Cougars’ Clarke leads seven state players earning All-American nods

College of Charleston starting pitcher Taylor Clarke went 13-1 with a 1.34 ERA during the regular season. (File/John Raoux/AP)

It may not have been the greatest season for Palmetto State college baseball, but seven players with state ties were named to Collegiate Baseball magazine’s Louisville Slugger All-American teams announced Thursday.

Leading the way were pitchers Taylor Clarke of College of Charleston and Matthew Crownover of Clemson, each named to the first team. Clarke finished the regular season with a 13-1 record and 1.34 earned run average, while Crownover went 10-2 with a 1.59 ERA.

Clarke and the Cougars play Auburn at noon Friday in an NCAA Regional at Florida State, while Crownover and the Tigers face Arionza State at 6 p.m. Friday in an NCAA Regional at Cal State-Fullerton.

Named to the second team was South Carolina first baseman Kyle Martin, who spurned the Major League draft after his junior year and returned to lead the Gamecocks with a .350 average and lead the SEC with 56 runs batted in. Joining him were Clemson catcher Chris Okey, who hit .320 with 12 home runs, and Wofford first baseman Conor Clancey, who hit .326 with 10 homers.

Named to the third team were Citadel pitcher James Reeves, who went 8-4 with a 3.69 earned run average, and College of Charleston third baseman Carl Wise, who hit .319 with 68 runs batted in.

Arkansas outfielder Andrew Benintendi, who hit .391 with 18 homers and 52 RBIs, was named national player of the year.