Mobile, Ala. — Western Kentucky University starting pitcher Bart Carter was named the 2007 Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year Tuesday evening at the league’s annual pre-tournament awards banquet.
Carter joins Matt Idlett (1996) as the only Hilltoppers ever to win the conference’s top freshman honors. He is also the 10th pitcher to win the award since its inception in 1986, and the first since South Alabama’s P.J. Walters in 2004.
A 6-foot, 190-pound lefthander out of Franklin, Ind., Carter currently leads the Hilltopper pitching staff with a 3.92 ERA. He made 18 appearances during the regular season, starting 11 games. He hurled a pair of complete games in Sun Belt Conference play, including a three-hit shutout against UALR back in late April.
In 78 innings, Carter (6-4) has struck out 61 batters — including a career-best nine punchouts against South Alabama. In 12 Sun Belt appearances — eight of which were starts — Carter compiled a 3-3 record with 3.75 ERA, striking out 46 batters in 57.2 innings of work.
Carter became WKU‘s game-one weekend starter the final four weeks of the regular season, and will continue that roll in the Sun Belt Tournament as he takes the ball in the opener against New Orleans. The seventh-seeded Hilltoppers will meet the #2-seed Privateers at 12:30 p.m. (CDT) on Wednesday (May 23) at Eddie Stanky Field on the campus of the University of South Alabama. The last time the tournament was held at USA back in 2004, WKU won the tournament as the #7 seed and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history.