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The 2011 American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III All-American Teams were announced the week of May 30, and Gallaudet freshman outfielder William Bissell (Bangor, Me.) was named to the third team. Bissell is the lone freshman on any of the three All-American teams and is the first All-American player under Gallaudet head coach Curtis Pride, who completed his third year at the helm this past season.

First time ever

Gallaudet has never had a player on the NCAA Division III All-American first team since the honors began back in 1976, according to the NCAA Baseball Record Book. Bissell is believed to be the first Bison to ever garner All-American honors in baseball while at Gallaudet.

Bissell led Gallaudet to its best season as a program as the Bison recorded a record of 18-24, breaking the program win mark of 16 set in 1899. The University made its debut in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC), where it posted a winning record (8-6) and was the number three seed in the NEAC West Division tournament. Bissell was named the NEAC West Division Player of the Year and was selected to the all-conference first team. He was recently named to the ABCA All-South Region first team. Bissell, a red-shirt freshman, had his 2010 season cut short due to a season-ending injury.

Bissell is the lone representative from the NEAC on the All-American teams. He led the entire NEAC/North Atlantic Conference (NAC) in seven statistical offensive categories as of May 24. He was first in batting average (.438), slugging percentage (.711), on-base percentage (.547), runs batted in (RBI) (41), doubles (15), triples (four), and total bases (91). The freshman was also second in home runs (four), hits (56), fourth in walks (24), sixth in runs (33), and hit by pitch (eight). Bissell was also ranked nationally by the NCAA for Division III in many categories as of May 22, including on-base percentage (10th overall), batting average (22nd), slugging percentage (30th), triples (67th), doubles (71st), total bases (103rd), and RBI (109th). Bissell also swiped 14 bases out of 19 chances as he started all 42 games. In the field he made 124 putouts, collected eight assists, and posted a .964 fielding percentage.

Bissell is the third All-American during the 2010-11 athletic season for Gallaudet, joining women’s basketball senior Easter Faafiti (Pittsburg, Calif.) and men’s track and field sophomore Darius Flowers (Birmingham, Ala.), who were also honored by their respective coaches associations earlier this year.

–Sam Atkinson

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