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Hughes earns honor

Westminster baseball coach Denny Hughes was tabbed as the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletics Association’s Coach of the Year on Friday.

Hughes led the Blue Jays to a six-win improvement in league play this season and a seven-win improvement overall, as Westminster ended the regular season at 22-9 overall and 17-6 in the SLIAC.

Also on Friday, Deion Hughes (Helias High School) and Cam Backes (Tipton High School) were part of seven Blue Jays named to the all-conference team. Hughes and Backes were both honorable-mention selections, with Hughes picked as an outfielder and Backes as a second baseman.

In addition, Backes was named to the SLIAC All-Sportsmanship Team, as the league recognizes one individual from each team who, throughout the season, best displays the ideals of sportsmanship.

The Blue Jays opened the SLIAC Tournament on Thursday by splitting a pair of games.

In their opener, the Blue Jays fell 6-1 to Spalding. Cam Backes (Tipton High School) and Hughes had one hit each.

Westminster then stayed alive in the tournament with a 5-4 win against Fontbonne, scoring two runs with two outs in the ninth to win. Hughes walked three times and scored a run, while Backes scored one run.

On Friday night, the Blue Jays (23-11) saw their season come to a close with a 7-2 loss to Spalding. Hughes had went 3-for-4 with one RBI.

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