Washington University in St. Louis senior catcher Kyle Kozak was named to the 2016 American Baseball Coaches’ Association (ABCA)/Rawlings Gold Glove Team, as announced Thursday as part of the opening ceremonies of the 2016 NCAA Division III College World Series in Appleton, Wis. Kozak graduated this month with a BSBA from Olin where he was a finance major.
Kozak is the first Bear to be named to the ABCA/Rawlings NCAA Division III Gold Glove team, which was first recognized in 2007.
“Kyle had an outstanding season behind the plate for us this year. Every baseball person knows that you must be strong at the catching position if you want to have a quality ball club, and Kyle performed at a high level defensively from the beginning to the end,” said first-year head coach Pat Bloom. “He handled all of our pitchers and their variety of repertoires, he blocked everything in front of him, and he was outstanding at controlling the running game. Most importantly, he exhibited the competitive toughness and consistency of focus that the position requires day in and day out.”
Kozak started 46 of 50 games played behind the plate for the Bears, recording a .993 fielding percentage.He committed just two errors and two passed balls in 298 chances. Kozak added 47 assists and seven pickoffs, and threw out 23 of 49 (46.9 percent) runners trying to steal. At the plate, he hit .290 with seven doubles and 21 RBIs.
WashU finished the 2016 season with a 33-18 overall record, one-win shy of the single-season school record, and won the 2016 University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship. The Bears also made their second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance, and won two postseason games for the first time in school history.