The 2021 SUNY Old Westbury Panther baseball team apparently knows its way around the books as well as it does the bases. The Panther baseball team excelled academically this past year, receiving a 2020-2021 Team Academic Excellence Award from the American Baseball Coaches Association. This marks the second consecutive year the team earned the honor.
"I am very proud of my team as we pride ourselves on getting recognized for our academic accomplishments for a second year in a row," said Head Baseball Coach Rod Stephan. “It's phenomenal to see that our student-athletes are excelling in the classroom and on the field."
In all, ABCA recognized teams from every level of college and high school baseball with this year's award, which highlights programs coached by ABCA members that posted a GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale for the entire 2020-21 academic year. In 2020-21, the Panthers compiled a cumulative GPA of 3.10.
Along with their academic success, the Panther baseball players excelled in competition this season as well. After compiling an 11-4 regular season against a schedule reduced due to COVID-19, SUNY Old Westbury earned the second seed in the 2021 Skyline Conference Championships, ultimately earning its way to the finals, where they dropped a dramatic 3-2 decision in 10 innings against top-seeded U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
More information about the Panther baseball team is available on the SUNY Old Westbury Panther athletics website.
The American Baseball Coaches Association has a long tradition of recognizing the achievements of baseball coaches and student-athletes. The ABCA/Rawlings All-America Teams are the nation's oldest, founded in 1949, and the ABCA's awards program also includes the ABCA/Rawlings All-Region Awards, the ABCA/Diamond Sports Regional & National Coaches of the Year and several other major awards such as the ABCA Hall of Fame and Dave Keilitz Ethics in Coaching Award.