MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University sophomore designated hitter/right-handed pitcher Braden Zarbnisky has been named the District II Player of the Year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA), the organization announced.
Zarbnisky is just the second Mountaineer in program history to earn NCBWA District Player of the Year accolades, joining Jedd Gyorko, who was recognized in 2009 and 2010. Zarbnisky, one of eight District Players of the Year, is the only player from the Big 12 to be honored.
As a key component of a WVU team that earned an NCAA Tournament berth for the first time since 1996, Zarbnisky has earned several regional and national honors. A John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award finalist, he also has been named to the All-Big 12 First Team and the Big 12 All-Tournament Team.
As one of the nation’s top two-way players, the Marietta, Georgia, native led West Virginia with six wins and six saves on the mound and also paced the team with a .336 batting average and a .417 on-base percentage.
On the mound, Zarbnisky earned a team-high-tying six wins and also led the team with six saves in 23 appearances. He posted a 2.75 ERA, second-best on the team. He allowed just 12 earned runs on 35 hits in 39.1 innings pitched with 46 strikeouts.
While playing in 46 games at the plate, Zarbnisky hit a team-best .336 with 42 hits and was a perfect 12-fo-12 on the basepaths. He drove in 12 runs with three doubles and hit his first career home run in his sophomore season. Zarbnisky drew 17 walks and had a .417 on-base percentage.
Zarbnisky and the Mountaineers saw record-breaking success in 2017. While making its 12th NCAA Tournament in program history and first since 1996, West Virginia won 36 games and reached the NCAA Regional Final for the third time in team history. WVU placed fourth in the Big 12 Conference, the No. 1 RPI conference in the country, and reached the Big 12 Championship semifinals for the second consecutive season.
Cover Photo Credit: Jeff Ruff, BGS
Press Release Courtesy-WVU Sports Communications