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Thomas, Sheridan garner All-America Honors as freshman

Freshman become 12th, 13th players in program history to do so

Courtesy UCF Athletics Communications
Courtesy UCF Athletics Communications

ORLANDO, Fla. – After helping the University of Central Florida make a historic run throughout the 2017 campaign, first baseman Rylan Thomas and left-handed pitcher Joe Sheridan were given Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America honors Wednesday.

Named by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, Thomas and Sheridan became just the 12th and 13th players in UCF program history to be named. This was also just the fourth time in program history that multiple players from the same season were named together. 

Thomas, who belted 14 home runs, broke the UCF rookie record for most homers in a season. He also led the team in out of the park blasts and drove in 53 runs to support his season. Thomas also hit the most home runs by any UCF player since 2012 and hit 11 doubles and scored 46 runs, batting a .303 average for the season.

Thomas also earned the American Athletic Conference Rookie Position Player of the Year accolade and earned Second Team All-Conference honors.

Sheridan shared the spotlight as well, setting a freshman record himself. The left-handed pitcher won 10 games from the rubber and finished the season with a 3.25 ERA, suffering only four losses while striking out 64 batters in 72 innings of work. 

Sheridan's 10 wins ranked 10th overall among all college freshmen and was tied for the lead in the conference, striking out 44 in 45.1 innings of work while going 6-2 with a 3.18 ERA in AAC play.

The Knights, under the first year leadership of coach Greg Lovelady, finished the 2017 season with a 40-22 record, was crowned co-champions of the AAC regular season title with a conference record of 15-9. The Knights also made its first appearance in the NCAA Regional tournament since 2012 when they attended the Tallahassee tournament.