Kentucky pitcher Dustin Beggs has been named Academic All-America by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), the organization announced Friday afternoon.
Beggs, a senior righthander from Roswell, Ga., was a third-team selection. He has graduated from UK with a 3.69 grade-point average as an Integrated Strategic Communications major. On the mound, Beggs led the team in victories with a 9-2 record and he had a 3.01 earned-run average. Beggs worked 98.2 innings this season and had 80 strikeouts, leading the team in both categories, and opponents had a mere .215 batting average against him. Additionally, Beggs was named the 2016 Tony Gwynn Classic Most Outstanding Pitcher and named Mid-Season First-Team All-America by Perfect Game after becoming the first player in UK history to win his first seven starts of a season. He also was on the midseason watch list for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award for the top player in college baseball. In addition, he was chosen for the Southeastern Conference All-Defensive Team by league coaches.
A junior-college transfer, Beggs posted a 16-6 record in his two years with the Wildcats – the second-most wins ever by a two-year player. He career winning percentage of .727 ranks third in school history and his 3.32 career ERA is seventh in UK annals.
Beggs is the seventh baseball player in UK history to earn Academic All-America honors, the first since outfielder Austin Cousino in 2014.
CoSIDA began the distinguished Academic All-America program in the 1950’s, and since then, has honored thousands of deserving student-athletes from numerous sports and across all divisions with these elite Academic All-America scholar-athlete honors. Currently, CoSIDA honors Academic All-Americans in 12 sports. To be nominated, a student-athlete must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.30 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) at his current institution.
For more information on the Kentucky baseball team, follow @UKBaseball on Twitter and Facebook or visit UKathletics.com.
by Tony Neely