Alex Close has phenomenal freshman yearPublished 8:49am Monday, July 30, 2012
By BETH CHAPMAN / Community Columnist
Alex Close graduated from Spain Park High School and went to play baseball for the Liberty Flames.
He had a phenomenal freshman year both on and off the field.
Close was named to three NCAA Division 1 Freshman All-American Teams: the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Team, which included only 32 freshmen from 19 conferences; the prestigious Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American Team by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper; and the Perfect Game Freshman Squad.
He was also named Freshman of the Year in the Big South Conference.
With an impressive season of hitting .304 coupled with 14 home runs, 47 RBIs, and 36 runs scored, it is no wonder Close was named to three All-American teams.
He led the conference in home runs while breaking both the conference and Liberty’s freshman home run records.
His eight doubles and two triples contributed to his team-leading .565 slugging percentage.
Close played in 52 games and started in 49. He had 16 multiple-hit games and 14 multiple-RBI games.
He had four games with four or more RBIs. During his 11-game hitting streak he tied the longest consecutive game hitting streak in Liberty’s history.
During the Big South Tournament, where Liberty came within two runs of advancing to an NCAA Regional berth, Close hit .375 with 5 RBIs, 4 runs scored and two home runs.
He was one of three Liberty players named to the All-tournament team.
Liberty’s team posted a 41-19 record this spring.
They won 40 or more games for the second time in three seasons and won 30 or more games for the eighth year.
Close excelled in the classroom with a 3.84 GPA, making the Dean’s List both semesters.
As a business major, he participated in several local community projects sponsored by the school and the athletics department.
Liberty University is the largest private non-profit university in the nation, the largest university in Virginia and the largest Christian university in the world.
Alex Close is proud to be a part of it. I bet they are glad he is too — both on and off the field.
Beth Chapman, Alabama’s secretary of state, is a Shelby County resident and writes a weekly column for the Shelby County Reporter. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.