By Blake Moore
ADA — The College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) have named senior baseball player Caleb Thomas (Strongsville) a First-Team CoSIDA Google Cloud Academic All-American at the designated hitter position for the 2019 season, the national office announced Tuesday afternoon.
Thomas is now a two-time CoSIDA Google Cloud Academic All-America selection after receiving Second-Team accolades during his junior season in 2018. With the announcement, the senior also becomes the first player in program history to receive First-Team Academic All-America kudos.
Last season, he became just the second player in program history to earn the honor, joining two-time honoree Brett Hastings from the 1994 and 1995 squads.
Thomas was one of six repeat selections from the 2018 Academic All-America squads honored this season.
To be considered, student-athletes must be a sophomore-or-higher in academic standing, serve as a starter or important reserve player for their respective team, and have a 3.30 minimum cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale at his current institution. In addition, all nominees must have participated in 50 percent of the team's competitions at their designated position.
Once nominated, sports information directors at member institutions vote for the Academic All-District teams based upon the players' on-field success and academic achievements. Student-athletes named First-Team Academic All-District automatically advance to the national ballot.
The 11 First-Team selections on the 2019 squad averaged a 3.97 cumulative GPA. Meanwhile, the 33 athletes that comprise all three Academic All-America teams posted a 3.84 cumulative grade point average.
Thomas, a senior mechanical engineering major, is also a two-time First-Team CoSIDA Google Cloud Academic All-District 7 honoree, a three-time Academic All-OAC selection, and a 2018 First-Team All-OAC recipient.
This season, Thomas led Ohio Northern with two home runs and tied for second on the team with 24 RBI. He compiled a .271 batting average with 42 hits in 155 official at-bats and added 14 runs and six doubles to the Polar Bear efforts.
The Strongsville native ends his career with a .271 career batting average and 135 hits, 85 RBI, 32 doubles, nine home runs, and four stolen bases. He currently ranks eighth all-time at Ohio Northern in career doubles and sits 32nd on the all-time hits list.
The Polar Bears finished the 2019 season with a 23-18 overall record and a 10-8 OAC mark, which tied for third in the final league standings. The program concluded the campaign with its second straight trip to the OAC Tournament at Baldwin Wallace.