FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Sacred Heart University outfielder Keith Klebart (Orange, Conn.) and shortstop Zack Short (Hurley, N.Y.) were named to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American Team by Collegiate Baseball, it was announced Wednesday morning. The duo mark the first Pioneer honorees since Nick Leiningen was selected to the team following the 2011 season.
Short, a First-Team All-NEIBA and Second-Team All-NEC selection, was spectacular for the Pioneers during his rookie campaign. He hit .324 on the year, second on the roster and eighth in the NEC, with 13 of his 66 hits going for extra bases, the hit total ranking fourth in the conference. Short reached base 42 percent of the time, reaching safely in a team-best 47 games, and ranked third in the league with a .417 on-base percentage, including 30 walks, good for second in the league.
"As a freshman Zack showed a maturity beyond his years" said Pioneer head coach Nick Giaquinto." To play shortstop and and bat third in the order is a tall task for a freshman and Zack was one of our most consistent guys all year."
Twice named the NEC Rookie of the Week in 2014, Short started 56 of 57 games the Pioneers played. He scored a team-best 43 runs, good for fifth in the NEC, and finished the year with 26 RBI. Short also swiped 11 bags during his rookie season.
Klebart, a Second-Team All-NEC honoree, played in 51 games for the Pioneers and hit .298 for the campaign. Of his 51 hits, he had 10 doubles and two triples, resulting in a slugging percentage of .380. Klebart, the March 24 NEC Rookie of the Week, drove in 19 runs and scored 21 times on the year. He finished the season with a .980 fielding percentage, with 170 putouts and 24 assists against only four errors.
"Keith did a great job of in a variety of roles throughout the course of the season both offensively and defensively," Giaquinto said. "Keith's steady performance was a big part of our teams success."
Klebart and Short helped the Pioneers finished the 2014 season with a 29-28 record, after reaching the NEC Championship for the sixth consecutive year. Sacred Heart finished third in the NEC regular season standings.