Shane Lewis named Sun Belt Player and Newcomer of the Year
Four Trojans earn All-Sun Belt Honors
TROY, Ala. (WSFA) - Troy’s redshirt sophomore Shane Lewis was named the 2023 Sun Belt Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year, while a total of four Trojans garnered All-Sun Belt honors, the league office announced on Monday.
On top of Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year honors, Lewis earned a spot on the All-Sun Belt first team as an outfielder. Joining Lewis on the first team are third baseman Caleb Bartolero and starting pitcher Grayson Stewart. In addition, relief pitcher Noah Manning earned All-Sun Belt Second Team recognition.
After winning both Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year, Lewis becomes only the third-ever Player to win both awards in the same season and the first since 2003 (Billy Becher). In addition, it is the first time since 2018 (Joey Denison) that a Trojan has taken home Player of the Year honors, and the first since 2017, the Newcomer of the Year award has gone to a Trojan (Andrew Crane).
The four All-Sun Belt selections are the most since Troy had five in 2019, with it being the first time since 2013 that three Trojans have received first-team honors in the same season.
“First and foremost, I could not be prouder of every single player on our team for their efforts through the first 56 games,” head coach Skylar Meade said. “They all know we have a lot of work left to go. We strive to have players receive individual recognition from our league, and our four players who have won awards this year are incredibly deserving.”
One of the top hitters in the country and an NCBWA Dick Howser Award Semifinalist, Lewis has had a historic season for Troy. His 27 home runs are second in the nation, and he became the Trojan record holder for most home runs by a Troy player in a single season; it is the first time since 2010 a Trojan has hit more than 20 home runs in a season and most in the Sun Belt Conference since 2009.
Starting the season as the Trojans’ Sunday starter, Grayson Stewart has thrust himself into Troy’s Friday ace. With nine wins on the season, Stewart has already surpassed his win total from last season by three games and has accumulated the most wins by a Trojan pitcher in a year since 2021. In addition, he has seven quality starts to his name, which is the most of any Troy pitcher this season. His 3.20 ERA is the lowest on the team and ranks fourth in the Sun Belt Conference.
“Stewart being First-team all-conference as a starting pitcher is another example of what being a fighter and a true warrior is about,” Meade said. “He has been locked in each and every time out, and we are so thankful he is a Trojan when he is on the hill each Week.
Bartolero was named a captain in his final season with the Trojans and capped off a decorated career at Troy with a stellar senior season. Bartolero was one of three Trojans to start and play all 56 of Troy’s games this season. With 17 doubles this season leading the team, Bartolero is one of only six Trojans to hit 50 doubles in his career. Bartolero hit .300 on the season with a .949 OPS. His 66 hits were the most on the Trojans, giving him 201 hits in his career, ranking in the top 10 for most in a career in program history. His 14 home runs this season were more than any of his previous four years combined, and with 53 RBIs this season, that is the most he has had in a single season as a Trojan.
“Bartolero being the first team all-conference third baseman is truly incredible,” Meade said. “Considering he has never been a third baseman until this season. His consistency with the bat this season has been great to watch, and I can’t wait to see what he does the rest of the way.”
In his first season with the Troy Trojans, Manning has been a staple of the Trojan bullpen and a closer that has been relied on all season long. His 11 saves lead the Sun Belt Conference and are second most in program history for most in a single season needing only one more to tie the record. Manning has totaled seven saves against conference opponents, which is half of Troy’s Sun Belt-leading 14 on the season. Manning has appeared in 16 conference games in relief which leads the conference making 30 appearances overall which is the most by any pitcher on the Troy team.
“Noah Manning being second-team all-conference is such a credit to his resilience, ability to compete, and true dedication to do anything to help this team; we are so happy for him,” Meade said.
The Trojans will take on the No. 6 seed Appalachian State in the second round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament on Wednesday, May 24, at 9 a.m. from Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery.
2023 Sun Belt Conference Baseball postseason awards
Player of the Year
Shane Lewis, Troy (RS So., OF – Vicksburg, Miss.)
Pitcher of the Year
Tanner Hall, Southern Miss (Jr., P – Zachary, La.)
Newcomer of the Year
Shane Lewis, Troy (RS So., OF – Vicksburg, Miss.)
Freshman of the Year
Caden Bodine, Coastal Carolina (Fr., C – Haddon Heights, N.J.)
Tony Robichaux Leadership Award
JP Tighe, Georgia Southern (Sr., C/OF – Dalton, Ga.)
Ron Maestri Coach of the Year
Gary Gilmore, Coastal Carolina
All-Sun Belt First Team
P Xander Hamilton, App State (Jr., P – Raleigh, N.C.)
P Tanner Hall, Southern Miss (Jr., P – Zachary, La.)
P Grayson Stewart, Troy (RS So., P – Dothan, Ala.)
RP Teddy Sharkey, Coastal Carolina (Jr., RP – Wall, N.J.)
C Caden Bodine, Coastal Carolina (Fr., C – Haddon Heights, N.J.)
1B Hunter Fitz-Gerald, Old Dominion (Jr., 1B – Margate, Fla.)
2B Jesse Sherrill, Georgia Southern (Sr., 2B – Pensacola, Fla.)
SS Dustin Dickerson, Southern Miss (Jr., SS – Laurel, Miss.)
3B Caleb Bartolero, Troy (Sr., 3B – Woodstock, Ga.)
OF CJ Boyd, App State (So., OF – Lewisville, N.C.)
OF Nick Lucky, Coastal Carolina (Super Sr., OF – Denver, Pa.)
OF Shane Lewis, Troy (RS So., OF – Vicksburg, Miss.)
UT Cameron Jones, Georgia State (Jr., UT – Kathleen, Ga.)
DH Derek Bender, Coastal Carolina (So., DH – Murrells Inlet, S.C.)
All-Sun Belt Second Team
P Ryan Watson, Georgia State (Sr., P – Sugar Hill, Ga.)
P Sam Armstrong, Old Dominion (Jr., P – Wantage, N.J.)
P Levi Wells, Texas State (Jr. P – La Porte, Texas)
RP Noah Manning, Troy (Jr., RP – Minooka, Ill.)
C Julian Brock, Louisiana (Jr., C. – Fulshear, Texas)
1B Zack Beach, Coastal Carolina (Sr., 1B – Mechanicsville, Va.)
2B Payton Eeles, Coastal Carolina (Super Sr., 2B – Acworth, Ga.)
SS Kyle DeBarge, Louisiana (So., SS – Kinder, La.)
3B Danny Lynch, Southern Miss (Sr., 3B – Jupiter, Fla.)
OF Graham Brown, Coastal Carolina (Sr., OF – Middletown, Md.)
OF Fenwick Trimble, James Madison (So., OF – Virginia Beach, Va.)
OF Will Turner, South Alabama (So., OF – Auburn, Ala.)
UT Jack Cone, James Madison (Gr., UT – Fairfax Station, Va.)
DH Max Ryerson, Georgia State (Sr., DH – Conway, S.C.)
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