Four Cougars named to All-WCC squad

(Photo by BYU Photo/Bella Torgerson)

SAN BRUNO, Calif. —Outfielders Jaycob Brugman and Jacob Hannemann, and infielders Adam Law and Brock Whitney of BYU were named to the All-West Coast Conference squad Wednesday.

In addition to being named to the 25-member all-league team, Hannemann was named WCC Freshman of the Year. Hannemann was one of two freshmen on the All-WCC squad and was also named to the 10-member All-WCC Freshman team along with teammate Hayden Nielsen, a shortstop.

"I'm extremely happy for all of our players who were recognized for their tremendous seasons," BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. "Adam, Brock and Jaycob stepped up this year and carried us at times. Each one of them has consistently gotten timely hits, played great defense, and were a stabilizing force for our team. This team would not have had the success it's had without each one of these guys rising to the occasion."

Nielsen also joined two teammates for honorable mention All-WCC: relief pitcher Matt Milke and Desmond Poulson.

Brugman, who leads the team with 10 home runs, is a junior from Phoenix, Ariz., and was Freshman of the Year when BYU was in the Mountain West Conference.

Hannemann, who is on a seven-game hitting streak, leads the team with seven triples and 50 runs scored, is from Alpine, Utah, and has a difficult decision to make next month about whether to enter the Major League Baseball draft because he is also a cornerback on BYU’s football team.

"The season Jacob Hannemann had speaks for itself, this team goes as Jacob goes," Littlewood said. "Jacob is a dynamic athlete and it's been fun to just sit back and watch him do his thing. I'm excited to see what the future will bring him and I'm grateful the other coaches recognized his great season."

 Hannemann led all WCC freshmen with a .380 batting average during WCC play, ripping 15 extra-base hits and scoring 26 runs. Hannemann slugged .630, posted a .426 on-base percentage, and stole seven bases in eight attempts against WCC opponents.  Hannemann is the first Cougar to earn Freshman of the Year accolades from the WCC head coaches.

Law, who leads the team with a current 13-game hitting streak, 73 hits, 14 stolen bases, a .376 batting average and a .452 on-base percentage, is a junior third baseman from Provo, Utah, and hopes to follow the footsteps of his father and grandfather into pro baseball.

Whitney, who has committed only one error in 517 chances as BYU’s first baseman, is a junior from South Jordan, Utah.

Nielsen, who along with Whitney has a four-game hitting streak, is from Spanish Fork, Utah, and has started all 50 of BYU’s games at shortstop.

"I love Hayden's approach to the game - he loves to play, is consistent in every way, and will not allow himself to fail," Littlewood said. "I believe his defense alone was sufficient to enable him to make the all-freshmen team, but add the way he swung the bat in conference play and it turned into a no-brainer."

Milke, who has five saves this season, a 3-1 record and a team-leading 2.09 earned run average, is a senior from Chula Vista, Calif.

"Matt established himself as an end-of-the-game guy for us this year and appeared in half of our conference games this season," Littlewood said. "Every time Matt took the mound the game was on the line and nearly every time he got the job done. He was clearly our go-to guy this year and happy the coaches in the WCC recognized Matt for his accomplishments."

Poulson, who is BYU’s No. 1 starter and has a 7-2 record with a 2.85 ERA, is a junior from Taylorsville, Utah.

"Desmond was the heart and soul of our pitching staff. Week in and week out he faced every opposing team's number one guy and every outing he gave our team a chance to win."