GRAND FORKS, N.D. - Senior Kyle Bolander (Hermantown, Minn.) saved his best collegiate season for his last and freshman hurler Andrew Thome (St. Cloud, Minn.) burst onto the Great West scene during his rookie season to claim North Dakota baseball's annual team awards.
For their combined efforts, Bolander was named the team's Most Valuable Player in a vote by his coaches and teammates, while Thome collected the Most Valuable Pitcher award. Both players earned second team All-GWC honors as well.
"Kyle battled through some injuries in his career, but overcame those to have a great senior season for us," UND head coach Jeff Dodson said. "He stuck with it and I was happy to see him produce at the level he did. Not only for our team, but for him to go out with the season he had was special."
Bolander finished the season with career highs in batting average (.310), home runs (9) and RBI (43). His nine home runs were tied for the third most in the Great West Conference and he was also hit by a pitch a league-leading 23 times. That mark tied the single-season school record held by former teammate Josh Lagein (2010).
"Andrew really had a strong finish to his freshman season," Dodson said. "The sky is the limit for his future and we're excited to see what he can do in a UND uniform over the next couple of seasons."
Thome led the team with five wins, 65 strikeouts and a 3.58 ERA and also set the UND single-season record with 93 innings pitched. He also fired six complete games and was the only freshman pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball to toss three nine-inning shutouts in 2012.
His three shutouts tied the UND single-season record held by J.J. Scheving (2004). Thome won four of his last five starts, posting a 0.66 ERA with 36 strikeouts in 41 innings pitched during that stretch.