College Sports

Harrison Central’s James Land represents William Carey as NAIA All-America

William Carey first baseman James Land hits a deep fly against the Biloxi Shuckers during the fourth inning of their exhibition game at MGM Park in Biloxi on April 4, 2017. Land was named a NAIA All-American on Tuesday.
William Carey first baseman James Land hits a deep fly against the Biloxi Shuckers during the fourth inning of their exhibition game at MGM Park in Biloxi on April 4, 2017. Land was named a NAIA All-American on Tuesday. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com file

All James Land does is impress.

South Mississippi baseball fans always expected Land to perform on the big stage, dating back to his days playing at Harrison Central and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

But now Land is getting national recognition. The William Carey first baseman was named to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-America First Team on Tuesday following the conclusion of a 2017 season that ended with the Crusaders in the NAIA World Series. He’s the first Crusader All-American since 2003.

The Southern States Athletic Conference Player of the Year had a monster senior campaign, hitting .381 with 21 home runs and 74 RBIs. His homers tied a single-season record at William Carey.

His post-season heroics included six homers in 14 playoff games, including a walk-off round-tripper against Texas Wesleyan in the opening elimination round game.

In two years with William Carey, Land finished with 31 homers, 128 RBIs, 31 doubles.

Land earned All-MACJC honors as a sophomore at MGCCC when he hit .397 with a .497 on-base percentage, six homers and 40 RBIs. He was also named All-America as a freshman after walloping 10 homers and 44 RBIs with a .422 batting average.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs

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