MT. PLEASANT, Mich. – The 2011 American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings NCAA Division III All-American Teams were announced this week and Gallaudet University freshman outfielder William Bissell (Brewer, Maine) was named to the third team. Bissell is the lone freshman on any of the three All-American teams and is the first All-American player under GU head coach Curtis Pride, who completed his third year at the helm this past season.
Gallaudet has never had a player on the NCAA Division III All-American first team since these honors began back in 1976 according to the NCAA Baseball Record Book. Bissell is believed to be the first Bison to ever garner All-American honors in baseball while at Gallaudet.
Bissell led Gallaudet to its best season as a program as the Bison recorded a record of 18-24 breaking the program wins mark of 16 set back in 1899. GU made its debut in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) where it posted a winning record (8-6) and was the No. 3 seed in the NEAC West Division tournament. Bissell was named the NEAC West Division Player of the Year and was selected to the all-conference first team. He was recently named to the ABCA All-South Region first team earlier this week. Bissell, a red-shirt freshman, had his 2010 season cut short due to a season ending injury.
He led the entire NEAC/North Atlantic Conference (NAC) in seven different statistical offensive categories as of May 24. He was first in batting average (.438), slugging percentage (.711), on base percentage (.547), RBI (41), doubles (15), triples (four) and total bases (91). The freshman was also second in home runs (four), hits (56), fourth in walks (24), sixth in runs (33) and hit by pitch (eight). Bissell was also ranked nationally by the NCAA for Division III in many different categories as of May 22 including on base percentage (10th overall), batting average (22nd), slugging percentage (30th), triples (67th), doubles (71st), total bases (103rd) and RBI (109th). Bissell also swiped 14 bases out of 19 chances as he started all 42 games. In the field he made 124 putouts, collected eight assists and posted a .964 fielding percentage.
Junior pitcher Brian Gasser from Marietta College, the 2011 NCAA Division III national champions, along with senior Jim Schult from Eastern Connecticut State University were named Co-Players of the Year.
Gallaudet faced three schools this past season that had players on the 2011 All-American teams including Christopher Newport University, Frostburg State University and Salisbury University. Bissell is the lone representative from the NEAC on the All-American teams.
Bissell is the third All-American during the 2010-11 athletic season for Gallaudet University as he joins women's basketball senior Easter Faafiti (Pittsburg, Calif.) and men's track and field sophomore Darius Flowers (Birmingham, Ala.), who were also honored by their respective coaches associations earlier this year.