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NCCAA honors four War Hawks with academic honors

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The McMurry University baseball team had four of its players honored for their prowess in the classroom – as well as on the field – as they were named as Scholar-Athletes for 2018 by the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). The quartet of War Hawks recognized by the NCCAA included: Chris Baker (San Angelo, Texas), Matthew Chalk (Katy, Texas), Blaine McRay (Burleson, Texas) and Taylor Ward (Leander, Texas).

NCCAA Scholar-Athletes must be a junior, senior or graduate student and completed at least one term at the institution. In addition to being a letterwinner on their team, each recipient must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.40 on a 4.00 scale.

Baker, a senior firstbaseman/designated hitter, graduated two weeks ago with a degree in history (grades 8-12). He was also a three-time American Southwest Conference (ASC) academic all-conference pick and an ASC Distinguished Scholar. Baker also earned McMurry’s “Heart of a War Hawk” award (in recognition of Christian, community and campus service), as well as the NCCAA’s “Game Plan 4 Life Student-Athlete Character Award” for leadership, Christian service and community outreach for 2017-18. On the field, Baker was a second team All-ASC pick, batting .325 with 11 doubles, five home runs and 31 RBI.

Chalk is a junior outfielder and a mathematics major. In addition to the NCCAA honor, Chalk picked up his second-consecutive ASC Academic All-Conference award in 2018. On the year, chalk hit .339 with six doubles and two homers. He drove in 21 runs and scored 17.

McCray, a junior catcher, also earned his second ASC Academic All-Conference recognition, to go along with the NCCAA’s national academic honor. McRay batted .316 in 2018, going 25-for-79. He slapped five doubles and had one home run, to go along with 17 runs scored and 10 RBI. He also drew 12 walks.

Ward also graduated two weeks ago with a degree in political science. Ward was also a two-time winner of the ASC Academic All-Conference accolades, while being recognized by the NCCAA for the first time. Ward capped his four-year career at McM by batting .241, making eight starts. He had one double and one homer, drawing seven walks.

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