CBB: Westmont’s Bush, Crowe named Preseason NAIA All-Americans

Westmont seniors Alex Bush and Ryan Crowe have been named NAIA Preseason All-Americans as chosen by the NAIA Baseball Coaches Association (NAIA-BCA) All-America Committee. Westmont – ranked at #16 in the NAIA Preseason Poll released today – and Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) are the only institutions to have multiple preseason selections.

“I am excited for Alex and Ryan to be recognized in this way,” said Westmont head coach Robert Ruiz. “As a program, we try to not get wrapped up in awards or personnel recognition. Those two guys would be the first to tell you that they care more about how good we can be collectively as a team – which is probably why they put themselves in a position to be recognized in the way that they did.”

Bush, who hails from Menifee, was named to the 17-man team as a first baseman. The second-year captain, who received NAIA All-American honorable mention recognition last year, was the 2015 NAIA Gold Glove winner at first base. He was also the Golden State Athletic Conference Player of the Year and a member of the All-GSAC team.

Bush’s .377 batting average was second in the GSAC to teammate Will Barring (by .0006) who now plays in the N.Y. Mets’ farm system. Bush, who drove in 35 RBIs, tallied 22 extra base hits including eight home runs and four triples. His 56 runs scored established a new Westmont single-season record.

As a fielder, Bush was charged with just one error in 408 opportunities and recorded a .998 fielding percentage.

Bush also pitched for the Warriors during the 2015 season, posting a record of 4-2 and an ERA of 2.59 in 41 2/3 innings of work.

Crowe, who comes from Ladera Ranch, was also an All-GSAC selection in 2015 and a GSAC Gold Glove recipient. The catcher was not charged with a single error in his 37 games played for the Warriors. At the plate, Crowe hit .237 and tallied 15 RBIs.

Asked what these awards say about the program, Ruiz responded, “Hopefully it means that we are developing players in our program. Ultimately, it is a testament to the hard work that our guys are putting in. It is a sign that we can expect to have players that are competing on a national scale – competing academically and competing on the baseball field.”

The Warriors begin the 2016 campaign with a three-game series against Oregon Tech at the end of January. A two o’clock game is schedule for Opening Day on Friday, January 29 with a doubleheader planed the next day beginning at 10:00 a.m.