Five Cougars receive WCC baseball All-Conference honors
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Senior third baseman Austin Deming headlined five BYU baseball student-athletes who received West Coast Conference postseason honors on Tuesday. Deming was one of 14 players among the league's 10 teams named to the 2022 All-WCC First Team.
He was also named WCC Co-Player of the Year after capturing the conference triple crown with a league leading .418 batting average, 19 home runs and 68 RBI during the 2023 season. Joining Deming as the other Co-Player of the Year was Christian Almanza of Saint Mary’s College.
BYU sophomore left fielder Cooper Vest was named to the 12-member second team, while senior centerfielder Cole Gambill and junior left-handed closer Boston Mabeus were named WCC Honorable Mention.
Cougar infielder-outfielder Luke Anderson was one of 10 student-athletes named to the WCC All-Freshman team.
A Santa Clara, Utah native, Deming led the WCC in nine offensive categories during the 2023 season, including batting average, home runs, RBI, slugging (.915), total bases (151), hits per game (1.68), RBI per game (1.66), home runs per game (.46) and doubles per game (.56).
Deming is a semifinalist for the prestigious Dick Howser Trophy, awarded annually by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association to the nation’s top college baseball player. He graduated from BYU in April 2023 with a degree in communications, with a journalism emphasis.
Vest is the Cougars’ comeback player of the year, having overcome serious injuries in both 2021 and 2022. The St. George, Utah native was the 2020 Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year for Utah at Dixie High School in 2020 before coming to BYU.
In his first season as a Cougar starter in 2023, Vest led BYU in triples (3) and was second in batting average (.359), hits (65), doubles (16) and RBI (46). He was also third in slugging percentage (.613), on-base percentage (.418) and total bases (111).
At the conference level, Vest finished the season ranked top 10 in the WCC in seven offensive categories including, third in triples (3), fourth in RBI (46) and batting average (.359), sixth in hits (65) and doubles (16) as well as eighth in slugging percentage (.613) and total bases (111). Vest is currently a junior academically, majoring in exercise wellness.
Gambill, from Alpine, Utah received his second WCC postseason honor, having been named second team All-WCC in 2021. In 2023, he finished top 10 in the WCC in seven offensive categories including, second in runs (57), fourth in home runs (15), fifth in total bases (123), sixth in slugging (.644), seventh in RBI (43), eighth in doubles (14) and tenth in hits (62).
During his three seasons at BYU (2021-23) Gambill played in 132 games. Previously he was named to the WCC All-Academic Team twice, was a two-time Preseason WCC All-Conference Team section, was a two-time WCC Commissioner's Gold Honor Roll recipient. Gambill has also been named WCC Player of the Week three times.
Gambill graduated from the Marriott School of Business finance program with a 3.96 GPA in April and was named CSC Academic All-Region on May 16. He is currently a candidate for Academic All-American. Gambill is married to Lauren Billings Gambill who has been a part of seven BYU Cougarette national championships.
Mabeus, from Henderson, Nevada, led the Cougar pitching staff with the lowest ERA (3.25), fewest earned runs (10) and lowest opponent batting average (.163). He appeared in 23 games with a record of 2-0 and collected four saves. He pitched 27.2 innings and struck out 49 batters for an average of 1.77 strikeouts per inning.
The lefty finished top 10 in the WCC in fewest sacrifice hits allowed (1st), saves (5th), lowest opponent batting average (5th), appearances (6th), He was a candidate for WCC Pitcher of the Week twice, including for his performances over Pacific on May 12, where he threw 77 pitches over the final five innings holding the Tigers hitless, while striking out nine of the 19 batters he faced for the win. Mabeus is a junior majoring in communications studies, with a minor in Spanish. In previous seasons he was named WCC All-Academic Honorable Mention and to the WCC Commissioner’s Honor Roll for academic excellence.
Anderson, who was the 2022 Utah Gatorade Player of the Year in Utah, played in 43 games for the Cougars this season. The true freshman from Santa Clara, Utah, began the 2023 season in left field where he started 13 games before moving to second base where he started 22 games.
On the year, Anderson hit .294, with 32 RBI and 31 runs scored. He also hit for power with one triple, 6 home runs and 12 doubles for a slugging percentage of .503. In WCC games, Anderson finished in the top 20 in the league in doubles (9th), RBI (13th), slugging percentage (15th), total bases and home runs (20th). Anderson is finishing his freshman year and has an open major.
The WCC post-season baseball awards were voted on by the league’s 10 head coaches. The All-WCC first team included 14 student-athletes. There were 12 on the second-team, 10 on the freshman team, with 19 receiving honorable mention recognition.
2023 Baseball All-Conference Awards
Coach of the Year – Nathan Choate, LMU
Co-Player of the Year – Christian Almanza, Saint Mary’s
Co-Player of the Year – Austin Deming, BYU
Pitcher of the Year – Diego Barrera, LMU
Freshman of the Year – Khadim Diaw, LMU
Defensive Player of the Year – Cole Roberts, LMU
All-Conference First Team
Christian Almanza, Saint Mary’s
Diego Baqueiro, LMU
Diego Barrera, LMU
Nick Brink, Portland
Mario DeMera, San Francisco
Austin Deming, BYU
Jake Holcroft, Portland
Brian Kalmer, Gonzaga
Nich Klemp, Portland
Connor Linchey, Saint Mary’s
Ben Nemivant, Pacific
Angelo Peraza, San Diego
Evan Scavotto, Portland
Zach Toglia, Portland
All-Conference Second Team
Jack Basseer, Pepperdine
Khadim Diaw, LMU
Skylar Hales, Santa Clara
Blake Hammond, Santa Clara
Ryan Johnson, Pepperdine
Zach Kirby, LMU
Michael O’Hara, Santa Clara
John Peck, Pepperdine
Kevin Sim, San Diego
Austin Smith, San Diego
Cooper Vest, BYU
Harris Williams III, San Francisco
Peter Allegro, Portland
Ariel Armas, San Diego
Merrick Baldo, LMU
Jonjon Berring, Santa Clara
Coleman Brigman, Santa Clara
Justin DeCriscio, San Diego
Cole Gambill, BYU
Briley Knight, Portland
Jeremy Lea, Pacific
Boston Mabeus, BYU
Efrain Manzo, Santa Clara
Ben Patacsil, Portland
Ryan Robinson, San Diego
Jacob Rutherford, Gonzaga
Ryan Sanders, Saint Mary’s
August Souza, Santa Clara
Sam Stem, Gonzaga
Ryan Taurek, Saint Mary’s
Shane Telfer, Pepperdine
Luke Anderson, BYU
Gabriel Barrett, San Francisco
Jack Basseer, Pepperdine
John Damozonio, Saint Mary’s
Nathan DeSchryver, Gonzaga
Thomas Ferroggiaro, Santa Clara
Khadim Diaw, LMU
Jack Gurevitch, San Diego
Jared Mettam, Saint Mary’s
Sam Stem, Gonzaga
BYU third baseman Austin Deming was selected by the Houston Astros in the 10th round of the 2023 MLB Draft at Lumen…