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Four Louisville baseball players earn All-ACC honors

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 02 Notre Dame at Louisville Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

From U of L:

The University of Louisville baseball program had four student-athletes earn All-ACC recognition as the all-conference teams were announced by the league on Monday.

Henry Davis was a first team selection at catcher, while Cooper Bowman was on the second team at second base. Alex Binelas and Christian Knapczyk were voted to the third team at first base and shortstop, respectively. Knapczyk was also one of 12 players named to the ACC All-Freshman Team.

Davis turned in a tremendous regular season campaign, starting 47 of the 48 games for the Cardinals and leading the team with a .366 batting average. Davis finished with 12 home runs, 44 RBIs and more walks than strikeouts. He also stole a career-high 10 bases after having just one in his career coming into 2021. Behind the plate, Davis threw out 46 percent (13-of-28) of potential base stealers. The Bedford, N.Y., native led the conference in on-base percentage and ranked inside the top 10 in batting average, hits, walks, RBIs, total bases and slugging percentage.

Bowman made a strong impact in his first season with the Cardinals after transferring in from Iowa Western C.C. The sophomore posted a .295 average for the season with seven doubles, eight home runs and 39 runs scored. Bowman recorded a pair of leadoff home runs at Georgia Tech and Clemson and one of two multi-home run games by the Cardinals this season, leaving the yard twice against Murray State. He also swiped 16 bases, the third-most in the ACC.

After getting off to a slow start to the season, Binelas turned it on at the plate and racked up the offensive production numbers in the middle of the Louisville lineup. The sophomore hit a career-high 15 home runs with 56 RBIs and was one of two players to start all 48 games for the Cardinals. Binelas homered in all three games of the weekend series at Virginia and then homered in four consecutive games a short time later. His 15 home runs were fifth-most in the ACC, while his 56 RBIs were the league’s second-best total.

Knapczyk started just once in the first eight games in 2021, but was inserted into the starting lineup at Georgia Tech on March 5 and became a permanent fixture at the shortstop position. The freshman closed out his first regular season with a .305 batting average, nine doubles, two triples and 18 RBIs. He also scored 24 runs and tallied six stolen bases. Knapczyk opened up his collegiate career by recording a hit in 23 of his first 26 games.

The announcement of the conference’s awards precedes the start of the 2021 ACC Championship, which is set to begin on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C. The Cardinals are the No. 7 seed and will play 11th-seeded Clemson on Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET before taking on second-seeded Georgia Tech at 3 p.m. ET on Thursday as part of pool play.

The winner of each of the four pools will advance to the Saturday semifinals with the championship scheduled for Sunday.