Augustana College printing logo

April 1, 2007

2009 Season - 2007 BASEBALL REVIEW

2007 BASEBALL REVIEW

 

Marc Blakeley named first team All-America; 10 school records fall as Vikings go 35-14 and advance to within one game of College World Series; Augustana finishes season ranked 22nd in NCAA Division III and passes 30 win plateau for third straight year

 

Led by an All-American leadoff man who put up incredible offensive numbers and fueled by a solid defense and a gritty pitching staff, the Augustana Vikings continued its recent baseball success in 2007. Veteran head coach Greg Wallace finished his 10th season at the helm of his alma mater and it was a year filled with accomplishments and accolades from start to finish.

 

With 13 wins in their first 14 games the Vikings jumped out of the gate quickly and never looked back in compiling a superb 35-14 overall record. They reached the championship games of both the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin and NCAA Division III Central regional. They set a total of 10 school records and went over the 30 victory mark for the third consecutive season and the sixth time in the last nine years. Augustana made the NCAA Division III national tournament for the second time in school history and, despite being the last team selected in the 56 team field, made it all the way to the championship game of the regional.

 

Indeed, this was a year that nobody wanted to see end and Wallace’s bunch never quit scratching and clawing. The Vikings battled back through the loser’s bracket in both the conference and regional tournament, a tough thing to do with a pitching staff that at times more closely resembled a M.A.S.H. unit than it did an integral part of a nationally ranked baseball team. The 35 victories are the second highest single season win total in school history and over the last three years Augustana has compiled a remarkable record of 99-35.

 

Junior centerfielder Marc Blakeley (Adams Friendship HS, Richland Center, Wis.) was the table-setter for an offense that finished the season averaging over seven runs per game. He broke four individual school records (runs, hits, home runs and at-bats) throughout the course of the season and walked off with numerous accolades as well. Blakeley combined power and speed as he batted a sizzling .448 with 90 hits in 201 at-bats while scoring 60 runs with 17 doubles, two triples, 10 home runs, 35 runs-batted-in, 29 base-on-balls and 20 stolen bases. He had a slugging percentage of .701 and an on-base-percentage of .519 while striking out just nine times all year. It wasn’t until the 45th game of the season, a 3-1 loss to Luther in the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament, that an opponent was able to keep him off base completely for an entire game.

 

He earned first team NCAA Division III All-America honors from the American Baseball Coaches Association and second team honors from D3baseball.com. He was first team all-region and first team all-conference and his teammates voted him “Most Outstanding Offensive Player”. His 90 hits led all of NCAA Division III and four times he started games from his leadoff position with home runs.

 

With Blakeley leading the way, the Vikings were an offensive powerhouse, scoring in double digits a total of 15 times throughout the season and finishing the year with a team batting average of .337. Besides Blakeley, six others were over .300. Sophomore second baseman John Wagle (Rock Island HS, Rock Island, Ill.) hit .376 with 70 hits in 186 at-bats while scoring 43 runs and senior catcher Jake Meisenbach (Rock Island HS, Rock Ill.) chipped in with a .353 average with 71 hits in 201 at-bats while scoring 33 runs and driving in 56. Meisenbach also collected a school record 24 doubles and his 201 at-bats tied him with Blakeley for that school mark. He ended his career with 45 doubles, also a school record.

 

Junior shortstop Mark Ramos (United Township HS, East Moline, Ill.) hit .346 with 66 hits in 191 at-bats while scoring 52 runs. Ramos was named the team’s “Most Valuable Defensive Player” after he fielded at a .963 clip with just nine errors in 245 total chances. Sophomore right fielder Don Hansen (Cary Grove HS, Cary, Ill.) hit .337 with 58 hits in 172 at-bats while scoring 52 runs and he set new school records for base-on-balls with 39 and stolen bases with 26. Freshman third baseman Eric Izzo (Lockport HS, Lockport, Ill.) and senior left fielder Chris Pietroski (Buffalo Grove HS, Buffalo Grove, Ill.) were also over .300 with Izzo batting .315 and Pietroski .308.

 

Three pitchers shared the lead in the victory department with seven wins apiece. Junior Eric Knott (Marian Central Catholic HS, Huntley, Ill.)  was 7-5 with a 3.70 earned run average and led the team in strikeouts with 64. He also set a new school record by logging 97 1/3 innings. Senior Brandon Engle (Moline HS, Moline, Ill.) was 7-3 and freshman Matt Erickson (Marmion Academy, Channahon, Ill.) went 7-1. Sophomore Kevin Schuetz (St. Charles North HS, St. Charles, Ill.) recorded nine saves and ranked fourth in the nation in that category.

 

The Vikings were 13-1 heading into the conference season and climbed as high as sixth in the NCAA Division III national ranking. Once the CCIW action started, however, Augustana struggled a bit and were 5-6 in league play after losing a double header to Carthage on April 15. One day later, however, Erickson tossed a nine inning complete game four hitter in a 4-0 win over North Central to even the conference record at 6-6. That seemed to steady things and the Vikings won seven of their last nine league games to finish 13-8 and in third place in the standings.

 

In the CCIW tournament Wallace’s bunch lost to Carthage 12-4 in the first game but battled back through the loser’s bracket with wins over Elmhurst (16-14) and Illinois Wesleyan (7-2) to reach the title game. In the championship the Vikings dropped a 10 inning thriller to Carthage by a score of 5-3. That meant a nervous two days of waiting for the NCAA Division III selection committee to decide whether Augustana was worthy of a post-season berth. The Vikings were more than likely the last at-large team selected in the 56 team field but they proved they belonged with a fine showing in the Central Regional, which was held at Jack Horenberger Field in Bloomington, Illinois from May 16-19.

 

Once again the loser’s bracket beckoned as a first round loss to Luther by a score of 3-1 dumped Augustana into the pitcher-eating portion of the double elimination tournament. The Vikings were up to the task, getting a superb outing from Knott in a 6-5 11-inning win over Illinois Wesleyan and then coming back from a 7-1 deficit to beat Webster 15-7. That eliminated both of those teams. On Friday night, May 18, Erickson was in complete command as he tossed a five hitter and beat number one seed Luther 6-1 to set up another championship game battle against Carthage. In a well played game the Vikings fell to the Red Men 5-4 to end their season. Blakeley, Ramos, Wagle and Erickson were all named to the all-tournament team.

 

Blakeley, Hansen, Wagle and Meisenbach were first team all-conference selections while Ramos and Knott made the second team. While Blakeley garnered All-America honors, he and Meisebach were named to the all-region first team while Wagle and Hansen were picked to the second team.

 

Wallace finished his 10th season at Augustana and he now has a record of 299-132 overall and 125-81 in CCIW play at Augustana. His teams have won at least 20 games in all 10 years and have eclipsed the 30 victory mark in six of those seasons.

 

2007 COLLEGE CONFERENCE OF ILLINOIS & WISCONSIN STANDINGS

TEAM

W (CCIW)

L (CCIW)

.PCT (CCIW)

W (OVERALL)

L (OVERALL)

.PCT (OVERALL)

Illinois Wesleyan

20

1

.952

32

13

.711

Carthage

16

5

.762

37

13

.740

AUGUSTANA

13

8

.619

35

14

.714

Elmhurst

10

11

.476

16

22

.421

Millikin

7

13

.350

15

25

.375

North Park

7

14

.333

14

26

.350

North Central

7

14

.333

16

24

.400

Wheaton

3

17

.150

20

23 – 1

.309

 

2007 CCIW BASEBALL TOURNAMENT

May 10-12 at Jack Horenberger Field in Bloomington, Illinois

 

Thursday, May 10

#1 Illinois Wesleyan 11, #4 Elmhurst 0

#2 Carthage 12, #3 Augustana 4

 

Friday, May 11

Carthage 10, Illinois Wesleyan 3

Augustana 16, Elmhurst 14 (Elmhurst eliminated)

Augustana 7, Illinois Wesleyan 2 (Illinois Wesleyan eliminated)

 

Saturday, May 12

Carthage 5, Augustana 3 (Carthage wins CCIW tournament and automatic berth into NCAA Division III national tournament)

 

2007 AUGUSTANA BASEBALL SUPERLATIVES

 

NCAA DIVISION III ALL-AMERICAN: Marc Blakeley, CF (first team as selected by the American Baseball Coaches Association and second team as picked by D3baseball.com)

NCAA DIVISION III ALL-CENTRAL REGION: First team – Marc Blakeley, CF…Jake Meisenbach, C…Second team – John Wagle, 2B & Don Hansen, RF. (selected by American Baseball Coaches Association)

NCAA DIVISION III ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM IN CENTRAL REGIONAL: Marc Blakeley, CF, John Wagle, 2B, Mark Ramos, SS and Matt Erickson, P.

CCIW ALL-CONFERENCE: First team – Marc Blakeley, CF…Don Hansen, RF…John Wagle, 2B…Jake Meisenbach, C…Second team – Mark Ramos, SS…Eric Knott, P.

CCIW ACADEMIC ALL-CONFERENCE: Tyler Anderson, 1B…Eric Izzo, 3B…John Wagle, 2B

ESPN – THE MAGAZINE ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT: Second team – John Wagle

NCAA DIVISION III TOURNAMENT APPEARANCE: Vikings finished second in NCAA Division III regional in Bloomington, Illinois…Second NCAA appearance in school history.

30 VICTORY MARK: Team was 35-14 as Vikings went over 30 wins for just the sixth time in school history.

 

 

NCAA DIVISION III NATIONAL RANKING: 22nd

NCAA DIVISION III REGIONAL RANKING: Third in Central Region

AUGUSTANA’S MOST OUTSTANDING DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Mark Ramos, SS

AUGUSTANA’S MOST OUTSTANDING OFFENSIVE PLAYER: Marc Blakeley, CF

AUGUSTANA’S MOST OUTSTANDING PITCHER: Eric Knott, P

AUGUSTANA’S MOST IMPROVED PLAYER: John Wagle, 2B

AUGUSTANA’S TOP NEWCOMER: Eric Izzo, 3B & Matt Erickson, P

AUGUSTANA’S TEAM CAPTAINS FOR 2007: Brandon Engle, Chris Pietroski & Jake Meisenbach

CCIW BATTER OF THE WEEK: John Wagle on 04/03/07; Jake Meisenbach on 03/27/07 and Marc Blakeley on 03/20/07

AUGUSTANA SINGLE SEASON SCHOOL RECORD – MOST RUNS: 60, Marc Blakeley – breaks old record of 58 by Dan Pedretti in 2000

AUGUSTANA SINGLE SEASON SCHOOL RECORD – MOST HITS: 90, Marc Blakeley – breaks old record of 69 by Dan Pedretti in 2000

AUGUSTANA SINGLE SEASON SCHOOL RECORD – MOST DOUBLES: 24, Jake Meisenbach – breaks old record of 21 by Jake Meisenbach in 2005

AUGUSTANA SINGLE SEASON SCHOOL RECORD – MOST HOME RUNS: 10, Marc Blakeley – ties record of 10 by Jake Meisenbach in 2005 and Ernie Jack in 2001

AUGUSTANA SINGLE SEASON SCHOOL RECORD – MOST STOLEN BASES: 26, Don Hansen – breaks old record of 22 by Steve Lindmark in 1995 and Scott Tumilty in 1996

AUGUSTANA SINGLE SEASON SCHOOL RECORD – MOST AT-BATS: 201 by Jake Meisenbach and Marc Blakeley – breaks old record of 174 by Jake Meisenbach in 2005

AUGUSTANA SINGLE SEASON SCHOOL RECORD – MOST INNINGS PITCHED: 97 1/3 by Eric Knott – breaks old record of 93 by Kevin Green in 2001

AUGUSTANA SINGLE SEASON SCHOOL RECORD – MOST HITS BY TEAM: 562 – breaks old record of 544 in 2000

AUGUSTANA CAREER SCHOOL RECORD – MOST DOUBLES: 45 by Jake Meisenbach – breaks old record of 37 by Mike Kane (2001-03)

CCIW INDIVIDUAL STATISTICAL LEADER – DOUBLES: 13, Jake Meisenbach

NCAA DIVISION III STATISTICAL LEADER – HITS: Marc Blakeley led the nation with 90 hits

NCAA DIVISION III STATISTICAL RANKING – SAVES: 4th – Kevin Schuetz with nine

NCAA DIVISION III STATISTICAL RANKING – DOUBLES: 12th – Jake Meisenbach at 0.49 per game

NCAA DIVISION III STATISTICAL RANKING – BATTING AVERAGE: 18th – Marc Blakeley at .448 (90-201)

NCAA DIVISION III STATISTICAL RANKING – HOME RUNS: 18th – Marc Blakeley with 10