NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Tulane junior infielder Kody Hoese has been named the 2019 American Athletic Conference Baseball Player of the Year, while being one of four Tulane players named to the league’s annual postseason all-conference teams the league announced on Monday afternoon ahead of the start of the conference tournament in Florida.
The Griffith, Indiana, native leads the Green Wave contingent by being a first team all-conference selection, as pitcher Kaleb Roper, catcher Frankie Niemann and outfielder Hudson Haskin were named second team all-conference.
This is the first all-conference nod for all four players in their Tulane careers, as the Green Wave’s multiple honorees follow the 2016 team for the second-most since joining the American Athletic Conference.
Hoese is the second Tulane player to earn the conference’s top individual award, following Hunter Williams in 2017 who was named the co-player of the year that season. It is the 24th time in program history that a Green Wave player has earned individual league honors stretching back to the Metro Conference and Conference USA.
A semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award and Dick Howser Trophy, Hoese finished the season leading the Green Wave in batting average, hits, doubles, home runs, RBI, runs scored, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and total bases in 2019, ranking in the top 10 nationally in six offensive categories.
Hoese’s .388 batting average, 87 total hits, 69 runs, 177 total bases, .484 on-base percentage and .790 slugging percentage led the American Athletic Conference, as the 23 home runs is a new league record. He also had three individual game high performances in the conference with his five-hit outing against New Orleans and three home run, 13 total base contest against Lamar.
In a stellar freshman campaign, Haskin ended the regular season finishing sixth in the league in hits, third in runs scored, tied for third in doubles, tied for second in triples, ninth in RBI and third in total bases. He also finished the year third in on-base percentage and second in slugging.
Against league foes, the New York native finished with the second-highest batting average ever in the conference at .432, leading the league in hits with 38 and on-base percentage at .536, producing a five-hit game on the road at ECU with 10 total bases which were league individual game highs.
As a redshirt senior, Roper heads into the conference tournament leading Tulane in ERA, innings pitched and strikeouts, while tied for the team lead in wins with six. He ranked in the top 10 in the league in those categories, while being one of five pitchers this year with a complete game in the conference.
Roper struck out eight or more batters in a contest five times on the year, including have a pair of double-digit strikeout games. One of those games was an eight-inning outing where he fanned 11 against USF, allowing just a run on four hits with a walk.
The sophomore Niemann finished third on the team with a .329 batting average after playing in 44 games with 36 starts. He earned 46 hits with 14 doubles, four home runs and 36 RBI, having 13 multi-hit games and 11 multi-RBI games.
Behind the plate Niemann had a fielding percentage of .988 over the course of the year, while in conference he was even better with a percentage of .994.
Tulane opens the 2019 American Athletic Baseball Championship on Tuesday night, taking on the UCF Knights at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida.
Tulane sports information contributed to this story.