PASADENA, Calif. – At the end of the year coaches meeting the Cal Lutheran baseball program was rewarded with an entire team, nine players, named to All-SCIAC teams with a sweep of the Player, Pitcher and Newcomer of the Year awards after winning both the 2013 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) title and the Post Season Baseball Tournament.
Headlining the awards was Jake Petersen who was unanimously voted as the Player of the Year. In addition, the junior was named the Newcomer of the Year as the accolade was added for the first time in league history. Aaron Roth was named the SCIAC Pitcher of the Year.
Notching First Team honors were Nick Boggan, Nicho DellaValle and Trevor Koons while Spencer DuBois, Tyler Hebda, Scott Peters and Garrett Smith all landed on the Second Team.
Seven of those players earned conference recognition for the first time.
The number of Kingsmen honored is a testament to the success that CLU had this spring. America Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) No. 6 Cal Lutheran boasts the top batting average in the nation at .360. The Kingsmen also have the most combined hits of any squad in the country with 544 and 111 doubles to top all teams as well.
Of those hits, 360 came during SCIAC games with 66 doubles, 19 triples and 11 homeruns for a .361 team average. Cal Lutheran outscored league opponents 256-84. The pitching staff combined for a 2.72 ERA and defensively the Kingsmen had a team fielding percentage of .974 with 17 double-plays.
Petersen was a dual threat to the league this year, batting .470 to lead the SCIAC while posting a 6-1 record with a 2.73 ERA. The southpaw struck out 52 batters in 59.1 innings. Pulling double-duty, Petersen roamed the outfield during non-starts. After assuming the leadoff spot in mid-March, he recorded a team-high 47 hits with eight doubles, two triples and a homerun while drawing 13 walks. Additionally, he swiped a team-high seven bases. He finished his inaugural SCIAC season with 31 RBIs and 39 runs in 100 official at-bats. In the field he boasted a .975 fielding percentage with 24 putouts and 15 assists on the hill and in left field combined.
Honored as the SCIAC Pitcher of the Year, Roth made a name for himself out of the CLU bullpen this spring. In 17 appearances he accumulated 41.1 innings of work, striking out 52 with just two walks, to record a 4-0 record with six saves and a league-low .65 ERA. On April 23 Roth was named to the D3baseball.com Team of the Week.
Koons became a three-time First Team selection after another solid season at shortstop. Batting third for the Kingsmen, Koons hit .361 with 43 hits, including 10 doubles and a triple, with 23 RBIs and 29 runs scored. He was responsible for 133 outs with 84 assists and 39 putouts.
Earning his second First Team selection was Boggan a CLU staple at first base and in the clean-up spot. He committed just one error in 28 games for a .996 fielding percentage in 235 chances (219 putouts, 15 assists). At the plate he batted .411 with 44 hits, second most on the team, which included seven tape-measure homeruns, seven doubles and a triple for a .710 slugging percentage. He drove in a team-high 44 runs and scored 25 times after earning 16 walks and being hit by four pitches. Boggan stole two bases in two attempts.
For the first time in his career, DellaValle garnered league recognition. Batting primarily in the two hole, the junior produced a .410 average on 43 hits with four doubles and six triples recording 33 RBIs. DellaValle also walked 13 times and stole two bases in as many chances before scoring 32 times for the Violet and Gold. Manning the hot corner, he had 54 assists and 15 putouts. DellaValle became the first Cal Lutheran player honored on the D3baseball.com Team of the Week this spring on the April 9th team.
Rounding out the infield with a Second Team nod was Smith, the senior second baseman. In his final campaign, he posted a .381 batting average after collecting 37 hits with eight doubles, two triples and a pair of homeruns, driving in 34 runs and scoring 28 times for his first league honor. Smith was 5-for-5 in stolen bases after walking six times and sharing a team-high eight hit by pitches. In the field he finished with 51 putouts and 72 assists for the Kingsmen.
Behind the plate, DuBois earned the starting role early in his sophomore season and worked with an extremely successful staff. He threw out seven would-be-base stealers and played errorless baseball in 158 chances with 139 putouts and 19 assists, earning him conference recognition. Offensively, he earned a batting average of .342 on 27 hits with a pair of doubles and a triple. DuBois shared the team-lead with eight hit by pitches and walked three times while proving to be the toughest man in the lineup to strike out with just five all season. Overall he scored 21 runs while recording 14 RBIs in league play. He also had a team-high seven sacrifice bunts. After the SCIAC Post Season Tournament DuBois became the third CLU player named to the D3baseball.com Team of the Week.
Working with DuBois from the hill were Hebda (7-1) and Peters (6-0). Hebda, the number two starter, tallied 54.2 innings of action with 26 strike outs during nine appearances to be honored by the league. The junior hurler allowed just five walks in SCIAC games for a 3.13 ERA.
Taking the ball for game three in each series was Peters who held his opponents to a combined .197 batting average and posted a 1.20 ERA. During his sophomore season, Peters struck out 28 batters in 45.0 innings of work for his first All-SCIAC award.
Cal Lutheran (34-7-1) won the 10th SCIAC title in school history with a 24-4 record in 2013 and will appear in the West Regionals for the twelfth time since joining the NCAA in 1992.
Sunday, May 12 the NCAA will release the official bracket for the 2013 NCAA Division III Baseball Playoffs. The Kingsmen will travel to Austin, Tex. for the West Regionals next week with play scheduled for May 15-19 at Concordia University Texas.