Zac Morris ’23 (SS), and Trey Morgan ’23 (OF) earned second-team spots on the coaches’ poll, while Swaim was also named second team by the media.
Swaim ranks 15th in NCAA Division I and first in the Southern Conference with 33 stolen bases. The junior is hitting .350 this season, usually out of the leadoff spot, with a SoCon-best 20 doubles and has scored 57 times. A redshirt junior, Morris has a .318 average while playing a premium position defensively. He also has 48 runs, 49 RBIs, and 25 stolen bases. Morgan, also a redshirt junior, has a .344 batting average and .433 on-base percentage. He has scored 51 times with 41 RBIs and 26 stolen bases. A two-way player, Morgan has a 2-2 record on the mound with two saves and a 5.40 ERA.
Grayson Fitzwater ’26 (1B) and Jimmy Koza ’26 (OF) landed on the SoCon All-Freshman Team.
Fitzwater has a .289 batting average with 12 doubles, six home runs, 36 runs, and 31 RBIs. Koza came on strong in the latter part of the regular season and recorded a .333 batting average in 14 conference games.
Major Award Winners:
Wofford’s Ryan Galanie was named the Player of the Year, Samford’s Jacob Cravey earned the Pitcher of the Year Award, and Samford’s Tony David received Coach of the Year accolades. The coaches tabbed Lucas Steele from Samford as the Freshman of the Year, while the media members selected his teammate Jayden Davis.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published at vmikeydets.com.