Three Aggies Earn First-Team Honors
GREENSBORO (May 16, 2017) – Adan Ordonez (5-foot-7, 180-pound junior catcher, Clermont, Fla.) has been a mainstay in the North Carolina A&T baseball team's resurgence over the past three seasons. Myles Sowell (6-2, 175-pound JR center fielder, Greensboro, N.C.) got a chance to utilize his speed more in 2017 by making more contact at the plate, and Cutter Dyals (5-11, 200-pound JR RHP, Tampa, Fla.) has been remarkable as a relief pitcher in his first season with the Aggies. All three men were named first-team All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference on Tuesday. Greg White (6-1, 190-pound JR left fielder, Greensboro, N.C.) and Brandon Melendez (5-9, 175-pound JR shortstop, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) were named to the second team.
“All three men are talented players,” said N.C. A&T head coach Ben Hall about his three first teamers. “All three play their positions very well, and they all play those positions at a high level. They have been big in the success we've had so far this year.”
Ordonez has been collecting accolades and awards since he arrived at N.C. A&T. Brought in originally to be a middle infielder, an injury to the Aggies starting catcher in 2015 led Ordonez to be become the Aggies starter at catcher. He has been the top catcher in the MEAC ever since. Going into the 2017 MEAC Baseball Championship Tournament in Salisbury, Md., this week, Ordonez is batting .302 with 11 doubles, six home runs and 50 RBI. He also has a .484 slugging percentage, a .370 on-base percentage and has only struck out 10 times in 159 at-bats. He also has 13 multiple-RBI games.
Ordonez leads the conference in RBI and is third in home runs. Nationally, he is 10th in the nation in toughest to strike out and 60th in RBI. For the second straight season, he was placed on the Johnny Bench Award Watch List for best overall catcher in the nation. His defensive prowess proves he is an excellent overall catcher. Ordonez owns a .995 fielding percentage, which leads the MEAC. He has also thrown out 10 base stealers. He has a career .984 fielding percentage. Ordonez is a three-time All-MEAC selection, earning his second first-team honor on Tuesday.
“Adan has spent three years doing what he does for us and that's putting in maximum effort,” said Hall. “He is one of the best clutch hitters I've seen and his work ethic and ability level is off the charts.”
Sowell has had a career year for the Aggies. He is batting .350 with five doubles, four triples, three home runs and 10 stolen bases. He also has a .490 slugging percentage and a .402 on-base percentage. Sowell improved by going from 51 strikeouts last season to only 29 this season. For most of the season, Sowell was batting better than .400 and at one point during the season he was fifth in the nation in batting. He has 15 multiple-hit games and ranks 59th in the nation in triples this season.
“Myles has come into his own as a baseball player,” said Hall. “He worked extremely hard during the offseason to improve as a hitter. Myles is a dynamic player and a tremendous weapon when he gets on his base. What he did this year was cut down on his strikeouts which made him a better hitter because any time he hits the ball on the ground, he has chance to get on base with that tremendous speed.”
Dyals has piqued the interest of MLB scouts with his ability to throw strikes and keep hitters off balance. Dyals has an impressive 0.56 earned run average. Out of the 18 runners he inherited, only six have scored. In 18 appearances, he is 5-0 this season with seven saves and 35 strikeouts in 32 innings pitched. Opponents are only hitting .181 against Dyals.
“He is one of the most dominant pitchers I've seen pitch in the back end of a game,” said Hall. “He has a highly competitive nature to the way he plays the game, which plays a major part in how successful he is.”
Both White and Melendez are in their first season with the Aggies and have made major impacts. White is hitting .343 with 11 doubles, 16 RBI and a team-leading 15 stolen bases. White also has a .425 on-base percentage and a .422 slugging percentage. Melendez leads the Aggies in hitting at .372. He also has eight doubles, a .467 slugging percentage and a team-leading .460 on-base percentage which has led to him stealing 10 bases in 12 attempts.
The Aggies open the MEAC tournament noon Wednesday at Perdue Stadium in Salisbury, Md., against tournament host Maryland Eastern Shore (12-38, 9-15 MEAC).