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April 1, 2004

2004 BASEBALL REVIEW

2004 BASEBALL REVIEW

 

VIKINGS EXTEND STRING OF CONSECUTIVE 20 VICTORY SEASONS TO SEVEN STRAIGHT; STEVE BROSKI NAMED ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA; GREG WALLACE ECLIPSES 200 WIN MARK AND BECOMES WINNING COACH IN AUGUSTANA HISTORY

 

Buoyed by a move into the brand new Brunner Field at Swanson Stadium, the Augustana Vikings baseball team continued with its recent string of successful seasons. For the seventh consecutive year Greg Wallace’s charges put together a 20 victory campaign. The Vikings finished the 2004 season with a 25-15 overall record, the sixth consecutive year that they have won at least 25 games.

 

After spending most of the last four decades as baseball nomads, playing home games at places like John O’Donnell Stadium, Moline High School, Rock Island High School, Veterans Park in Moline, Ridgewood School in Southwest Rock Island, Dickson Park in Milan, Crow Creek in Bettendorf, Jefferson School in Davenport, Saukie Park and Douglas Park in Rock Island, the Vikings finally had a field of their own. Thanks to the generosity of several benefactors, most notably Duane Swanson and Kim and Donna Brunner – for whom the field was eventually named – the Augustana baseball team now plays in comfort and style. The new stadium is located off John Deere Expressway along Seventh Street in Moline.

 

The Vikings posted a 15-4 home record in their new surroundings en route to a year that saw Wallace become the winningest coach in school history. When his team beat Dubuque 9-3 in the final game of the year, with Jeremy Brunner (Normal Community HS, Bloomington, IL) picking up the victory on the field that shares his family name, Wallace notched victory number 200 at his alma mater. Wallace, who took over as the head coach prior to the 1998 season, is now 200-97. He moved into first place on the school’s all-time coaching victory list one game earlier when his team beat Elmhurst 9-8 on a double in the ninth inning by shortstop Jorge Acosta (Rock Falls HS, Rock Falls, IL). Wallace moved past his former coach Barry Bilkey who accumulated 198 victories from 1985-97.

 

Wallace’s career as the head coach at Augustana has been successful since his first team went 22-16 and it should be noted that before he took over the Vikings had compiled just two 20 victory seasons from 1912 through 1997. They now have seven in the last seven years.

 

Down the stretch the Blue & Gold won nine of the final 13 games and three players were named to the all-conference team in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin. Senior Chris Nelson (Normal West HS, Normal, IL) was named as an infielder, senior Jeff Boyer (Byron HS, Byron, IL) made it as designated hitter and junior Derek DeClerck (Moline HS, Moline, IL) was tabbed as a pitcher. All three players were second team selections.

 

Nelson, a season long starter at second base, finished the season batting .326 with 46 hits in 141 at-bats while scoring 20 runs and belting a team high 11 doubles. He had 21 runs-batted-in with four stolen bases. In 21 conference games he hit .373 with 28 hits in 75 at-bats with six doubles.

 

Boyer, hampered because of a long recovery from shoulder surgery, was forced into the designated hitter spot after being the regular shortstop as a junior. He batted .314 in 35 games with 32 hits in 102 at-bats with 17 runs scored and 17 RBI. He had five doubles and a triple along with four stolen bases. In league play Boyer hit .373 with 22 hits in 59 at-bats with 11 runs scored and nine RBI.

 

DeClerck was the number one pitcher for the Vikings and finished the year 5-3 with a 4.35 earned run average in 60 innings of work. He led the team in strikeouts with 54 while walking 31 and he appeared in 11 games, all of them starts, while completing two. In the CCIW he was 3-2 with a 4.59 ERA with 25 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings.

 

Sophomore rightfielder Bryan Phillips (Harlem HS, Machesney Park, IL) led the team in hitting with a batting average of .341 with 45 hits in 132 at-bats. He led the team in runs scored with 34 and in RBI with 30. Nelson and Acosta tied for the team lead in hits with 46 and Nelson had a team high 11 doubles. Matt Blankenship (Wheaton North HS, Wheaton, IL) led the Vikings in victories with six in a 6-3 campaign. Senior Brian Dickey (Rockford Lutheran HS, Belvidere, IL) was a tremendous asset to the pitching staff as he led the team in appearances with 18, posting a 4-1 record with five saves and a 3.69 earned run average.

 

Acosta and Phillips shared the Most Valuable Offensive Player award while Nelson was named Most Valuable Defensive Player and DeClerck was the Most Valuable Pitcher.

 

Augustana College junior righthanded pitcher Steve Broski (Rockford Boylan HS, Rockford, IL) was selected to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America baseball team, it was announced today. He becomes the ninth Augustana baseball player in school history to win the prestigious award and the first since Scott Schmid in 2000.

 

This past year Broski was 2-3 with a 4.76 earned run average in 34 innings of work. He posted 32 strikeouts and had seven appearances with six starts and two complete games. As a freshman he was 2-3 with a 3.79 ERA in 40 1/3 innings with 34 strikeouts and was 4-1 as a sophomore with 35 strikeouts in 41 innings. For his career he is 8-7 with 101 strikeouts in 115 1/3 innings.

 

He is ranked number one in his class academically with a perfect 4.00 grade point average while majoring in pre-medicine. He was a member of the Aristeia freshman honor society, Mortar Board and the Emerge Leadership program. He was the winner of the Augustana’s “Outstanding Freshman Chemistry Student” award and he works on the Augustana Community Health Outreach Organization as a volunteer. He was the head of fundraising for Best Buddies, a group that works with mentally handicapped for the 2003-04 school year.

 

Augustana has a long and rich tradition of producing Academic All-Americans as Broski becomes the 107th Viking in school history to win the award since basketball player Bruce Hamming was the first in 1974. Augustana currently ranks fifth in the nation among all colleges and universities in number of Academic All-Americans produced since the program began in 1951.

 

2004 COLLEGE CONFERENCE OF ILLINOIS & WISCONSIN BASEBALL STANDINGS

 

CCIW

 

 

 

 

 

OVERALL

 

 

TEAM

WON

LOSS

.PCT

POINTS

TOUR. POINTS

TOTAL PTS

WON

LOSS

.PCT

Illinois Wesleyan

16

5

.762

16

3

19

28

19

.596

Elmhurst

15

6

.714

14

4

18

27

14

.659

Carthage

14

7

.667

15

0

15

37

11

.771

North Central

13

8

.619

13

1

14

22

21

.512

Millikin

12

9

.571

12

---

12

22

18

.550

AUGUSTANA

10

11

.476

10

---

10

25

15

.625

Wheaton

4

17

.190

4

---

4

8

27

.229

North Park

0

21

.000

0

---

0

2

35

.066

 

2004 AUGUSTANA SUPERLATIVES

CCIW ALL-CONFERENCE: 2nd team – Chris Nelson, second base…Jeff Boyer, designated hitter…Derek DeClerck, pitcher.

ALL-TIME WINNINGES COACH IN AUGUSTANA HISTORY: Greg Wallace, with 9-8 win over Elmhurst on May 9 moves past Barry Bilkey…Wallace ends the year with 200-97 in seven years at Augustana.

CONSECUTIVE 20 WIN SEASONS: Vikings go over the 20 victory plateau for seventh straight season.

CO-MOST VALUABLE OFFENSIVE PLAYER: Bryan Phillips & Jorge Acosta

MOST VALUABLE DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Chris Nelson

MOST VALUABLE PITCHER: Derek DeClerck

COSIDA ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA: Steve Broski, third team