Three RU standouts named to Big South baseball’s all-decade team

(L-R) Pitcher Eddie Butler, outfielder Matt Hillsinger and first baseman Spencer Horwitz have been named to the baseball all-decade team by the Big South Conference.

Former Radford University stars Eddie Butler, Matt Hillsinger and Spencer Horwitz have been named to the Big South Conference’s All-Decade Team Presented by Hercules Tires. The conference announced the lineupThursday afternoon.

Butler (2010-12) was one of the most dominant pitchers to ever don a Radford uniform, ranking inside the top 10 in program history in wins, ERA, strikeouts, games started, innings pitched, batting average against, complete games and shutouts. The 2012 Big South Pitcher of the Year, Butler was a two-time all-conference selection (2011 and 2012) and the VaSID Co-Pitcher of the Year in 2012. His 2012 season was one of the best seasons in Big South history with a 2.20 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 98 innings. Butler finished his Highlander career with 22 wins, a 3.84 ERA and 232 strikeouts in 279 innings across three seasons. He made Radford and Big South history as the conference’s first-ever first-round pick in the MLB draft when he was selected 46th overall by the Colorado Rockies in 2012.

Hillsinger (2009-12) was a three-time first-team all-conference selection (2010, 2011 and 2012) and was one of the most productive outfielders in Radford history. He earned VaSID All-State honors three times (2010, 2011 and 2012) and finished his career in the top 10 in program history in runs, hits, batting average, triples, total bases, stolen bases, stolen base percentage and sacrifice flies. His 16 sacrifice flies remain tied for the most in a career by a Radford player. Hillsinger hit above .300 in each of his final three seasons, including a .367 mark in 2010, and had at least 10 doubles and 30 RBIs in each of his final three seasons. He was selected in the 22nd round in 2012 by the Oakland Athletics.

Horwitz (2017-19) was a two-time all-conference selection (2017 and 2018) and was an honorable mention all-conference honoree in 2019. He burst onto the scene as a Freshman All-American in 2017, helping lead Radford to its second Big South Tournament title and a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The slick-fielding first baseman finished his career in the top 10 in program history in homers, walks, sacrifice flies, fielding percentage, chances, putouts and double plays turned. Horwitz had at least 20 extra-base hits and 40 RBIs in each of his last two seasons and had at least 50 hits in each of his three seasons with the Highlanders. He was the most recent MLB draft selection from Radford when he was picked in the 24th round in 2019 by the Toronto Blue Jays.

In addition to the three Highlander players selected to the All-Decade Team, current pitching coach Matt Rein, who was one of the top pitchers in the conference during a decorated career at Coastal Carolina, was also selected.

Radford’s three newest All-Decade Team selections join Phil Leftwich and Travis Morgan from the 1986-89 team, Kelly Dampeer, Duane Filchner and Denny Van Pelt from the 1990-99 team and Alex Gregory from the 2000-09 team.

Baseball All-Decade Team candidates were determined based on achieving at least one of the following: 1) a multiple All-Conference honoree; 2) an All-American; 3) a member of the Big South Conference Hall of Fame; 4) a college graduate or in good academic standing with their respective institution; 5) a coach who won a conference championship and/or was voted Conference Coach of the Year.

A 15-person committee of Big South Conference administrators served as the official voting panel to determine the All-Decade Team, with fan voting comprising 20 percent of the overall total.

 

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