April 1, 2002
2002 BASEBALL REVIEW
2002 BASEBALL REVIEW
VIKINGS BREAK 20 VICTORY PLATEAU FOR FIFTH STRAIGHT YEAR AS THEY FINISH SEASON WITH 25-16 OVERALL RECORD; ERNIE JACK (OFFENSE), ZACH VROMAN (DEFENSE) & JASON BRIEN (PITCHER) WIN TEAM MVP HONORS
When Greg Wallace was elevated to the position of head baseball coach at his alma mater prior to the 1998 season, 20 victory seasons at Augustana College were a rarity. Indeed, the Vikings had achieved the coveted 20-win plateau just twice in the history of baseball at the school, which dates back to 1912. The Blue & Gold had a 20-10 year in 1976 under Dave Langrock and a 25-11 mark in 1996 with Barry Bilkey as the head coach.
With the recently concluded 2002 campaign, Augustana baseball has achieved new heights as the Vikings went 25-16 overall and went over the 20 victory mark for the fifth consecutive time. All of the 20 win seasons during the recent five year streak have been with Wallace at the helm.
Sophomore catcher Ernie Jack (United Township HS, East Moline, IL), senior outfielder Zach Vroman (Rock Island HS, Rock Island, IL) and junior pitcher Jason Brien (Harlem HS, Machesney Park, IL) shared in the team awards given out at the end of the season. Jack, a powerful lefthanded slugger, was named the Most Outstanding Offensive Player, while Vroman was given the honor as Most Outstanding Defensive Player and Brien won the Most Outstanding Pitcher award.
Jack, who earlier this spring was named first team all-conference in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin for the second straight year, enjoyed a banner season. He batted .349 with 51 hits in 146 at-bats with 35 runs scored and 41 runs-batted-in. He was the top power man for the Vikings with a .658 slugging percentage with 12 doubles, three triples and nine home runs. He drew 19 base-on-balls, had five stolen bases and was hit-by-pitch five times. He was the team leader in at-bats, hits (tie), runs-batted-in and home runs.
His total of nine home runs is just one shy of his own school record of 10, which he set in his freshman year of 2001. The 41 RBI is the seventh highest single season mark ever recorded at Augustana and the 12 doubles places him in a tie for sixth on the single season list. In just two years he has moved into third place on the career home run list with 19.
Vroman was a defensive stalwart in center field, despite the fact that he missed seven games with a hip injury after he ran into the outfield wall in the first game of a doubleheader with North Park on April 20. Vroman was a first team all-conference selection and he batted .287 with 31 hits in 108 at-bats while scoring 27 runs.
Brien pitched just 12 1/3 innings as a sophomore but he turned out to be the number one pitcher for the Vikings during his junior campaign. He made 10 mound appearances, all as a starter and posted a 6-3 overall record with a 3.05 earned run average in a team high 56 innings of work. He led the Blue & Gold in strikeouts with 38 and opponents batted just .217 against him. He was a second team all-conference selection in the CCIW.
Jack and Vroman were joined on the first team all-CCIW squad by second baseman Mike Kane (Davenport Assumption HS, Davenport, IA). Second team all-conference selections were Mike Hoffman (Johnsburg HS, McHenry, IL), Kevin Iaquinto (Waubonsie Valley HS, Naperville, IL) and Brien. Jack was also named to the first team all-region team by the American Baseball Coaches Association and Brien was a third team selection.
Iaquinto, who served as team captain this past year along with Vroman, ends his Augustana baseball career with his name firmly entrenched in the school's record books. He is the school's career record holder in runs scored with 153, 15 better than Scott Schmid's second place total of 138 set from 1997-2000. Iaquinto is second in career at-bats with 484, second in career hits with 163, second in career RBI with 116 and second in career stolen bases with 50. He is tied for fifth in doubles with 27, third in triples with 7 and tied for sixth in home runs with 14. His final batting average for his career is a solid .337, which is just off the top 10.
During the past year several players made their way onto the College's single season list. Kane had 14 doubles to move into fourth place while Jack and Wally Brownley (Schaumburg HS, Schaumburg, IL) each had 12 that places them in a tie for sixth. Kane scored 48 runs to jump into fourth place and Iaquinto tallied 42 times to work his way to eighth. Jack and Chris Beard (Moline HS, Moline, IL) each had three triples to move into a for ninth place. Jack's nine home runs is just one shy of his own school record set last year and his 41 RBI is seventh. Kane had 39 RBI and he is now tied for eighth on the single season list. Iaquinto is now sixth in single season stolen bases with 17.
2002 AUGUSTANA VIKINGS BASEBALL SUPERLATIVES
AUGUSTANA MOST OUTSTANDING OFFENSIVE PLAYER: Ernie Jack
AUGUSTANA MOST OUTSTANDING DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Zach Vroman
AUGUSTANA MOST OUTSTANDING PITCHER: Jason Brien
COLLEGE CONFERENCE OF ILLINOIS & WISCONSIN: (1st team) - Zach Vroman, OF; Mike Kane, IF & Ernie Jack, C; (2nd team) - Mike Hoffman, OF; Kevin Iaquinto, IF & Jason Brien, P.
AMERICAN BASEBALL COACHES ASSOCIATION ALL-CENTRAL REGION: Ernie Jack, C (1st team) & Jason Brien, P (3rd team)
2002 AUGUSTANA VIKINGS BASEBALL LETTERWINNERS
Name Position B/T Height Weight Year Hometown (High School)
Baldwin, James** P L/L 6’3” 200 Sr
Beard, Chris** C, OF R/R 6’0” 195 Jr
Blankenship, Matt* P L/L 5’10” 165 Fr
Boster, Eric* OF L/L 5’9” 160 Fr
Boyer, Jeff* 2B, SS R/R 5’10” 170 So Byron, IL (Byron)
Brien, Jason** P R/R 6’4” 240 Jr Machesney Park, IL (
Broski, Stephen* P R/R 5’11” 185 Fr
Brownley, Matthew* C R/R 5’10” 200 Fr
Brownley, Walter*** 3B R/R 6’0” 180 Sr
Brunner, Jeremy* P R/R 6’5” 175 Fr
Cruse, Joe* P, 1B R/R 6’2” 195 Fr
Dickey, Brian* P L/L 6’2” 200 So
Dunn, Jeff*** P R/R 5’10” 185 Jr Mapleton, IL (Illini Bluffs)
Ellis, Anson**** C R/R 5’11” 195 Sr Cary, IL (Cary-Grove)
Golombek, Robert* OF R/R 5’7” 170 So
Green, Kevin** P R/R 6’1” 185 Sr
Grothe, Teddy*** P R/R 6’0” 180 Jr
Hawkins, Matt*** P R/R 6’0” 187 Jr Farmer City, IL (
Hoffman, Mike** OF R/R 6’1” 200 Sr McHenry, IL (Johnsburg)
Hughes, Reggie** 1B L/R 6’2” 205 Sr
Iaquinto, Kevin**** (C) SS R/R 5’11” 175 Sr
Jack, Ernie** C, DH L/R 6’0” 200 So
Kane, Mike** 2B R/R 6’0” 180 Jr
Kleinhans, Ben*** OF R/R 6’0” 205 Jr
Murray, Craig* P R/R 5’10” 190 So Mt. Carroll, IL (
Nelson, Chris** 2B R/R 5’11” 155 So
Nelson, Tony** 1B R/R 6’2” 210 Sr Grays
Szczupaj, Jeff** OF R/R 5’10” 180 Sr
Vroman, Zach**** (C) OF R/R 5’8” 150 Sr
HEAD COACH: Greg Wallace
ASSISTANT COACHES: Harry Pells, John Furlong, Troy Charleston, Matt Baude
2002 CCIW BASEBALL STANDINGS All CCIW
W L T W L T Season Points Tournament Points Total Points
North Central 23 20 0 11 10 0 11 2 13
Millikin 20 16 1 9 12 0 9 --- 9
CCIW Baseball Tournament
Butterfield Park/Wheaton North High School (Host School-Elmhurst College)
Game Day Time Location Teams/Result
#1 Friday, May
#2 Friday, May
#3 Friday, May
#4 Friday, May
#5 Sunday, May
#6 Sunday, May
NOTE: The top-four teams, by CCIW winning percentage, qualify for the CCIW Baseball Tournament. The four qualifying teams accrue one championship point for each regular-season CCIW victory and additional championship points based on the following tournament records: 3-0 record (5 points), 4-1 or 3-1 record (4 points), 3-2 record (3 points), 2-2 record (2 points), 1-2 record (1 point) and an 0-2 record (0 points). Teams that do not qualify for the tournament do not receive championship points for regular-season conference wins. If a tie occurs in total points after the tournament, then the team that finished highest in the tournament will be the conference champion. The CCIW champion receives the league's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship.