Missouri Southern left-handed pitcher Zach Parish and third baseman Freddie Landers were named Division II All-Americans by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association on Wednesday.
Landers and Parish were honorable mention picks on the NCBWA’s All-American team after both picked up all-region honors from the NCBWA, the D2 Conference Commissioners Association and the American Baseball Coaches Association.
Parish, a junior, was also named the Central Region Pitcher of the Year by the ABCA while Landers, a senior, was a first-team selection as an infielder.
In his first season of eligibility with MSSU since transferring from Northeastern State, Parish was tabbed as the MIAA Pitcher of the Year for leading the conference with a program-record 136 strikeouts — a mark that ranked fourth in Division II — and posting a 9-1 record in 16 starts. He finished with a 2.85 earned run average and limited the opposition to a .199 batting average.
Parish notched 11 strikeouts or more in five games, with the highest of 16 strikeouts coming on April 18 in a 1-0 win over his former NSU team. And in the Lions’ MIAA tournament opener on May 9, Parish aided his team to a 4-0 win over Northwest Missouri by striking out eight and surrendering just four hits in eight innings.
Led by Parish, the MSSU staff struck out 558 batters to set a single-season program record and finish five shy from tying the MIAA record.
Landers led the Lions at the plate with a .349 batting average as he tallied 11 home runs and 36 RBI. He also paced the team with a .602 slugging percentage and a .494 on-base percentage while leading the MIAA in hit-by-pitches with 22 — a school record. At third base, he logged a .935 fielding percentage on 194 chances and helped turn six double plays.
While racking up 22 multiple-hit games in 55 starts, Landers registered a season-best performance on April 20 in an 11-1 win over NSU as he went 5-for-5 with three doubles, two RBI and three runs scored. He also went 4-for-5 with one double and two runs scored in the Lions’ 10-9 season-ending loss to St. Cloud State at the Central Region postseason tournament on May 17 in Warrensburg.