Mustangs break three school records during 2014 baseball campaign
Morningside College baseball players broke three school records and tied another school standard during the 2014 baseball season.
John Sorenson, a senior relief pitcher from Omaha, Neb., set a school record with 11 saves to break the former Morningside single-season mark of 10 saves by Eric Delich in 2008. Aside from leading the Mustangs in saves, Sorenson had a 3-0 record with a 3.34 earned run average in a team-high 23 appearances. He allowed 31 hits in 35 innings while holding the opposition to a .228 batting average.
Sorenson accumulated 16 saves during his three-year Morningside career to tie a school record previously set by Mike McCune from 1988-91 and by Josh Wheeler from 1998-2001.
The Mustangs’ other record breaker was A.J. Staiert, a senior infielder from Sioux City, who increased his career totals to 628 at-bats and 133 base on balls to break the former Morningside career standards of 609 at-bats by Bret Hoch from 2007-10 and 104 walks by Chris Schiltz from 1994-98. Staiert also finished his career as Morningside’s all-time leader with 16 career triples. He led the Mustangs with 35 walks during the 2014 season for the third highest single-season total in Morningside history.
Staiert, a four-year starter, hit .339 with 36 doubles, 16 triples, one home run, 122 RBIs, and 51 stolen bases during his Morningside career. Staiert collected 213 hits to finish four shy of Hoch’s school record total of 217 career hits.
Jacob Lamoreux, a freshman outfielder from Le Mars, Iowa, enjoyed a standout rookie campaign and was the Mustangs’ leading hitter with a team-high 75 hits in 190 at-bats for a .395 batting average. Lamoreux also topped the Mustangs with 55 runs scored, 16 stolen bases, three triples, and a .461 on-base percentage and was second on the team with 13 doubles. He had a team-high 22 multiple-hit games. Lamoreux’s 75 hits was the third highest single-season total in Morningside history, while his 55 runs was the seventh highest total in the school record book.
Nate Clark, a junior infielder from Des Moines, Iowa, also had a big first season with the Mustangs. Clark, a transfer from Southwestern Community College, hit .372 and led the Mustangs with 15 doubles, five home runs, 40 RBIs, and a .550 slugging percentage. Clark had the Mustangs’ longest hitting streak of the season when he hit safely in 15 consecutive games from March 2 to March 23. Clark had the Mustangs’ top single-game hitting performance of the season when he went four-for-five with two doubles, two home runs, and seven RBIs to lead the Mustangs to a 20-6 victory against Nebraska Wesleyan University on April 12. He had 67 hits for the 11th highest single-season total in Morningside history.
The Mustangs had a third .300 hitter in Adam Smith, a junior first baseman from Lincoln, Neb., who collected 36 hits in 109 at-bats for a .330 batting average with six doubles and 12 RBIs.
Cole Chapin, a sophomore infielder from Carson, Iowa, hit .292 with four doubles, one triple, and 29 RBIs and was the Mustangs’ toughest player to strike out with only 12 strikeouts in 168 at-bats for a strikeout rate of seven percent.
Lance Spongberg, a sophomore from Sutton, Neb., was the ace of the Mustangs’ pitching staff with a 5-4 record and a 3.21 earned run average while splitting time between the bullpen and the starting rotation. Aside from leading the team with his five victories, Spongberg also topped the Mustangs’ hurlers with 61.2 innings pitched, 57 strikeouts, and one shutout.
Nick Weeter, a senior pitcher from Sioux City, led the Mustangs with a 2.11 earned run average to go along with a 3-3 record in 21.1 innings pitched in 19 appearances, all in relief.
Derek Appley, a senior pitcher from Akron, Iowa, had a 3-1 record with a 3.67 earned run average and a team-high 12 starts. Appley had the best strikeout to innings pitched ratio among the Mustangs’ starters with 48 strikeouts in 49 innings.
Morningside posted a 27-25 record and finished fourth in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) standings with an 11-9 league mark during the 2014 season. The Mustangs came on strong at the end of the season with a 14-7 record for a .667 winning percentage over their final 21 games.