TUCSON. Ariz. - Rice's Ryan Chandler has been named to Collegiate Baseball's 2015 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America Team, the publication announced Wednesday (June 3) from its headquarters in Tucson, Ariz.
Last month Conference USA head coaches and the league's media members voted Chandler as the C-USA Freshman of the Year. In his debut season of Division I baseball Chandler started all 59 of Rice's games in centerfield, including 51 as the leadoff hitter in the order. He batted a steady .302 for the full season and was electric in the Owls' recent appearance in the NCAA Tournament, batting .444 (8-for-18) with a pair of doubles, four RBI and three runs scored - including what proved to be the game-winning run from first base in the team's dramatic 20-inning (2 am) victory over crosstown rival Houston.
Under the direction and daily training regimen of Rice head coach Wayne Graham, Chandler led the Owls with 24 multiple-hit games. The Houston native and former Strake Jesuit star tallied a career-high three hits in a single game on six different occasions. He finished eighth in Conference USA with 17 doubles maintained a .379 on-base percentage. Chandler drew 25 walks for a .382 on-base percentage and reached base in 21 consecutive games during one stretch. He scored 43 times in 59 games and tallied 34 RBI. With elite defensive range to match his offensive skills, the Rice rookie posted a .993 fielding percentage with six assists. In the NCAA Regional `marathon' game, Chandler threw out the potential game-tying run at second base in the bottom of the 20th inning to help preserve the Rice victory.
Chandler follows a host of Owls to earn Freshman All-America honors, most recently Blake Fox in 2013. In 2015 Rice baseball won the C-USA regular season title and finished with an overall record of 37-22.