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David Pierce wins Big 12 Coach of the Year, Kody Clemens earns Big 12 Player of the Year

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After winning the Big 12 regular season championship, several ‘Horns took conference honors.

Texas wins Big 12 Conference championship.
Texas Sports // @TexasBaseball Twitter

Texas baseball may have taken the Big 12 crown on Sunday, but that would not be the last award given to the ‘Horns by the conference. On Tuesday, the Big 12 awarded several Longhorns conference honors. The recipients are listed below:

David Pierce took Big 12 Coach of the Year. Following a 25-32 season in 2016, Pierce took the reins in 2017 and brought the ‘Horns back to the NCAA tournament. Texas has taken another step forward in 2018, as the team has won its first conference title since 2011 (and first outright title since 2010) and is a near lock to host an NCAA regional. Texas finished the regular season at 37-18 (17-7 Big 12).

Kody Clemens is the Big 12 Player of the Year. After hitting only .241 and fiver homers a season ago, the junior enjoyed a breakout season to say the least in 2018. Clemens hit .344 (No. 7 in the Big 12), slugged 19 homers (No. 1 in the Big 12) and had several clutch moments including his walk-off homer against TCU last weekend. Clemens is also a Golden Spikes Semifinalist, which is an award given to the nation’s best player.

Clemens joins Zach Zubia and Duke Ellis as members of the All-Big 12 First Team. The redshirt freshman Zubia and JUCO transfer Ellis were both newcomers to the ‘Horns this year, but both played integral roles in Texas’ resurgence at the plate this season. Zubia mashed 10 homers and hit .293 on the year, while Ellis hit a team second-best .309.

A trio of ‘Horns also made the All-Big 12 Second Team as well, as David Hamilton, Blair Henley, and Andy McGuire all made the team. The sophomore Hamilton hit .308 and stole 27 bases in 34 attempts in addition to making several tremendous plays at shortstop this season. Sophomore righty Henley was Texas’ most reliable starter this season and honed a 3.54 ERA in 73.2 innings pitched. After not playing for two seasons, McGuire emerged as Texas’ dependable closer and finished with a 2.20 ERA and seven saves.

Zubia and Kamron Fields were named to the All-Big 12 Freshman Team. Both players are part of Pierce’s exciting young core which should lay the foundation for the team for years to come. Fields notched a 1.93 ERA in 23.1 innings pitched this season and earned his first career win on Sunday against TCU.

Parker Jo Robinson is a Big 12 Honorable Mention honoree. Texas’ bullpen was thin this season, but the righty reliever was one of the ‘Horns’ go-to guys. Robinson had a team best 1.46 ERA in 24.2 innings pitched, striking out 23 in his 16 appearances this season.

Texas baseball returns to action Wednesday (tomorrow) at 12:30 pm CST against the Kansas Jayhawks in the Big 12 Conference Tournament in Oklahoma City. We’ll have a preview for you here at BON, so stay tuned!