Six Baseball Aces earn All-MVC Conference Honors

Purple Aces baseball
Purple Aces baseball(WFIE)
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 11:38 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The University of Evansville baseball team had six different players earn all-Missouri Valley Conference accolades on Monday night, as the league announced its annual post-season awards at the MVC Tournament banquet in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Fifth-year first baseman Chase Hug, junior second baseman Kip Fougerousse, and graduate outfielder Eric Roberts earned first team all-MVC honors, with redshirt junior closer Nate Hardman capturing second team all-Valley plaudits. Junior shortstop Simon Scherry and junior starting pitcher Nick Smith both earned honorable mention all-MVC honors, with Scherry and Hug also being named to the MVC’s All-Defensive Team.

Hug earned first team all-MVC honors at first baseman while ranking in the league’s top 10 in 10 different offensive categories, including hits, doubles, triples, home runs, and RBI. Hug will bring a team-best .315 average into Wednesday’s MVC Tournament opener against Southern Illinois, and he has not gone more than two games without a base hit since the first week of the regular-season. Hug also was named to the MVC’s All-Defensive Team at first base after a season in which he committed just one error in a league-best 487 defensive chances.

Fougerousse has been one of the top newcomers in the MVC this year, ranking eighth in the league in home runs with 12, while also ranking 11th in RBI with 42. Fougerousse has been one of the hottest hitters of late, hitting safely in 21 of the last 24 games, and he had at least one multi-hit game against eight of the nine Valley opponents this year.

Roberts earned first-team all-MVC accolades in a record year, as he broke the UE single-season home run record and currently leads the Valley with 21 home runs. Overall, Roberts ranks among the Valley’s top 10 in 10 different categories, including leading the league in both home runs and RBI (58). He is trying to join Tanner Craig from the COVID-shortened 2020 season as the only two Purple Aces to lead the Valley in both home runs and RBI in the same season.

Hardman captured second team all-MVC honors in a season in which he ranks among the national leaders in saves. Hardman will enter this week’s tournament ranked 14th in NCAA Division I baseball with 10 saves, and his 10 saves rank sixth-best all-time in UE history for a single-season. In tied games and save situations, he has been almost untouchable, as he is 1-1 with a 1.19 ERA and 10 saves in those situations.

Scherry earned honorable mention all-MVC and MVC All-Defensive Team honors at shortstop for a steady season which has seen him hit .290 in league play (.278 overall), while posting a .971 fielding percentage with 156 defensive assists, which ranks second in the Valley entering the tournament. Scherry caught fire over the season’s final five games, hitting .429 (9-for-21) during a team-best five-game hitting streak, and he has closed to within five hits of 200 in his UE career.

Smith was UE’s final honoree, as he nabbed honorable mention all-MVC status. Despite battling some arm discomfort during the month of April, Smith has gone 4-3 with a 4.77 ERA this season, striking out 64 men in 71.2 innings of work. Smith showed what he is capable of in one of UE’s biggest wins of the year, holding nationally-ranked Indiana State to a single unearned run on five base hits in UE’s 2-1 win over the Sycamores.

Evansville will enter the MVC Tournament with a 33-22 overall record. UE will open MVC Tournament play at 8 a.m. central time on Wednesday morning against long-time rival Southern Illinois. Every game of the MVC Tournament can be seen live on ESPN+, and every UE game can be heard live in the Tri-State area on 107.1 FM-WJPS and the Old National Bank/Purple Aces Sports Network from Learfield.