2013 CollegeSportsMadness.com Great West Preseason All-Conference Teams
GRAND FORKS, N.D.-- Four University of North Dakota baseball players have earned CollegeSportsMadness.com 2013 Great West Preseason All-Conference honors according to a recent release. Andrew Thome, Jeff Campbell and Tyler Follis were first team selections while Kris Kwak picked-up a second team mention.
Utah Valley, who went through the Great West Conference season unscathed last season at 28-0, swept the individual honors with Kai Hatch being named Player of the Year, Adam Gunn the Pitcher of the Year, Sagan Osborne the Freshman of the Year and Eric Madsen was the preseason Coach of the Year.
Thome was North Dakota's top hurler a season ago as a freshman. The St. Cloud, Minn. native led the team with five wins, 65 strikeouts and a 3.58 earned run average. He set the UND single-season record with 93 innings pitched and fired six complete games-- the only freshman hurler in NCAA Division I baseball to toss three nine-inning shutouts in 2012.
Campbell earned Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-America accolades last season, the first UND player to do that in the Division I era. He was named the Great West Conference Newcomer of the Year and earned a first-team spot as a utility player on the All-GWC team after a year that saw him hit .326 with a team-best 12 home runs and 47 RBI. The freshman also delivered four wins and six complete games from the mound.
Follis led North Dakota with a .352 batting average and 74 hits in his rookie collegiate season in 2012. The team's starting shortstop also generated a team-high 49 runs and had a .432 on-base percentage. His hit total broke the school's single-season record.
Kwak hit safely in all four games of the Great West Conference Tournament and finished the season with a 13-game hitting streak en route to a .313 batting average for the season. He ranked in the top three on the team in average, hits (65), runs (42), doubles (10), homers (4), RBI (29), slugging (.438) and on-base percentage (.419).
UND finished last season 19-37 overall and 10-18 in league play, advancing to the semifinals of the Great West Conference Tournament.
Southern Utah held off a late charge by North Dakota to pick up its first Big Sky win of the season with a 77-71 victory at Centrum Arena on Thursday. MORE