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Bellarmine, UIS, USI Garner Major GLVC Baseball Postseason Awards

 

INDIANAPOLIS  – The Great Lakes Valley Conference announced Wednesday that University of Southern Indiana senior outfielder Drake McNamara has been named the GLVC Player of the Year for the 2018 baseball season, while Bellarmine University junior lefthander Eddie Mathis was selected as GLVC Pitcher of the Year.  The two conference standouts were selected by the league coaches and recognized for their efforts at an awards reception that preceded the 2018 GLVC Baseball Championship Tournament, which begins on Thursday in Ozark, Missouri.  In addition, Southern Indiana newcomer Bryce Krizan was tabbed as GLVC Freshman of the Year and University of Illinois Springfield head coach Chris Ramirez was recognized by his peers as GLVC Coach of the Year.  A total of 65 student-athletes from both the GLVC East and West Divisions were also recognized as All-Conference honorees.  In addition, Truman State University was voted as the GLVC James R. Spalding Sportsmanship Award winner.

McNamara earned the respect of each conference coach in the postseason voting after finishing a regular season in which he led the GLVC in batting average (.400) and slugging percentage (.823), placed second in total bases (144), tied for third in hits (70) and home runs (16), was a solo third in doubles (20) and runs batted in (66), and sixth in on-base percentage (.474).  The Mt. Vernon, Indiana product is coming off GLVC Player of the Week honors, in which he total 37 bases in a four-game series win at the University of Indianapolis.  He set GLVC single-game season highs for home runs (3) and total bases (14), while becoming the USI single-season (16) and career (32) record holder for home runs.   Among all NCAA Division II players, McNamara ranks in the top 20 in several categories, including fourth in slugging percentage, seventh in sacrifice flies (7), eighth in total bases and runs batted in, 15th in doubles, and 20th in home runs.  The unanimous first-team All-GLVC selection started in each of the 48 games played this season, helping USI to a 29-19 mark overall and an 15-9 record in league play, which earned the Screaming Eagles the East Division’s No. 3 seed in this week’s GLVC Baseball Championship Tournament.  McNamara joins Kevin Brown (1994) and Darin Mastroianni (2007) as the only Screaming Eagles to be recognized as the GLVC’s best player.

Mathis paced the GLVC this season with a 1.93 earned run average, following a 7-1 record on the mound that helped Bellarmine to a 34-15 overall record, including 16-8 in conference play.  He tied for second in the league in strikeouts (79), tied for third in wins (7), was eighth in innings pitched (70.0), and ninth in opponent batting average (.238).  The unanimous first-team All-GLVC pick gave up 64 hits on the year and allowed just 11 walks, which led to the nation’s 15th-best strikeout-to-walk ratio (7.18).  His ERA is currently the 16th-lowest in Division II.  The Pewee Valley, Kentucky native is the third Knight to earn GLVC Pitcher of the Year as Michael Thompson was honored in 2009 and Hunter Spencer picked up the honor in 2016.  Prior to the award being established in 2002, former Knights pitcher and current Bellarmine athletics director and GLVC Hall of Famer Scott Wiegandt was named the 1989 GLVC Player of the Year.

Krizan was selected by the coaches as the league’s top freshman after compiling a .293 batting average in 198 plate appearances, where he registered 58 hits, three doubles, one triple, and 25 RBI with 50 runs scored.  His 50 runs ranked tied for sixth in the GLVC this season, while his four sacrifice flies were 12th.  The Mt. Vernon, Indiana native was the league’s top threat on the bases this year as his 37 stolen bases were tops in the GLVC and fourth nationally. Krizan becomes the first Screaming Eagle to be named GLVC Freshman of the Year.

Ramirez becomes the first UIS skipper to earn GLVC Coach of the Year, having just guided the Prairie Stars through the best regular season in school history.  At 45-5 overall, including a 23-1 conference mark that earned UIS the outright GLVC East Division crown, the Prairie Stars are currently ranked No. 2 in Division II by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and fourth by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA).  UIS, which was picked in the league’s preseason poll to finish third in the East Division, set the GLVC modern-day record for highest conference winning percentage (.958).  The Prairie Stars join the 1996 Saint Joseph’s College (23-2 GLVC, .920) team as the only programs in the modern era to win 90 percent or more of their conference games.  Lewis University finished the 1981 conference season undefeated, but played just four games.  This year, UIS led the league in batting average (.332), slugging percentage (.590), on-base percentage (.438), runs scored (475), hits (553), runs batted in (429), doubles (119), home runs (93), total bases (981), plate appearances (2047), at bats (1664), walks (268), earned run average (2.69), opposing batting average (.201), innings pitched (408.2), batters struck out (461) and wins (45), while allowing league lows in hits (293), runs (171), earned runs (122), doubles (47), triples (5), and home runs (22).  Ramirez mentored seven of the 16 first-team All-GLVC selections and another five of the 17-member second team.

The East Division First and Second Teams, as well as the West First Team, are made up of 16 players, while ties in the voting extended the East Second Team to 17 selections.  In addition to McNamara and Mathis, four other players were named unanimous selections to their positions on the first team, including Bellarmine junior third baseman Josh Finerty, Illinois Springfield senior first baseman Mike Rothmund, Maryville senior third baseman Dalton Schumer, and Quincy senior outfielder J.C. DeMuri.

This is the fourth consecutive season Truman State has been recognized as the GLVC James R. Spalding Sportsmanship Award winner for baseball.  Led by head coach Dan Davis, the Bulldogs’ four overall awards tie former league member Northern Kentucky University for the most baseball team sportsmanship awards in conference history.  The league also recognized 15 GLVC James R. Spalding Sportsmanship Award honorees. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These individuals must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. The honorees are now eligible to become one of their school’s two Spalding Sportsmanship Award winners, which will be announced next week.

A complete list of All-GLVC performers and major postseason award winners can be found below.

 

FIRST TEAM ALL-GLVC – EAST DIVISION

MIKE ROTHMUND, Sr., 1B, UIS

Alex Ralph, Sr., 2B, BU

JOSH FINERTY, Jr., 3B, BU

Cole Taylor, Sr., SS, UIS

Nick Gobert, Sr., UT, USI

Nick Stokowski, Sr., DH, UIS

Logan Brown, Jr., C, USI

DRAKE MCNAMARA, Sr., OF, USI

Zac Wiley, Jr., OF, BU

Jack Schaaf, Sr., OF, UIS

Griffin Neuer, Sr., OF, BU

EDDIE MATHIS, Jr., SP, BU

Andrew Dean, Jr., SP, UIS

Justin Revels, Jr., SP, UIS

Hunter Spencer, Sr., SP, BU

Cam Zunkel, So., RP, UIS

 

SECOND TEAM ALL-GLVC – EAST DIVISION

Storm Joop, Sr., 1B, UINDY

Myles Hann, Sr., 2B, UIS*

Jake Fleming, Jr., 2B, USI*

Hunter Waning, So., 3B, UINDY

Drew Greenwood, Sr., SS, BU

John Sechen, Jr., UT, UIS

Dylan Jones, Sr., DH, UINDY

Ben Schanding, Jr., C, UIS

Connor Rutherford, Jr., OF, LEWIS

Kyle Orloff, Jr., OF, UINDY

Buddy Johnson, Sr., OF, USI

Alex Phillips, Jr., OF, BU

Peter Hamot, Jr., SP, LEWIS

Brayden Jensen, So., SP, UIS

Jacob Nagel, So., SP, BU

Nick Rana, R-Jr., SP, UWP

Colton Hale, Fr., RP, UIS

FIRST TEAM ALL-GLVC – WEST DIVISION

Charlie Kreh, Jr., 1B, TSU

Cody Birdsong, Jr., 2B, QU

DALTON SCHUMER, Sr., 3B, MU

Brynn Martinez, Sr., SS, QU

Henry Weiler, Sr., UT, RU

Brennan Williams, Sr., DH, MU

KK Daniel, Sr., C, DU

J.C. DEMURI, Sr., OF, QU

Chase Redick, Jr., OF, WJC

Chandler Purcell, Jr., OF, QU

Drake Lubin, Jr., OF, MU

Austin Simms, Sr., SP, DU

Dan Borek, Sr., SP, S&T

Nick Stroud, Jr., SP, QU

Brendan Beatty, Sr., SP, WJC

Cole Crawford, Sr., RP, QU

 

SECOND TEAM ALL-GLVC – WEST DIVISION

Louis Niemerg, Jr., 1B, MU

Brant Schaffitzel, Fr., 2B, DU

Matt Gruse, Jr., 3B, S&T

Ethan Owens, So., SS, DU

Conner Forsythe, Jr., UT, S&T

Michael Nielsen, So., DH, QU

Justus Nelson, Sr., C, S&T

Clayton Engel, So., OF, DU

Corbin Hare, Sr., OF, RU

Derrick Freeman, So., OF, UMSL

Caleb Essick, So., OF, DU

Kevin Smith, Gr., SP, UMSL

Kent Frantz, Sr., SP, TSU

Thomas Tewes, Fr., SP, DU

Jim Brandt, Sr., SP, UMSL

Karl Hirsch, Jr., RP, QU

 


 

UNANIMOUS SELECTION IN ALL CAPS
*Additional member due to a tie

 

2018 GLVC PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Drake McNamara, Sr., OF, USI

2018 GLVC PITCHER OF THE YEAR: Eddie Mathis, Jr., SP, BU

2018 GLVC FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Bryce Krizan, OF, USI

2018 GLVC COACH OF THE YEAR:  Chris Ramirez, UIS

 

2018 JAMES R. SPALDING SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD (BASEBALL)

Truman State

 

2018 JAMES R. SPALDING SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD HONOREES

 

Drew Greenwood, BU

Brant Schaffitzel, DU

Sam Geraci, UIS

Storm Joop, UINDY

Neal Tyrell, LEWIS

Tyler Catlett, MU

Andrew Aydt, MCK

Nathan Volkmann, S&T

Derrick Freeman, UMSL

Brynn Martinez, QU

Jeremy Lufft, RU

Devin Williams, USI

Peter Young, TSU

Santino Ruffolo, UWP

Robbie Colburn, WJC