St. Louis, Mo., May 24, 2019 – Four Bears from the Washington University in St. Louis baseball team were honored with All-Central Region honors by D3baseball.com including Pitcher and Rookie of the Year accolades by senior John Howard and Caleb Durbin, as announced by the website Friday evening. The American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings Regional awards were announced Tuesday, May 28.
Howard earned the Central Region Pitcher of the Year honor for the second straight season and he was joined on the All-Central First Team by junior John Brinkman, who was awarded for his versatility by earning first team recognition as a utility player. Durbin and sophomore Ryan Loutos were awarded All-Central Second Team honors.
Howard, Brinkman, Durbin and Loutos were all honored by the ABCA/Rawlings as well with Central All-Region honors. Brinkman and Howard were named to the First Team, while Durbin earned Second Team and Loutos was selected to the Third Team.
Howard garnered the Central Region Pitcher of the Year and First Team honors by D3baseball.com for the second consecutive season. He is only the second Bear to receive Central Region Pitcher of the Year honors and becomes the first member of WashU's program to receive the achievement more than once.
Howard concluded the season with an 11-1 record with a 1.23 earned run average, which also netted him the University Athletic Association (UAA) Pitcher of the Year award as well. He led the UAA in wins, ERA, innings pitched (87.2) and strikeouts (100). Perhaps more impressively, Howard's ERA ranked eighth in Division III, strikeout total ranked 10th and his strikeout-to-walk ratio was 13th (7.69). His 1.78 career ERA ranks second all-time in school history.
After two seasons of already establishing himself as one of the Bears best hitters, Brinkman's batting numbers continued to ascend. He totaled career-best figures in hits (70), runs (35), home runs (three), runs batted in (51), stolen bases (nine), batting average (.417), on-base percentage (.464) and slugging percentage (.536). In addition, the 2019 UAA Position Player of the Year was lights out on the mound pitching 11.2 innings while totaling five saves and two victories while striking out 17 and not allowing a single earned run. Brinkman finished atop the UAA in batting average and RBI and finished second in saves. He had top-50 numbers in Division III in hits, RBI, sacrifice flies and ranked as the ninth toughest batter to strikeout.
Durbin also earned the UAA Rookie of the Year award while compiling 62 hits, 14 doubles, four triples, two home runs, 51 runs, 26 RBI and 18 stolen bases during his freshman campaign. He led the UAA in runs scored, finished second in hits and stolen bases. The freshman shortstop concluded the season with a .953 fielding percentage committing four of nine errors in the first seven games of the season and contributing to 11 double plays. Durbin ended the year with a .390/.479/.566 slash line.
Loutos, a 2018 All-Central Third Team honoree, moved up to the second team despite finishing the season with a 2-1 record as he boasted career-high numbers in innings pitched (71), strikeouts (92) and ERA (1.77). The Bears 34 wins this season are tied for the most in program history and WashU played to a 10-1-1 record when Loutos was on the mound. He pitched the Bears to be in position of victory nearly every time they played, including four contests which he reached double figures in strikeouts. Loutos punched out a personal-best 15 batters in a 2-1 victory over Monmouth on April 28, which was the most by a Bear since the 2010 season. In Division III rankings he ended the year 17th in strikeouts, 30th in strikeouts per nine innings (11.66) and 40th in WHIP (1.00).