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April 1, 2005

2005 BASEBALL REVIEW

2005 BASEBALL REVIEW

 

VIKINGS POST SECOND HIGHEST WIN TOTAL IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN 33-11 CAMPAIGN; GREG WALLACE WINS CCIW “COACH OF THE YEAR” HONOR; STEVE BROSKI IS FIRST TEAM ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICAN; JAKE MEISENBACH & JAKE VROMAN WIN ALL-REGION RECOGNITION

 

An infusion of power courtesy of junior catcher Jake Meisenbach (Rock Island HS, Rock Island, IL) and a balanced pitching staff that saw nine different players pick up wins proved to be the contributing factors as Augustana roared to a 33-11 record in 2005. The Vikings of veteran head coach Greg Wallace went 15-6 in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin and placed second in the conference tournament, losing to Illinois Wesleyan 7-5 in the championship game. With the CCIW’s point total configuration of regular season and tournament victories, Augustana was third in the final standings with 17 points. Illinois Wesleyan won the CCIW title with 23 points while Carthage was second with 18.

 

While the Vikings had a tremendous offensive season, batting .335 as a team and scoring 365 runs for an average of 8.3 per game, it was the powerful bat of Meisenbach in the middle of the lineup that provided a huge lift. Meisenbach set new school records for single season at-bats (174), hits (69), doubles (21) and home runs (10). He batted .397 (69-174), scored 40 runs, had 21 doubles, two triples, 10 home runs and 55 runs-batted-in. He had a slugging percentage of .713. He was a first team selection both on the all-conference and the all-Midwest regional teams. Not surprisingly, he was named Augustana’s “Offensive MVP” by a vote of his teammates.

 

Meisenbach was joined on the all-Midwest region team by junior outfielder Jake Vroman (Rock Island HS, Rock Island, IL) and on the all-conference team by junior first baseman Bryan Phillips (Harlem HS, Machesney Park, IL), senior pitcher Steve Broski (Rockford Boylan HS, Rockford, IL), sophomore pitcher Kevin Kuntz (Streator HS, Streator, IL) and freshman outfielder Marc Blakeley (Adams Friendship HS, Adams Township, WI). Vroman and Phillips were first team all-conference picks while Broski, Kuntz and Blakeley were second team selections.

 

Augustana’s total of 33 victories is the second highest total in school history, trailing only the 38-8 mark put up by the 2000 team. The Vikings have now won 30 games in four of the last eighth years and the streak of 20 win seasons moves to eight, dating back to 1998. Wallace finished his eighth season as the head coach of his alma mater and he has compiled a record of 233-108 with the Vikings. His overall collegiate record, which includes four years at Frostburg State, is 311-157. He was named “2005 Coach of the Year” in the CCIW following the season.

 

Consistency was the key to the success in 2005 as the Vikings only lost two games in a row once during the year and finished the season with 15 wins in the last 18 games. The year began with six straight victories in Florida and 10 wins in the first 11 games and things never tailed off after that. During one six game winning streak at the end of April, Augustana scored 101 runs for an average of 16.8 per game.

 

Sophomore outfielder Chris Pietroski (Buffalo Grove HS, Buffalo Grove, IL) led the team in hitting with a .418 average with 38 hits in 91 at-bats. A total of eight Vikings batted over .300 for the year and nine posted at least 20 runs-batted-in. Meisenbach led the conference in RBI with 27 (conference games only) and total bases with 60. Phillips took the CCIW home run crown with eight and Pietroski led in triples with three. The Vikings led the conference in batting with a .338 average in league play.

 

While the hitters were superb, the pitching staff did its part as nine different hurlers recorded victories during the course of the year. Senior lefthander Matt Blankenship (Wheaton North HS, Wheaton, IL) and sophomore righty Brandon Engle (Moline HS, Moline, IL) were both 6-1 and Broski went 6-3. Broski was also honored as a member of ESPN – The Magazine’s Academic All-American team for the second year in a row. After making the third team in 2004, Broski was a first team pick in 2005.

 

The Vikings were 15-6 in the CCIW and went into the conference tournament on May 13-14 in Bloomington, Illinois as the number three seed. After losing to Carthage 5-3 in the opening round, Augustana battled back through the loser’s bracket with a 17-1 victory over North Central and a 5-2 win against Carthage. That put the Blue & Gold in the championship game against Illinois Wesleyan and the Titans put an end to the Vikings season with a 7-5 decision.

 

Meisenbach was the team’s “Offensive MVP” while third baseman Joe Cruse (Davenport Assumption HS, Davenport, IA) was the “Defensive MVP” and Engle was named the “Pitching MVP”. Pietroski was tabbed as the Most Improved Player.

 

2005 CCIW BASEBALL STANDINGS

 

CCIW

CCIW

CCIW

OVERALL

OVERALL

OVERALL

TEAM

WON

LOSS

.PCT

WON

LOSS

.PCT

Illinois Wesleyan

18

3

.857

34

13

.723

Carthage

17

4

.810

31

12

.721

AUGUSTANA

15

6

.714

33

11

.750

North Central

13

8

.619

19

22

.463

Elmhurst

9

12

.429

17

23

.425

Millikin

6

15

.286

17

23

.425

Wheaton

5

16

.238

13

26

.333

North Park

1

20

.048

1

39

.250

 

FINAL CCIW POINT TOTALS

PLACE

TEAM

REG. SEASON

TOURNAMENT

FINAL TOTAL

1.

Illinois Wesleyan

18

5

23

2.

Carthage

17

1

18

3.

Augustana

15

2

17

4.

North Central

13

0

13

5.

Elmhurst

9

--

9

6.

Millikin

6

--

6

7.

Wheaton

5

--

5

8.

North Park

1

--

1

 

2005 CCIW Tournament at Illinois Wesleyan

1st Round: Illinois Wesleyan 6, North Central 2…Carthage 5, Augustana 3

2nd Round: Augustana 17, North Central 3…Illinois Wesleyan 6, Carthage 1

Semifinal: Augustana 5, Carthage 2

CHAMPIONSHIP: Illinois Wesleyan 7, Augustana 5

 

2005 AUGUSTANA SUPERLATIVES

CCIW “COACH OF THE YEAR”: Greg Wallace

ESPN – THE MAGAZINE ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA: Steve Broski, pitcher (1st team)

NCAA DIVISION III ALL-MIDWEST REGION: Jake Meisenbach, catcher (1st team)…Jake Vroman, outfield (1st team)

CCIW ALL-CONFRENCE: (1st team) – Jake Meisenbach, catcher…Bryan Phillips, infield…Jake Vroman, outfield…(2nd team) – Steve Broski, pitcher…Kevin Kuntz, pitcher…Marc Blakeley, outfield.

OFFENSIVE MVP: Jake Meisenbach

DEFENSIVE MVP: Joe Cruse

PITCHING MVP:  Brandon Engle

MOST IMPROVED: Chris Pietroski

CCIW PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: 03/07 – Jake Meisenbach (batter)…03/07 – Matt Blankenship (pitcher)…04/24 – Joe Cruse (batter)…05/09 – Jake Meisenbach (batter)

CONSECUTIVE 20 WIN SEASONS: Vikings go over the 20 victory plateau for eighth consecutive season

SECOND HIGHEST VICTORY TOTAL: Augustana’s 33 wins in 2005 is the second highest in school history, trailing only the 38-8 record compiled in 2000

 

INDIVIDUAL SCHOOL RECORDS SET IN 2005

SINGLE SEASON AT-BATS: 174 – Jake Meisenbach…old record 171 by Scott Schmid in 2000

SINGLE SEASON HITS: 69 – Jake Meisenbach…ties old record of 69 held jointly by Mike Kane in 2003, Dan Pedretti in 2000 and Scott Schmid in 2000

SINGLE SEASON DOUBLES: 21 – Jake Meisenbach…old record 16 held jointly by Dan Pedretti in 2000 and Bryan Welder in 1997

SINGLE SEASON HOME RUNS: 10 – Jake Meisenbach…ties old record of 10 held by Ernie Jack in 2001

 

TEAM SCHOOL RECORDS SET IN 2005

SINGLE SEASON DOUBLES: 100 – old record of 95 set in 1999

SINGLE SEASON TRIPLES: 15 – ties old record of 15 set in 2000

SINGLE SEASON HOME RUNS: 37 – old record of 36 set in 1997 and 1998

 

CCIW STATISTICAL LEADERS (conference games only)

TEAM BATTING: .338 (242 of 716)

INDIVIDUAL TRIPLES: 3 – Chris Pietroski

INDIVIDUAL HOME RUNS: 8 – Bryan Phillips

INDIVIDUAL RBI: 27 – Jake Meisenbach

INDIVIDUAL TOTAL BASES: 60 – Jake Meisenbach

 

TEAM NCAA STATISTICAL RANKINGS

TEAM SCORING: 30th with 8.3 runs per game (365 runs in 44 games)

WIN/LOSS PERCENTAGE: 24th at .750 (33-11 overall record)

 

INDIVIDUAL NCAA STATISTICAL RANKINGS

DOUBLES: 20th – Jake Meisenbach at 0.48 doubles per game (21 doubles in 44 games)