SEWARD, Neb. – A GPAC championship season helped the Concordia University baseball team land a total of seven players on the All-Nebraska baseball squad, as chosen by the Omaha World-Herald (announced on June 17). Under the leadership of head coach Ryan Dupic, the Bulldogs won a school record 34 games and advanced to the national tournament for the first time in program history.
Representing the Bulldogs on the All-Nebraska team were seniors Casey Berg and Jason Galeano and freshman Jason Munsch. Honorable mention went to seniors Christian Montero and Josh Prater and freshmen Desmond Pineda and Josh Prater.
Berg, a force at the top of the lineup, vaulted to the All-GPAC first team in 2017. Berg became one of the conference’s most productive offensive players this season, batting .343 with an on-base percentage of .439 and slugging percentage of .529. The native of Carroll, Iowa, also recorded 16 doubles, a triple, seven home runs, 35 RBIs, 30 walks and 11 stolen bases. Berg is now the school record holder at bats (210), runs (57), hits (72) and total bases (111). He ranked among the top 10 players in the GPAC in runs scored, slugging percentage, hits, doubles, home runs, total bases and stolen bases.
First team All-GPAC pick Jason Galeano (Brooklyn, N.Y.) made a significant impact in what was his only season as a Bulldog after transferring from NCAA Division II Illinois-Springfield. While serving as both a designated hitter and first baseman, Galeano hit .310 with seven home runs and 42 RBIs. He posted an on-base percentage of .398 and slugging percentage of .465. His 62 hits ranked second on the team behind only Berg. Galeano did not commit an error in 166 chances in the field.
Jason Munsch (Campbell, Calif.), the team’s third first team all-conference choice, shined as one of the most difficult pitchers in the GPAC to hit. He limited opponents to a .193 batting average and boasted a 3.07 ERA over 45.2 innings. He topped the team leader with 64 strikeouts (10.3 strikeouts/nine innings) and finished with a record of 5-1. He made 11 starts, including the first game of the national tournament, and allowed just 38 hits. He tossed a seven-inning, one-hit shutout against Morningside on April 2.
A first team all-conference choice in 2016 and a second team selection in 2017, Christian Montero (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic), Montero hit .289 with five home runs and 27 RBIs. He notched a .395 on-base percentage and .469 slugging percentage. He led the team with 12 stolen bases in 14 attempts. His 20 doubles broke a program single-season record. His biggest power surge came on April 8 when he drilled three home runs in a doubleheader sweep at Doane.
No GPAC reliever was more valuable than Desmond Pineda, a second team all-conference pick. In his 18 appearances (two starts), he covered 42.1 innings and recorded a stellar 2.76 ERA. He allowed 35 hits and 17 walks to go up against 41 strikeouts. Pineda was also been credited with five saves and four victories. His longest outing was a seven-inning relief appearance when he surrendered just one run and struck out eight in the 13-inning game against Dordt.
Senior Josh Prater moved up from honorable mention accolades in 2016 to second team in 2017. The lefty from Colorado Springs, Colo., took the ball 11 times, working 63 innings and pitching to a 2.57 ERA. He recorded 54 strikeouts while allowing 65 hits and 20 walks. He tossed three complete games, including one shutout. In 177.2 career innings as a Bulldog, Prater sported a 13-8 record and 3.85 ERA. An impact two-way player, Council went 6-2 with a 3.83 ERA in 51.2 innings as a pitcher and batted .283 with a pair of home runs at the plate. He also drove in 26 runs.
2017 Small College All-Nebraska Baseball Team
C, Billy Damon, York, .298
C, Jake Browne, Bellevue, .324
1B, Todd Nicks, Bellevue, .358
2B, Miles Campbell, Bellevue, .341
3B, Matt Evans, Bellevue, .364
SS, Tommy Anderson, Doane, .373
UT, Casey Berg, Concordia, .343
DH, Jason Galeano, Concordia, .310
OF, Cole Gray, Midland, .411
OF, * Derik Bontempo, Bellevue, .436
OF, Billy Johnson, York, .384
OF, Kevin Clausen, Doane, .358
P, Todd Nicks, Bellevue, 10-3
P, Jason Munsch, Concordia, 5-1
P, Ben McKendall, Bellevue, 9-1
P, Andrew Kuta, Hastings, 10-3
P, Alberto Rosario, Peru State, 6-2
RP, Alex Bee, Midland, 7 saves
* — denotes honorary captain
Honorable mention: Riley Baasch, Colten Barnes, Joe Moran, Zach Wilson, Bellevue; Wade Council, Josh Prater, Desmond Pineda, Christian Montero, Concordia; Caleb Goedeken, Jacob Trujillo, Eduardo Yanez, Doane; Will Frei, Ty O’Brien, Reed Stone, Brandon Utrup, Hastings; Tanner Bos, Rob Cummins, Torrey Escamilla, Kiefer Musiel, Midland; Jesse Maguire, Brody Murphy, Nebraska Wesleyan; Bryan Ventura Castro, Edwin Muniz, Peru State; Isaiah Bond, Nick Carney, Connor Towle, York