Rio Grande’s Surrell named preseason All-American


By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing



Rio Grande’s Clayton Surrell, left, was among those named to the 2020 NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Association Preseason All-America Team on Wednesday by the NAIA-BCA All-American Committee.

Rio Grande’s Clayton Surrell, left, was among those named to the 2020 NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Association Preseason All-America Team on Wednesday by the NAIA-BCA All-American Committee.


Courtesy|Tara Gerlach

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — University of Rio Grande redshirt sophomore second baseman Clayton Surrell was among those named to the 2020 NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Association Preseason All-America Team.

The 17-player list was selected by the NAIA-BCA All-American Committee and released Wednesday afternoon.

Surrell, who is one of seven non-seniors on the list, earned the same preseason honor last year. His 2020 campaign got off to a slow start before ending with a injury just eight games into the schedule.

He hit just .154 with three doubles, two runs batted in and three stolen bases last Spring.

As a freshman in 2019, Surrell was an Honorable Mention All-American pick after batting .368 with one home run and 48 runs batted in for head coach Brad Warnimont’s club. He also had 21 doubles, two triples and 23 stolen bases, while tallying a .491 slugging percentage and a .455 on-base percentage.

The Carroll, Ohio native also saw action as a pitcher during his freshman season, posting a 4-2 record with a 3.89 earned run average and one save in 14 appearances on the mound. He allowed 42 hits and 25 runs – 17 of which were earned – over 39-1/3 innings, while striking out 35.

No other player from a River States Conference school was named to the list, which included four starting pitchers, a reliever, two catchers, a utility selection, a designated hitter, four outfielders and a player at each infield position.

In addition to Surrell, the list includes eight NAIA Preseason All-America selections from a year ago in Mason Schwellenbach of Central Methodist (Mo.), Alex Huey of Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.), Colton Williams of Science & Arts (Okla.), Andres Ugarte of Reinhardt (Ga.), Mitchell Lundholm of Fisher (Mass.), Payton Robertson of LSU Shreveport (La.), Josh Sears of Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.), and Luis Pelayo of Science & Arts (Okla.). Williams, Lundholm and Sears are former NAIA First Team All-America Selections.

Williams was named the NAIA Pitcher of the Year for his efforts in 2019 and recorded a 0.61 ERA in five starts in 2020. In the shortened season, the southpaw went 5-0 and allowed just two earned runs in 29.2 innings pitched.

Lundholm hit .466 last season over the course of 18 games. The first baseman ranked No. 3 in the nation with 1.89 hits per game and was ranked in the top 10 nationwide in seven statistical categories a year ago.

Sears returns to Freed-Hardeman looking to be a three-time, NAIA First-Team All-America selection. The junior has been a first-team selection in both 2018 and 2019. Last season, the slugger hit .350 in 19 games and recorded four home runs and 16 RBI over the course of the year.

Science & Arts and Freed-Hardeman led the group with two selections each.

Rio Grande’s Clayton Surrell, left, was among those named to the 2020 NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Association Preseason All-America Team on Wednesday by the NAIA-BCA All-American Committee.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2020/12/web1_12.19-RIO-Surrell.jpgRio Grande’s Clayton Surrell, left, was among those named to the 2020 NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Association Preseason All-America Team on Wednesday by the NAIA-BCA All-American Committee. Courtesy|Tara Gerlach

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.