June 27, 2016
It is Hill’s third All-America accolade this year, after he was also named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Freshman All-America Second Team and the 2016 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America Team, as selected by Collegiate Baseball. It is Vera’s first national honor of his career. Both were named to the Big 12 All-Freshman team, while Hill was selected to the All-Big 12 Second Team and Vera to the All-Big 12 Honorable Mention team.
“I am really proud of what Darius and Ivan did this season and I’m really happy to see them rewarded,” said WVU coach Randy Mazey. “Darius was very consistent all year long, and Ivan moving to third base late in the season and playing really well there was a big reason for our success down the stretch. They both worked hard and represented the Mountaineers well, and I’m proud of what they accomplished.”
Hill is coming off a stellar first season at WVU. He led the team with 75 hits, 20 doubles and four triples and was second on the team with a .342 batting average, a .511 slugging percentage, a .420 on-base percentage, 32 walks and 49 runs scored. Hill’s 40 RBIs were third on the team while he added three home runs and six stolen bases. The Dallas native started all 58 games for the Mountaineers, all but one of them in right field.
Hill’s .342 average was ninth in the Big 12 and second among the league’s freshmen. He led the conference in doubles and was tied for fourth in hits, ranking second among Big 12 freshmen. Hill was tied for fifth in triples and tied for sixth in runs scored and was sixth with 112 total bases.
Vera, who started eight games at catcher before starting the final 19 games at third base, led the team with a .381 average and a .437 on-base percentage. He was second with a .493 slugging percentage. Despite playing in 43 games with 37 starts, he was fifth on the team with 51 hits, sixth with 23 RBIs and nine doubles and seventh with 16 walks.
In Big 12 games, Vera’s .375 average was fifth overall and his on-base percentage of .446 was 10th. While he was just shy of the required 2.5 at-bats per WVU’s total games, Vera’s .381 batting average would have been No. 1 in the Big 12 on the year.