For Immediate Release
Baseball -- May 10, 2012
Four Red Devils Tabbed For All-SLIAC Team
HIGHLAND, Ill. – Four Eureka College baseball players have received All-St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Honorable Mention, SLIAC Commissioner Will Wolper announced Thursday afternoon at the league tournament in Highland, Ill. Senior utility infielder Blake McConkey (Fairview, Ill./Spoon River Valley H.S.), junior catcher Josh Hofer (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S.), junior outfielder Eric Lopez (Lake Villa, Ill./Lakes H.S./Lake County) and sophomore shortstop Grant DeWitt (Mt. Sterling, Ill./Brown County H.S.) were selected for the honor.
McConkey brought his four-year Eureka career to a close in 2012, hitting .264 in 36 starts between four different infield positions. He belted a team-high four home runs and shared the Eureka lead with 21 runs batted in. He added 20 runs scored, eight doubles and led the Red Devils with 22 bases on balls. Defensively, McConkey committed only three errors in 114 chances, as his .974 fielding percentage ranked second among Eureka starters. McConkey earned All-SLIAC Second Team accolades as a junior in 2011.
On the mound as Eureka’s staff ace, McConkey posted a 4-6 record with a 4.63 earned run average in 68.0 innings pitched. He struck out 35 batters and fired a complete-game, one-hit shutout in Eureka’s 9-0 victory over Principia on April 21.
Hofer, a newcomer to collegiate baseball, started 29 of the 32 games he appeared in as Eureka’s primary catcher. He finished the campaign with a .253 average and seven runs scored, four doubles and 16 runs batted in.
Lopez joined Hofer as newcomers to the Eureka baseball program after transferring from NAIA Roosevelt prior to the 2012 season. Lopez put up a .331 batting average in 36 starts from the Eureka outfield, driving in 16 runs and ranking second among Eureka regulars with a .378 on-base percentage. He also compiled 23 runs and six doubles.
DeWitt emerged as Eureka’s top offensive threat in 2012, leading the Red Devils with a .356 batting average, 30 runs scored, 48 hits, 67 total bases, a .496 slugging percentage and a .439 on-base percentage. He ripped three home runs during the campaign to go along with eight doubles, a triple, five stolen bases and 17 runs batted in.
Senior outfielder Michael Hammerstrand (Bloomington, Ill./Bloomington H.S.) was chosen for the SLIAC All-Sportsmanship Team. One player from each SLIAC member school is selected for the squad. Hammerstrand, who played 106 games during his four-year career, led the Red Devils with 13 stolen bases this spring.
Regular season SLIAC champion Webster swept the league’s individual postseason awards. First baseman Tom Henke was named SLIAC Player of the Year, while David Mueller earned SLIAC Pitcher of the Year honors. Pitcher Isaac Behme was the SLIAC Newcomer of the Year and head coach Bill Kurich was tabbed as SLIAC Coach of the Year for the fourth time since 2007. Blackburn received the team SLIAC Sportsmanship award.
The Red Devils finished the campaign with a 10-27 overall record and an 8-15 SLIAC mark for a sixth-place finish in the league.
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