Ronnie Shaeffer and Brian Hernandez helped lead the UC Irvine baseball team to the brink of a College World Series berth. They both recently received prestigious honors.
Shaeffer and Hernandez have been named 2011 Rawlings Division I Gold Glove winners by the American Baseball Coaches Assn.
Shaeffer, the Los Angeles Regional Tournament Most Outstanding Player, was one of the top catchers in the nation, holding opposing teams to a .429 stolen-base percentage. Shaeffer cut down 36 of 63 stolen-base attempts, including snuffing out a season-high seven consecutive attempts. Also an All-Big West Conference first-team selection, Shaeffer held a .994 fielding percentage. Offensively, he batted .264 with 55 hits and 31runs batted in during his junior year.
Hernandez, a third baseman and pitcher, was named the Big West’s inaugural Defensive Player of the Year after posting a .972 fielding percentage at the hot corner. As a senior he totaled 162 assists, second on the team, and committed just six errors. Hernandez earned all-conference first-team honors as a third baseman and as a utility player after leading the team offensively in average at .341 and recording a team-best 86 hits while driving in 32. He also made his collegiate pitching debut and went 3-2 with a 3.29 earned-run average. The right-hander struck out 23 in 27 1/3 innings and allowed 10 earned runs on the season. Hernandez was a 27th-round draft pick by theLos Angeles Angels.
The honor is the first for both players and gives UCI two Gold Glove winners for the first time in program history. The first Anteater to win an ABCA Gold Glove award was Ben Orloff in 2009.
All Gold Glove Award recipients distinguished themselves as the best defensive players at their respective positions throughout the course of the season.
— From staff reports