Macon, Ga. – USC Upstate senior second baseman Erik Samples was selected to the 2015 Atlantic Sun All-Academic Team, it was announced by the conference office on Monday.
A two-time A-Sun All-Academic Team member, Samples graduated from USC Upstate with a 3.45 cumulative grade point average in economics and finance.
“I am extremely thankful and honored to be recognized by the Atlantic Sun Conference for this award,” Samples said. “I’ve always valued the importance of a good education, so I wanted to make sure I put myself in a favorable position to succeed off the diamond if and when my baseball career came to an end.”
On the field, Samples proved to be one of Upstate’s top offensive and defensive players this season, as he started all 53 games at second base and finished the year third on the team with a .318 batting average. The Hampton, S.C., native was a mainstay on the bases all season long, posting a .400 on-base percentage while ranking ninth in the league with 42 runs scored and third with 11 hit by pitches.
Samples also led the club and ranked fourth in the conference with 17 doubles, finishing his career 12th on the Upstate all-time list with 34 career two-baggers. Additionally, Samples concluded the season second on the team with 18 multi-hit games, which included a team-high three four-hit games. He also stood third on the team with six multi-RBI games.
Samples ended his career having hit safely in the final 10 games of his career, marking the third-longest hitting streak of any Spartan during the course of the season. In addition, he reached bases safely in 23 straight games earlier in the year.
Defensively, Samples ranked fifth in the conference with 161 assists and featured a stretch without an error in 24 of 25 games.
The Academic All-Conference Team recognizes student-athletes who excel both on the field and in the classroom and exemplify the A-Sun’s mission of Building Winners for Life. All the members of the team boast a 3.30 cumulative grade point average or better and participated in at least half of their team’s games.