Nathan DeChaine and Richard Mitchell each broke Morningside career records in the 2018 baseball season.
Nathan DeChaine and Richard Mitchell each broke Morningside College career records during the 2018 baseball season.
DeChaine, a senior third baseman from Brainerd, Minn., belted 14 home runs this season to raise his career total to 47 home runs to shatter the former Morningside record of 36 home runs by Jared Noteboom from 2007-10. DeChaine, who was already the Mustangs’ all-time RBI leader going into the campaign, drove in 49 runs to finish his career with a school-record 212 RBIs.
DeChaine solidified his rank as one of the greatest hitters in Morningside history this past season when he collected a team-high 59 hits in 157 at-bats to lead the Mustangs in hitting with a .376 batting average to go along with his team-high 14 home runs and 49 RBIs. DeChaine became the Mustangs’ first player to win a team Triple Crown since Noteboom hit .391 with 10 home runs and 67 RBIs in the 2010 season. Aside from his Morningside Triple Crown, DeChaine also led the Mustangs with 31 walks, 39 runs scored, a .726 slugging percentage and a .492 on-base percentage. His 14 home runs was the fifth highest single-season total in Morningside history. DeChaine had a team-high 17 multiple hit performances, including four three-hit games.
Mitchell, a senior pitcher from Bakersfield, Calif., topped the Mustangs with seven pitching victories this season to become the all-time winningest pitcher in Morningside history with a 25-8 record. Mitchell broke the former Morningside career standard of 24 pitching triumphs by Heath Horsley, who logged a 24-20 record from 2003-07.
Mitchell led the Mustangs’ starting pitchers with a 7-4 record and a 3.45 earned run average in 78.1 innings pitched. He paced the Mustangs with 11 starts, two complete games and 64 strikeouts and was the team’s best control pitcher with only 12 walks in 78.1 innings. Mitchell’s 78.1 innings pitched was the second highest total in Morningside history and just three innings shy of the Morningside record of 81.1 innings by Wade Morrison in 2010. His seven pitching victories ranked 10th among Morningside’s all-time single-season bests.
While Mitchell was the ace of the starting rotation, Elliott Conover, a junior pitcher from Remsen, Iowa, excelled as the Mustangs’ closer. Conover made a team-high 20 appearances out of the bullpen and posted a 2.92 earned run average with nine saves for the third highest save total in Morningside history. Conover limited the opposition to a .239 batting average and struck out 32 batters in 24.2 innings pitched for the Mustangs’ highest strikeout rate.
Cody Selig, a senior pitcher from Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, posted a 4-4 record with a 4.88 earned run average, was the Mustangs’ co-leader with 11 starts and ranked second with 55.2 innings pitched and 49 strikeouts as the team’s No. 2 starter.
Selig had a 22-9 record in his four-year career for the third highest victory total in Morningside history.
Sam Huska, a sophomore outfielder from Windom, Minn., enjoyed a breakout season as the Mustangs’ second leading hitter with a .323 batting average following a 2017 freshman campaign where he had only three varsity at-bats. Huska led the Mustangs with 14 doubles and ranked third on the team with 31 RBIs.
Dylan Mersola, a senior shortstop from Sun Valley, Calif., gave the Mustangs a third .300 hitter in their starting lineup with a .312 average with four doubles and 15 RBIs. Mersola ranked third on the team with 16 walks and 36 runs scored. Mersola went on a hitting tear over the second half of the season by going 40-for-113 for a batting average over the final 29 games of the season.
Derek Clayton, a senior outfielder from Omaha, Neb., hit the Mustangs’ only triple of the season and led the Mustangs with seven stolen bases. Clayton hit .252 with six doubles and 13 RBIs in his first season in the starting lineup.
Mitch Kellogg, a senior catcher from Glendale, Calif., led the Mustangs’ with seven sacrifices and was one of the Mustangs’ most improved hitters with a .291 batting average with three home runs and 15 RBIs following a 2017 campaign where he hit .145.
Andrew Kasperbauer, a junior outfielder from Sioux City, had the Mustangs’ longest hitting streak of the season when he hit safely in 12 consecutive games from March 15 to April 7. Kasperbauer finished the season with a .287 batting average with six doubles, five home runs and 31 RBIs.
Morningside posted a 22-25-1 record during the 2018 season to extend its streak to 12 consecutive seasons with at least 20 wins since a 12-30-1 finish in 2006. The Mustangs finished fifth in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) standings with a 14-12 league record.