Six players from Morningside’s NAIA National Tournament bound baseball team were named to the 2016 All-GPAC First Team.
Morningside College dominated the 2016 All-Great Plains Athletic Conference Baseball selections when it had six players tabbed to the 17-player first team as selected by the league’s head coaches.
The Mustangs’ first-team All-GPAC selections are Nathan DeChaine, Nolan Hoff, Jacob Lamoreux, Blake Rogers, Cody Selig, and Lance Spongberg. They have helped lead Morningside to a 43-14 record to set a school record for wins in a season. The Mustangs defeated Midland University 6-5 in Tuesday’s GPAC Tournament Championship Game to advance to the 2016 NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round to be held May 17-20 at nine host locations.
DeChaine, a sophomore third baseman from Brainerd, Minn., has a .378 batting average and is the top power hitter and run producer in the Mustangs’ lineup with team-high totals of 17 doubles, 16 home runs, and 66 RBIs. His 16 home runs is tied for the second highest total in Morningside history and his 66 RBIs is the third highest total in the Mustangs’ record book.
Hoff, a junior infielder from Walnut, Calif., has a .326 batting average with 12 doubles, seven home runs, 41 RBIs, and nine stolen bases.
Lamoreux, a junior outfielder from Le Mars, Iowa, is the Mustangs’ leading hitter with 85 hits in 210 at-bats for a .405 batting average with 14 doubles, a team-high three triples, seven home runs, 43 RBIs, and a team-high 63 runs scored and 20 stolen bases. Lamoreux has collected a school-record 231 hits during his Morningside career.
Rogers, a junior catcher from Reading, Minn., is hitting .348 with 10 doubles, eight home runs, and 35 RBIs in his first season with the team after joining the Mustangs in the off-season as a transfer from Iowa Lakes Community College.
Selig, a sophomore pitcher from Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, has a 7-3 record with a 3.65 earned run average and one save. Selig has allowed only 52 hits in 61.2 innings pitched and tops the Mustangs’ pitching staff with 75 strikeouts.
Spongberg, a senior pitcher from Sutton, Neb., has a 2-1 record, a 3.10 earned run average, and a team-high eight saves as the Mustangs’ closer. Spongberg has allowed only 30 hits and has struck out 54 batters in 40.2 innings pitched.
In addition to their six first team selections, the Mustangs placed Cole Chapin, Cole Halgerson, and Doug Vanecek on the All-GPAC Second Team.
Chapin, a junior infielder from Carson, Iowa, has a .377 batting average with 15 doubles, a team-high three triples, three home runs, and 40 RBIs. He is the Mustangs’ best contact hitter with only nine strikeouts in 159 at-bats.
Halgerson, a senior outfielder from Sioux Falls, S.D., has a .378 batting average with 11 doubles, one triple, 10 home runs, and 40 RBIs.
Vanecek, a senior pitcher from Tabor, S.D., has an 8-1 record with a 4.21 earned run average. His eight victories is one shy of the Morningside single-season record of nine wins by Roger Van Bergen in 1964 and matched by Selig last season.
Morningside’s Ross Ackerman, Kevin Bevilacqua, Blake Meacham, and Richard Mitchell were all named to the All-GPAC honorable mention list.
Ackerman, a senior pitcher from Rock Rapids, Iowa, has a 3-2 record with a 3.73 earned run average and has walked only four batters in 31.1 innings.
Bevilacqua, a junior pitcher from Rocklin, Calif., has a 3-3 record with a 3.40 earned run average and is one of the Mustangs’ top strikeout pitchers with 44 strikeouts in 45 innings.
Meacham, a junior outfielder-first baseman from Sioux City, has a .353 batting average with 12 doubles, one triple, five home runs, and 30 RBIs.
Mitchell, a sophomore pitcher from Bakersfield, Calif., has a 7-0 record with a 3.11 earned run average. He is undefeated during his collegiate career with a 12-0 record.
Click here for the complete 2016 All-GPAC Baseball Team.