ECU’s Alec Burleson named AAC Male Scholar Athlete-of-the-Year

Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 11:22 AM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (ECU) – Former ECU pitcher and first baseman Alec Burleson has been named the American Athletic Conference Male and Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the league office announced Wednesday morning. He is the second straight ECU baseball player to be the conference’s Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year and will receive a $4,000 scholarship from the conference. 

Burleson is one of four ECU students to be chosen as his respective sport's scholar-athlete of the year along with  Dorthea Forbrigd (women's golf), Megan Pallozzi (lacrosse) and Patrick Stephenson (men's golf). They will each receive a $2,000 scholarship.  

Forbrigd is the third ECU women's golfer to win the award while Pallozzi and Stephenson are the Pirates' first selection in their respective sports. 

Selections for the Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards are made by the faculty athletic representatives based on academic credentials and athletic performance. Each conference school may nominate one student-athlete who has achieved senior academic standing as determined by the institution. A winner is chosen from each of the conference's 22 sponsored sports in addition to an at-large selection from a sport not sponsored by the conference. 

Burleson, a business management major, was a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, a six-time ECU Director of Athletics Honor Roll member and a two-time American Athletic Conference All-Academic selection with a 3.95 cumulative GPA. 

Regarded as one of the top two-way players in the country and a second round draft selection by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2020 MLB Draft, he batted .375 with three home runs and 12 RBI before the 2020 season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A Collegiate Baseball First-Team All-America choice in 2020, he was one of five players to start all 17 games and was a member of a squad that posted a 13-4 record and finished ranked nationally in a pair of polls.  

On the mound, he appeared in four games where he owned a 2-1 record with a 4.24 ERA. Against Georgia Southern in the series opener, Burleson tossed a career-high eight scoreless frames with seven strikeouts in a 3-0 victory. He allowed 11 runs (all earned), combined on one shutout and struck out a team-best 22 batters while walking just four in 23.1 innings. 

A two-time all-conference selection, Forbrigd was at the top of her game in the shortened 2019-20 season as she shot an average of 71.55 and had four top-20 finishes, including a first-place finish at the Pirate Collegiate Classic. She is a four-time Women's Golf Coaches Association Division I Scholar All-America honoree and three-time member of The American All-Academic Team selection. Forbrigd graduated in May with a degree in business management and held a GPA of 3.917. 

Pallozzi has been one of the best players in ECU lacrosse's brief history. Only a junior, she holds the school record with 66 career goals, including a team-high 17 during the shortened 2020 season. She also scored a team-best five free-position goals and ranked third with 20 points this past season. She scored a career-high five goals in ECU's 20-5 home-opener win over Wofford and scored at least one goal in seven of ECU's eight games in 2020. A member of ECU's Honors Program, Pallozzi holds a GPA of 3.798 and is majoring in biology.  

Stephenson played in seven of the Pirates’ eight tournaments during the 2019-20 season and compiled a 73.00 strokes per round average, while maintaining a 4.00 GPA in pursuit of his MBA (Master of Business Administration). A three-time member of The American All-Academic Team, Stephenson was recently named an All-American Scholar by the Golf Coaches Association of America. Despite being a senior last year, Stephenson will return for his fifth season in 2020-21 due to the effects of COVID-19. 

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