Six Jacks named all-league
Six South Dakota State University players, including five repeat honorees, were named to the 2011 All-Summit League Baseball Team during a pre-tournament banquet Wednesday night in Sioux Falls.
Blake was named as the first-team first baseman for the second consecutive year after hitting .393 with eight doubles and 29 runs batted in during the league portion of the schedule. A senior from Langley, British Columbia, Blake is the career leader in doubles at SDSU with 68 and also ranks second in career hits with 257. He was a second-team all-Summit League selection as an outfielder in 2009.
Sawyer dropped to the second team in 2011 after earning first-team recognition at third base in both 2009 and 2010. A senior from Calgary, Alberta, Sawyer leads the team with 12 home runs, seven of which came in league play. He also hit .330 during the conference season and drove in 27 runs. He is the career leader in home runs at SDSU with 50.
Stitz earned a spot on the second-team outfield after leading the league with five triples and tying for the league lead in hits with 46. A senior from Burnsville, Minn., Stitz holds several Jackrabbit career records, including games played (212), at-bats (898), hits (304), runs scored (187) and total bases (453). He was a second-team all-Summit League selection in 2008 and a first-team honoree in 2010.
Jackrabbit pitchers Blake Treinen and Trever Vermeulen also repeated as first-team honorees on the all-Summit League squad. Treinen, a senior from Osage City, Kan., compiled a 4-2 record with a 4.15 earned run average in seven Summit League starts. He averaged more than a strikeout per inning, fanning 46 batters in 43 1/3 innings.
Vermeulen again anchored the back end of the SDSU bullpen, recording a 2-2 record with seven saves. A senior from Mitchell, Vermeulen limited conference opponents to a .171 batting average as he struck out 40 batters in 16 appearances, covering 33 2/3 innings.
Rounding out the Jackrabbit all-league selections was first-team outfielder Beau Hanowski. A junior from Little Falls, Minn., Hanowski compiled a .339 batting average and .442 on-base percentage while batting in the leadoff spot. He also drove in 16 runs.
League champion Oral Roberts led the way with nine selections, including freshman pitcher Alex Gonzalez, who was named Summit League Newcomer of the Year and Pitcher of the Year in addition to receiving first-team honors. ORU's Rob Walton was named Summit League Coach of the Year, while Southern Utah shortstop Bo Cuthbertson was named Summit League Player of the Year.
The Summit League Baseball Championship, presented by American Airlines, gets under way Thursday with top-seeded Oral Roberts taking on fourth-seeded Western Illinois in a 2 p.m. matinee. Second-seeded SDSU will play third-seeded North Dakota State at 7 p.m. Thursday at Sioux Falls Stadium. The double-elimination tournament is scheduled to wrap up Saturday.