Gnats Staff Sweeps SAL All-Star Team Awards

Manager Ryan Ellis, Pitching Coach Glenn Abbott and Trainer Tom Truedson All Honored

August 30, 2011 11:50 AM ET

Savannah, GA - The South Atlantic League has named Savannah Sand Gnats manager Ryan Ellis and Pitching Coach Glenn Abbott to the League's Annual All-Star team. Ellis was named the All-Star team's Manager while Abbott was named as the lone coach on the team, which was voted on by the 14 South Atlantic League Teams' Field Managers, General Managers, and print and broadcast media.

"This is a great day to be a member of the Sand Gnats family," said Savannah team president John Katz. "Our coaching staff, from top to bottom, has brought this group of individuals together and created a winning atmosphere, both on and off the field."

Ellis, 32, in his first season managing the Sand Gnats, has amassed an impressive hardware collection in 2011. The Gnats first year manager, Ellis was selected to manage the All-Star Team for the Southern Division in South Atlantic League's mid-season season All-Star game, and named as the South Atlantic League's best manager prospect by Baseball America in their annual best tools survey. Additionally, he was elected to Point Park University's Pioneer Athletic Hall of Fame.

Ellis served as the hitting coach for the Gnats in 2009 and 2010. He played professionally from 2000-2004, before began his coaching career with the Washington Wild Things of the independent Frontier League in 2003. He joined the Mets during the 2006 season. Ellis, who was a baseball and soccer star at Point Park History, still holds the school's record for single season batting average for hitting .477 in 1999.

"Our staff has the perfect blend of youth and experience," said Katz. "When you have a group of people believing in themselves and their teammates, there is nothing they cannot achieve together."

Abbott, 60, in his 27th year as a coach in minor league baseball, has led a Gnats' pitching staff that has been the top unit in the South Atlantic League all year long. As of August 30, the Gnats lead the SAL in team ERA (3.25), WHIP (1.22) and hits allowed (1028). Abbott rejoined the Mets organization in 2011 after beginning his coaching career with the Mets in 1985 with Little Falls (A). He coached for the Mets through 1989 and then worked for the Oakland A's (1990-2002), the Texas Rangers (2003-2005) and the San Diego Padres (2006-2010). Abbott pitched 11 seasons in Major League Baseball for Oakland, Seattle and Detroit from 1973 to 1984 compiling a career record of 62-83 with a 4.39 ERA.

On August 18, Savannah Athletic Trainer Tom Truedson was named the South Atlantic League's Trainer of the Year. Truedson, in his third year with the Mets (his first with the Gnats), received his undergraduate degree in Athletic Training in 2007 from St. Cloud State University and is a member of the National Athletic Trainers Association.

The first half champion Gnats begin their quest for the first SAL title since 1996 when the playoffs begin Wednesday, September 7 at the home of the number two seed. The Southern Division Championship Series shifts to Savannah for game two on Friday, September 9, and, if necessary, game three on Saturday, September 10. Playoff tickets are currently available by calling the Sand Gnats' front office at (912) 351-9150 or by going online to

The Savannah Sand Gnats, the Class-A affiliate of the New York Mets, is a professional minor league baseball team and a member of the South Atlantic League. Savannah plays its home games at Historic Grayson Stadium in Savannah, GA, just minutes from downtown Savannah. Historic Grayson Stadium is situated within Savannah's Daffin Park, creating a unique atmosphere and a "Park within a Park" setting.


This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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