Trio of Demons earn Southland All-Academic honors

For Northwestern State right-handed pitchers Alex Makarewich and Drayton Brown, a spot on the Southland has become commonplace.

For Jake Haze, Thursday’s announcement marked a career first.

That trio of Demons were named to the 2023 Southland Academic All-Conference Baseball Teams, which are chosen by votes of league coaches, sports information directors and academic personnel. To be included on the conference’s all-academic team, student-athletes must have a composite 3.0 grade point average and demonstrated athletic achievement throughout the season.

Makarewich, a junior right-handed pitcher from Keller, Texas, was a repeat first-team selection while Haze, a junior shortstop from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, earned first-team honors for the first time in his career.

A junior right-hander from Nacogdoches, Texas, Brown was a second-team selection, earning all-conference honors for the second straight season.

Haze enjoyed a breakout season offensively, earning second-team All-Southland Conference honors while holding a 3.8 grade point average as a business administration major. A May graduate, Haze led the Southland Conference in batting average (.418) and on-base percentage (.505) in conference games while batting .316 overall with four home runs and a team-leading 41 RBIs.

Makarewich earned his second straight academic honor following a season in which he notched his first on-field all-conference selection. A second-team all-conference pitcher, Makarewich earned his undergraduate degree in industrial engineering technology in May, graduating with a 3.96 grade point average.

On the mound, Makarewich ranked second in the Southland Conference with 89 strikeouts – the eighth-highest single-season total in NSU history – and in opponent’s batting average (.208) in his first season as a starting pitcher.

Brown ranked second on the team in wins (6) and innings pitched (81.1) and tied for third with 70 strikeouts. He kept the Demons’ season alive with the first complete game of his career to eliminate McNeese from the Southland Conference Tournament on May 26.

Brown finished his third season at Northwestern State with 179 strikeouts, five shy of the school’s top 10 career list.

The trio’s academic accomplishments marked the second straight season Northwestern State has placed three players on the conference’s all-academic team.