All-American Durling

Ryan Osadchy, Reporter

Senior baseball player Kenny Durling was named a second-team pre-season All-American by d3baseball.com.

Last season, Durling hit a .396 and led the Freedom Conference, gaining 67 hits, 16 doubles, 113 total bases and 52 RBI. The center fielder earned MU records for total bases and RBI and finished fourth in the Freedom Conference with 8 home runs and a .669 slugging percentage.

Durling had hits in 37 of the 46 games played and even had hitting streaks of 8 and 12 games.

Durling also earned other post-season awards including, ECAC South Division III All-Star, third-team ABCA All-American and first-team All-Freedom.

Baseball head coach Pete Egbert doesn’t expect Durling will slow down for the rest of the season.

“Kenny has really been a model of consistency for us. He has had three outstanding years, offensively and defensively, and he’s put in a lot of hard work this off-season, so we expect that it will be status quo, if not better than it has been in the past,” said Egbert. “He’s got a good head on his shoulders, and he knows what he needs to do in order to get better and to continue to improve. So, he’s spent a good, hard long off-season working on his weaknesses and we think that he has gotten even better than he has been in the past.”

Egbert also feels Durling has had a significant impact on the team and has the leadership skills that make him great, on and off the field. He said other teams prepare to play against Durling and know he is placed in the center of the hitting line up.

“Regardless of the guys hitting in front of him or behind him, he still manages to be productive and get his hits and to get some big hits for us in some big spots,” he said. “So, Kenny is really our go-to guy in everything, both offensively and defensively.”

Durling has been the first to be selected for a pre-season All-American in the six years Egbert coached the Cougars.

“Kenny is the first one that has gained that status, and that’s just again a tribute to his consistency and the numbers that he has put up in the last few years, it seems like everyone in the region knows about him. So, it’s great accolades for him and all the hard work that he’s put in, but also for the program as well,” said Egbert.

The sport is something Durling practiced since he was a toddler.

“Once little league was over, get into my teen years, and start getting into middle school and high school, that’s when I started like really playing and finding travel teams,” said Durling.

He was happy with being chosen as a pre-season All-American, but he has new goals to reach.

“It’s nice, but it’s pre-season.  It doesn’t really mean anything yet. It’s a nice honor, but what really matters is the post season, so I have to keep working to get there,” said Durling.

Durling said his ultimate accomplishment for his senior year  will be a National Championship.

“Right now we need to take it step-by-step to start with playoff max, you know, get the conference, and work from there,” he said.

The Cougars first home game is March 16 against DeSales University.

[email protected]