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April 1, 2002

2009 Season - 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)

Acosta, Jorge*                         OF                R/R       5’11”           160               Fr           Rock Falls, IL (Rock Falls Township)

Baldwin, James**                     P                   L/L         6’3”             200               Sr           Geneva, IL (Geneva)

Beard, Chris**                          C, OF           R/R       6’0”             195               Jr            Moline, IL (Moline)

Blankenship, Matt*                   P                   L/L         5’10”           165               Fr           Wheaton, IL (Wheaton North)

Boster, Eric*                             OF                L/L         5’9”             160               Fr           Moline, IL (Moline)

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 (Harlem)

Broski, Stephen*                      P                   R/R       5’11”           185               Fr           Rockford, IL (Rockford Boylan)

Brownley, Matthew*                C                  R/R       5’10”           200               Fr           Schaumburg, IL (Schaumburg)

Brownley, Walter***                3B                 R/R       6’0”             180               Sr           Schaumburg, IL (Schaumburg)

Brunner, Jeremy*                     P                   R/R       6’5”             175               Fr           Bloomington, IL (Normal Comm.)

Cruse, Joe*                              P, 1B            R/R       6’2”             195               Fr           Davenport, IA (Assumption)

Dickey, Brian*                           P                   L/L         6’2”             200               So           Belvidere, IL (Rockford Lutheran)

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           Streamwood, IL (Streamwood)

Green, Kevin**                         P                   R/R       6’1”             185               Sr           Elgin, IL (Larkin)

Grothe, Teddy***                    P                   R/R       6’0”             180               Jr            Galesburg, IL (Galesburg)

Hawkins, Matt***                     P                   R/R       6’0”             187               Jr            Farmer City, IL (Blue Ridge)

Hoffman, Mike**                      OF                R/R       6’1”             200               Sr           McHenry, IL (Johnsburg)

Hughes, Reggie**                    1B                 L/R        6’2”             205               Sr           Antioch, IL (Antioch Comm.)

Iaquinto, Kevin**** (C)           SS                 R/R       5’11”           175               Sr           Naperville, IL (Waubonsie Valley)

Jack, Ernie**                            C, DH           L/R        6’0”             200               So           Silvis, IL (United Township)

Kane, Mike**                            2B                 R/R       6’0”             180               Jr            Davenport, IA (Assumption)

Kleinhans, Ben***                    OF                R/R       6’0”             205               Jr            Naperville, IL (Waubonsie Valley)

Murray, Craig*                         P                   R/R       5’10”           190               So           Mt. Carroll, IL (Mt. Carroll)

Nelson, Chris**                        2B                 R/R       5’11”           155               So           Normal, IL (Normal Comm. West)

Nelson, Tony**                        1B                 R/R       6’2”             210               Sr           Grays Lake, IL (Mundelein)

Szczupaj, Jeff**                       OF                R/R       5’10”           180               Sr           Schaumburg, IL (Schaumburg)

Vroman, Zach**** (C)             OF                R/R       5’8”             150               Sr           Rock Island, IL (Rock Island)

 

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

Carthage                                                34   11    0                   15       6     0      15                    5                              20

Illinois Wesleyan                                  25   15    0                   17       4     0      17                    0                              17

Augustana (Ill.)                                    25   16    0                   13       8     0      13                    1                              14

North Central                                         23   20    0                   11       10   0      11                    2                              13

Millikin                                                     20   16   1                   9         12   0      9                      ---                            9

Elmhurst                                                 15   22   0                   8         13   0      8                      ---                            8

North Park                                              11   29   0                   8         13   0      8                      ---                            8

Wheaton (Ill.)                                        10   24   0                   3         18   0      3                      ---                            3

CCIW Baseball Tournament

Butterfield Park/Wheaton North High School (Host School-Elmhurst College)

Game     Day                                        Time        Location                 Teams/Result

#1          Friday, May 10                       11 a.m.     Butterfield Park        North Central 8, Illinois Wesleyan 4

#2          Friday, May 10                       11 a.m.     Wheaton North        Carthage 10, Augustana 1

#3          Friday, May 10                       3 p.m.       Wheaton North        Augustana 7, Illinois Wesleyan 6

#4          Friday, May 10                       3 p.m.       Butterfield Park        Carthage 10, North Central 8

#5          Sunday, May 12                     11 a.m.     Butterfield Park        North Central 2, Augustana 1

#6          Sunday, May 12                     3 p.m.       Butterfield Park        Carthage 5, North Central 4

 

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.