SEWARD, Neb. – A GPAC championship season for the Concordia University baseball team has resulted in a major haul of postseason conference awards. One of the top players in program history, senior second baseman Christian Meza has earned the league’s highest distinction by being named GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Player of the Year. In addition, head coach Ryan Dupic has been named GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Coach of the Year for the second time in three seasons.
Meza was joined, among position players, by junior right fielder Wade Council on the all-conference first team. Concordia’s league best pitching staff landed four arms on the first team: senior Dylan DuRee and juniors Jake Fosgett, Jason Munsch and Sasha Jabusch. Freshman designated hitter Jesse Garcia nabbed second team honors. Lastly, senior shortstop Logan Ryan, sophomore reliever Ryan Samuelson and senior starting pitcher Tanner Wauhob garnered honorable mention status.
Dupic has guided the program to GPAC championship seasons in two of the past three years and his tenure has marked the winningest five years in Bulldog baseball history. Since arriving in Seward prior to the 2015 season, Dupic owns a record of 145-107. His 2017 squad was the first in school history to win a GPAC title and the first to advance to and then win an NAIA national championship opening round game. The 2019 squad is also headed to the opening round and is the new program standard bearer for league wins (23) in a single season.
Meza is the first ever Bulldog to be awarded the title of GPAC Player of the Year. Following Tuesday’s conference tournament championship game, Meza now owns school all-time rankings of first in doubles (51), second in hits (213), second in RBIs (141), seventh in runs scored (115) and seventh in batting average (.341). The San Diego native is a two-time first team All-GPAC choice and has three total all-conference honors in his career. This spring, Meza is hitting .343 (57-for-166) with a .447 on-base percentage and .482 slugging percentage. He has totaled 34 runs, 14 doubles, three home runs and 40 RBIs and has a fielding percentage of .951.
Council has moved up to first team from second team All-GPAC honors last season as a sophomore. Not only a first team All-GPAC pick, Council has found his way onto the league’s Gold Glove Team in right field. The Concordia leadoff hitter is batting .312 (54-for-173) with a .397 on-base percentage and .451 slugging percentage. Council has racked up 12 doubles, three triples, two home runs and 31 RBIs this season. In the field, Council has made just one error in 86 chances with nine outfield assists.
DuRee, an Elkhorn, Neb., native, has been lights out at the back end of the bullpen. In 29.2 innings of work this season, he has allowed just two earned runs. DuRee has recorded 33 strikeouts and has held opposing hitters to just a .190 batting average. His eight saves rank as the second highest single season total in program history. DuRee has made 17 appearances on the mound this season after making 10 as a junior.
In is his first season as a starter after transitioning from the bullpen, Fosgett has often been dominant. The native of Carlsbad, Calif., has fanned a career high 11 hitters on four different occasions. He has twice been named a GPAC Pitcher of the Week. Fosgett’s top performance was a two-hit shutout of Briar Cliff that included 11 strikeouts. On the year, Fosgett is 6-2 with a 3.09 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 55.1 innings. Opposing batters are hitting just .215 off of him.
Munsch is now a two-time first team All-GPAC honoree. The lefty from Campbell, Calif., is now 5-4 with a 2.62 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 58.1 innings (10 starts). He has held opposing hitters to a .197 batting average. Munsch is the only pitcher in program history to eclipse 200 strikeouts for a career (currently at 210). In 28 career collegiate starts, Munsch owns a 3.35 ERA over 150.2 innings. He was named the GPAC Pitcher of the Week on April 16 after he posting a career high 16 strikeouts in a win over Jamestown.
Jabusch has made a significant impact in his first season at Concordia after he transferred from Clark College (Wash.). The native of Kelso, Wash., was on the mound when the Bulldogs clinched the GPAC regular season title on April 27. In that contest, Jabusch fired a two-hit shutout and notched a career high 17 strikeouts in a seven-inning complete game versus Dordt. He was subsequently named the GPAC and NAIA National Pitcher of the Week. This spring, Jabusch is 6-2 with a 3.10 ERA and 75 strikeouts (28 walks) in 58 innings. He has held opponents to a .240 batting average.
Garcia has added some thunder to the middle of the lineup in his rookie season. He flashed big power in a three-homer game versus Dakota Wesleyan on March 24. He was then named the GPAC Player of the Week. A patient hitter, Garcia has worked a team high 31 walks while sporting a .456 on-base percentage. His season numbers show a .302 batting average, six doubles, eight home runs, 36 RBIs and a .418 slugging percentage. His eight homers rank on the program’s top 10 list for a single season.
The three honorable mention selections have each been key contributors to the conference championship. A four-year starter at shortstop, Ryan owns the program career record for assists (488) and also ranks fifth in school history in career runs (118). He’s had his best offensive season as a senior, hitting .292 with a .399 on-base percentage. In a relief role, Samuelson has been nearly spotless as his 0.42 ERA in 21.2 innings attests. Samuelson has struck out 23 hitters and has walked only six. Wauhob has been the No. 4 starter for an excellent pitching staff. In nine starts (53.2 innings), Wauhob is 6-2 with a 4.36 ERA and 51 strikeouts.
The Bulldogs will learn of their opening round matchup and site assignment on Thursday when the NAIA announces the brackets. The opening round will run May 13-16.