Thomas Nelson's Ben Hoare was named to the 2018 NJCAA Division III Baseball All-America third team as an outfielder. It’s the third consecutive year a Thomas Nelson player received an All-American honor.
Hoare, who attended Mechanicville's Lee-Davis High School, has been accepted to James Madison University, where he will try to make the baseball team as a walk-on. He was sixth in the nation with a .465 batting average. He holds Thomas Nelson records for home runs in a career (8) and season (7). In addition, he was named to the NJCAA Region I, Division III team, and the Hampton Roads Region Small College team.
Hoare, the team captain, said he wasn’t that surprised by the honors because “I kind of knew where I was at in the standings. I was hoping for it. I’m pretty happy about it.”
Last year, he hit right around .200 and had just one home run.
“I just simplified things,” he said of the big improvements in his hitting this year. “I tend to overthink at times.”
He added it was a team effort.
“The coaches were helpful,” he noted. “It all came together (this season).”
Head Coach Michael Moore, who's been with Thomas Nelson baseball for several years and played briefly for the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1970s, is elated that Hoare was acknowledged for his stellar efforts.
"He's a remarkable young man. What we like about him is he's able to have some priorities in place. He was a quiet leader," said Moore. "I'm just happy that he was recognized for the impact that he made for Thomas Nelson, and on the field, in particular."
Hoare also stood out in the classroom earning 41 credits and having a 3.1 grade point average as he studied engineering.
"He's going to be successful in whichever avenue he pursues. He was strong academically which enabled him to compete hard on the baseball field," Moore added.