SEWARD, Neb. – Six members of the Concordia University baseball team found themselves among the selections named to the NAIA/NCAA Division III All-Nebraska Baseball Team released on Saturday (June 23) by the Omaha World-Herald. Sophomore Nick Little and juniors Christian Meza and Thomas Sautel were named to the 15-member team (10 position players, five pitchers) while sophomores Wade Council and Jake Fosgett and senior Cade Moring garnered honorable mention accolades (full team at bottom).
At the plate, Meza provided head coach Ryan Dupic with his most consistently reliable bat. The Lakeside, Calif., native became the first Bulldog to hit .400 or better since 2007. His .405 average ranked second in the conference. Meza also totaled 35 runs scored, 68 hits (including 14 doubles and two home runs), a team best 41 RBIs, 88 total bases and 19 walks along with an on-base percentage of .472 and slugging percentage of .524. He also topped Concordia with eight stolen bases. His 68 hits are the third most in a single season in school history. Meza will enter his senior season ranked ninth all-time on the program career hits list (156).
Sautel took on a much larger role in his second season at Concordia. After getting only 48 at bats in 2017, Sautel started 45 of 47 games this spring and finished second on the team with a .371 batting average. He also put up healthy rates such as a .441 on-base percentage and .522 slugging percentage. He added 26 runs, 59 hits, seven doubles, a triple, five home runs, 40 RBIs, 83 total bases and 15 walks. Sautel was especially hot over the second half of the season, ending the campaign on a 10-game hitting streak. He also earned a GPAC weekly honor after a 17-for-34 week at the plate.
The results were remarkable for Little in his sophomore season. In his 12 starts, Little covered 91.1 innings, posted a 9-2 record and 2.36 ERA and struck out 90 hitters compared to 81 hits (.231 opponent batting average) and 23 walks allowed. His final totals for innings pitched, complete games (eight) and wins all represented program single-second records. Little managed to cover at least seven innings in all but one of his starts. Among GPAC pitchers, Little ranked first in innings and wins, second in ERA and third in strikeouts. He was an honorable mention All-GPAC choice in 2017.
In his second collegiate season, Council became a force at the top of the lineup. His numbers improved across the board as compared to his freshman season. The Colorado Springs, Colo., native batted .339, recorded a .428 on-base percentage and slugged a team high .548. In 168 at bats, Council totaled 41 runs, 57 hits, 15 doubles, a triple, a Bulldog best six home runs, 33 RBIs, 92 total bases, 20 walks and seven stolen bases. He pulled off a rare feat in March when he was named the GPAC player and pitcher of the week on the same day. Council moved from honorable mention last season to second team all-conference this spring.
Fosgett and Moring were key pieces of a Bulldog pitching staff that broke a program single-season record for most strikeouts. The team’s ace reliever, Fosgett (Carlsbad, Calif.) made 13 appearances out of the bullpen, covering 15 innings. He notched four saves and 21 strikeouts and had a 1.80 ERA. There was not a more devastating strikeout pitcher in the GPAC than Moring (Eagar, Ariz.), who racked up a school record 109 strikeouts in 64.2 innings. He went 4-5 with an unluckily high 4.45 ERA.
C: Travis Tanaka, jr., Bellevue, .332, 5 HRs, 35 RBIs
1B: Riley Baasch, so., Bellevue, .316, 17 HRs, 59 RBIs
2B: Christian Meza, jr., Concordia, .405, 41 RBIs, 14 2Bs
*SS: Kory Longaker, jr., Bellevue, .397, 48 RBIs, 21 SBs
3B: Thomas Sautel, jr., Concordia, .371, 5 HRs, 40 RBIs
OF: Bryan Ventura Castro, sr., Peru State, .406, 57 RBIs, 23 SBs
OF: Gary Dixon, jr., Bellevue, .341, 8 HRs, 32 RBIs
OF: Trent Jeary, jr., Doane, .377, 32 RBIs, 8 SBs
DH: Tanner Bos, sr., Midland, .354, 40 RBIs, 13 SBs
U: Tommy Anderson, sr., Doane, .410, 19 2Bs, 39 RBIs
P: Eddy Tavarez Cabrera, jr., Peru State, 8-3, 2.17 ERA
P: Reid Feeley, sr., Bellevue, 8-2, 2.73 ERA
P: Nick Little, so., Concordia, 9-2, 2.36 ERA
P: Vinny Schmidt, fr., Hastings, 8-0, 0.50 ERA
P: Billy Brand, jr., Midland, 4-1, 1.06 ERA, 4 saves
*— denotes honorary captain
Honorable mention: Bellevue, Max Dwyer, Stuart Eurich, JT Patterson. Concordia, Wade Council, Jake Fosgett, Cade Moring. Doane, Manny Armendariz, Carter Cummins, Jacob Duhey, Andy Theiler, Eduardo Yanez. Hastings, Eric Anderson, Bryce McMullen, Tynan O’Brien, Zack Petersen, Grant Svec. Midland, Hayden Bailey, Buddy Balsino, Dakota Cortese, Torrey Escamilla, Armando Fajardo. Nebraska Wesleyan, Jesse Maguire, Justus Stocks. Peru State, Gianfranco Garlobo, Eric Ocasio. York, Isaiah Bond, Billy Damon, Matt Lindsley, Jake Sola, DB Vidal.