MINNEAPOLIS – For the first time in school history the Gallaudet University baseball program will begin a new season with a D3baseball.com preseason All-American on the Bison squad as the national website announced its 2012 teams on Tuesday.
Sophomore William Bissell (Brewer, Maine) was selected as an honorable mention preseason All-American by D3baseball.com, as the website named a first, second and honorable mention teams. In total 54 players were picked to one of the three teams. There are 379 teams that play at the NCAA Division III level for baseball. Bissell is the lone representative from the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) or North Atlantic Conference (NAC).
Bissell became the first Bison to be selected to the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings NCAA Division III All-American teams as he was named to the third team as a freshman last year. He was also a first team ABCA All-South Region selection and was the 2011 NEAC West Division Player of the Year and a first team all-conference outfielder. Bissell is the first All-American player under Gallaudet head coach Curtis Pride.
The Maine native led Gallaudet to its best season as a program last year as the Bison recorded a record of 17-25 breaking the program wins mark of 16 set back in 1899. GU made its debut in the NEAC where it posted a winning record (8-6) and was the No. 3 seed in the NEAC West Division tournament. Bissell, a red-shirt freshman, had his 2010 season cut short due to a season ending injury.
He led the entire NEAC/NAC in seven different statistical offensive categories. 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 including on base percentage (10th overall), batting average (22nd), slugging percentage (28th), triples (68th), doubles (74th), total bases (108th) and RBI (112th). 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.
Gallaudet will begin its 2012 campaign at home a month from tomorrow on Saturday, Feb. 18, against preseason ranked No. 17 Salisbury University, a College World Series team last season that went 34-14, as the first game of the doubleheader is slated for noon.