GREENSBORO, N.C. - University of Tampa pitcher David Lebron has earned another major accolade, becoming the 2018 ABCA/Rawlings Division II National Pitcher of the Year. The 2018 ABCA National Pitchers of the Year were announced by the America Baseball Coaches Association. The ABCA National Pitchers of the Year are selected in all nine divisions: NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA, NJCAA Divisions I, II and III, Pacific Association Division and high school.
Lebron, a senior right-handed pitcher from Homestead, Fla., was selected in the 26th round of the 2018 MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers. After exhausting his collegiate eligibility at UT, he currently plays for the Spokane Indians of the Class-A Northwest League.
A two-year ace for the Spartans, Lebron ranks as one of the most successful pitchers in program history. Lebron was also selected as a first-team All-American by ABCA/Rawlings and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association of America (NCBWA) and second-team All-American by the Conference Commissioner's Association (CCA). He turned in a dominant campaign as he finished the season with a 10-0 record to go with a 2.24 ERA. In 96.1 innings, the righty registered 139 strikeouts. This marks the second straight season where he was named the South Region Pitcher of the Year. He also becomes a two-time All-American. He concluded his two-year Spartan career with a record of 17-1. He struck out 242 hitters with a 2.45 ERA. He ranks 10th on UT's all-time strikeout list and is third among two-year players. He also ranks first in program history while holding opponents to a .209 batting average.
Lebron is the first UT pitcher to earn national honors since Mike Valdes in 1998 when he was also the national player of the year. Current Spartan pitching coach Sam Militello also earned the honor in 1990.
The ABCA National Pitchers of the Year are chosen by the ABCA All-America committees in each respective division. ABCA/Rawlings First-Team All-America selections are eligible for National Pitcher of the Year honors. The ABCA National Position Players of the Year will be announced Tuesday, June 26.
The ABCA, founded in 1945, is the primary professional organization for baseball coaches at the amateur level. Its over 9,700 members represent all 50 states and 23 countries. Since its initial meeting of 27 college baseball coaches in June 1945, Association membership has broadened to include eight divisions: NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA, NJCAA, Pacific Association Division, High School and Youth. The 75th annual ABCA Convention will be held Jan. 3-6, 2019 in Dallas, Texas.
2018 ABCA National Pitchers of the Year
NCAA Div. I: Brady Singer, Jr., Florida
NCAA Div. II: David Lebron, Sr., Tampa (FL)
NCAA Div. III: Connor Reeves, Sr., Salisbury (MD)
NAIA: Jonathan Bermudez, Jr., Southeastern (FL)
NJCAA Div. I: Sean Chandler, So., Iowa Western
NJCAA Div. II: Zach Hester, So., LSU Eunice
NJCAA Div. III: Alex Crinigan, So., Oakton (IL)
Pacific Assoc. Division: Chris Allen, So., College of Marin (CA)
High School: Ryan Weathers, Sr., Loretto (TN)