MOUNT PLEASANT - Central Michigan sophomore second baseman Jordan Dean and junior starting pitchers Trent Howard and Zach Cooper have been named to the All-Mid-American Conference second team as selected by the conference's head baseball coaches.
Howard is a member of the all-conference second team for a third consecutive season, while Dean and Cooper earn All-MAC honors for the first time in their careers.
Howard, a left-hander, is 4-3 with a 2.55 ERA in 13 starts this season. He has struck out 90 batters in 81-1/3 innings of work. Against MAC opponents, Howard is 3-0 with a 2.28 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 51-1/3 innings. He has limited MAC opponents to a .220 batting average. Howard was named MAC West Division Pitcher of the Week twice this season: following a two-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts against Indiana in March and after striking out 11 in seven innings in a win over Kent State in April.
Cooper, a right-hander, has posted wins in each of his last four starts entering the conference tournament. He is 6-3 overall with a 3.07 ERA and 84 strikeouts in 85 innings of work. He was named MAC West Division Pitcher of the Week after tossing a complete-game one-hitter in the Chippewas' 3-0 win at Western Michigan on May 14. In nine starts against MAC opponents, Cooper is 5-2 with a 2.95 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 58 innings. MAC opponents are hitting just .223 against him.
Dean has started 53 of the Chippewas' 54 games at second base in 2011. He ranks second on the team in hits (66), tied for second in doubles (12) and third in batting average (.314). He also has stolen a team leading 16 bases in 19 attempts. Against MAC opponents, Dean is hitting a team-high .360 with 36 hits, 17 runs scored and 11 runs batted in. Dean has 18 multi-hit games, including a pair of four-hit efforts. He was named MAC West Division Player of the Week after hitting .571 (8-for-14) with two doubles, a homer and four runs batted in during the Chippewas' season opening series split at Florida Gulf Coast in February.
CMU won a pair of games at Eastern Michigan last week to clinch its second straight MAC West Division title. The Chippewas open MAC Tournament play Wednesday at 4 p.m. against Western Michigan.