Tusculum College pitcher Taylor Rakes has been named the 2013 Capital One NCAA Division II Baseball Academic All-America® of the Year, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Rakes becomes the first student-athlete in school history to be named Academic All-America® of the Year for their sport.
Rakes was also selected to the Capital One Academic All-America® first team for a second straight season, becoming the first two-time honoree in TC baseball history.
Rakes, a graduate student from Norcross, Ga., earned his Bachelor’s degree last year in Business and Economics, where he posted a 3.87 cumulative grade point average. The Norcross High School graduate was named the South Atlantic Conference Baseball Scholar Athlete of the Year for a second straight season, while also earning a spot on the All-SAC second team for a consecutive season.
Rakes emerged as the pitching ace of the weekend rotation for the Pioneers this year as he posted a 7-2 record in his 15 appearances, including 13 starts. His 84 strikeouts this year is the third-best in Tusculum history and is currently third in the league and 10th in the nation this year
For his career, Rakes tallied a sterling 26-7 record and is second all-time in career victories. His 285 career innings pitched are the most in school history. He is also second in career strikeouts (209), second in starts (45), fourth in complete games (9) and 10th in ERA (3.66).
Rakes is a member of the SAC Commissioner’s Honor Roll, Tusculum Athletic Director’s Honor Roll, Charles Oliver Gray Honors List, President’s List and is a member of the Alpha Chi Honor Society. He is very active in leadership and community service in the Tusculum College and Greeneville community. He has been active with the Pioneer Student Athlete Advisory Council’s fundraising efforts for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, American Cancer Society and the St. Baldrick’s “Basebald” program to aid childhood cancer research. He has volunteered as a Greeneville Youth Baseball Mentor, served as a guest speaker in Tusculum Athletic Training and his experiences with his “Tommy John” surgery and, along with his father, provided free lawn care services for stationed armed forces personnel.
Last June, he was named the recipient of the 2011-12 South Atlantic Conference Presidents Award, the highest honored earned by a league student-athlete.
Rakes becomes the fifth Tusculum student-athlete to earn Academic All-America® honors on more than two occasions in their career.
The Capital One Division II Academic All-America® program is being financially supported by the NCAA Division II national governance structure to assist the College Sports Information Directors of America with handling the awards fulfillment aspects for the 2012-13 Division II Academic All-America® teams program.
To be eligible for Academic All-America® consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.