SPOKANE, Wash. – On the heels of the team's first Northwest Conference championship in 21 years, six Whitworth University baseball players earned All-Northwest Conference honors, six others received honorable mention consideration and head coach Dan Ramsay was voted by his peers as the 2012 NWC Coach of the Year.
Voting for the All-NWC team was held at the NWC meeting in Portland on Thursday and the team was released today (Friday) by the conference office. Selections were based primarily on statistics from NWC games only. Click here for the entire All-NWC Baseball Team.
Ramsay becomes the first Whitworth baseball coach named NWC Coach of the Year since Randy Russell earned the honor in 1991. Ramsay guided the Pirates to a 19-5 NWC record and a share of the conference crown. By virtue of holding the tiebreaker with co-champion Pacific (Ore.), Whitworth received the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament. Ramsay, a former Pirate catcher who was hired immediately after completing his playing career, is in his fourth season directing the Whitworth baseball team.
Brock Gates of Pacific Lutheran was voted as the NWC Player of the Year, while Brian Ranta of George Fox was selected as the NWC Pitcher of the Year.
Pfeffer was one of four outfielders picked to the first team. In 24 NWC contests Pfeffer batted .426 and led the league with eight home runs and 39 runs batted in. He added nine doubles and posted a conference-best slugging average of .812. He was also among NWC leaders in runs scored with 28. He committed only one outfield error in 39 defensive chances (.974).
Motsinger batted .350 in 24 NWC contests. He drove in 17 runs and scored 21. Along the way he had seven doubles and stole seven bases in nine attempts. As a starting first-year shortstop, Motsinger posted a fielding percentage of .929.
Dan Scheibe developed into one of the NWC's most dominating pitchers over the second half of the season. He made nine appearances on the mound in Whitworth's 24 NWC contests and posted a 5-0 record with a 1.73 earned run average. He also had two saves. More indicative of his dominance were his conference-leading 69 strikeouts in 52.0 innings of work.
Jarrell, the only Whitworth senior represented on this year's All-NWC team, batted .287 in 24 league games with 20 RBIs. He added four doubles, a pair of home runs and scored 14 times. Arguably the best defensive first baseman in the NWC, Jarrell did not commit a single error in 214 defensive chances.
Muelheims batted .324 in NWC play with 14 RBIs and 26 runs scored. He doubled six times and led the Pirates in total at-bats (108). Muelheims posted a stellar .983 fielding percentage at second base, committing only two errors in 119 chances.
Miller was selected to the team as a designated hitter despite starting the final six games of the season at third base. He batted .305 and had eight doubles with 15 runs scored. He drove in nine runners and shared the team lead with seven stolen bases.
Davis started 14 of the 24 games at catcher for the Pirates and hit .333 with eight RBIs and nine runs scored. He threw out five of 18 base stealers.
Scott, a First Team All-NWC in 2010 and 2011, hit .304 with 20 RBIs and 21 runs scored. He started all 24 games, mostly at third base.
Valerio started every conference game in center field and posted a .322 average with 15 RBIs and 13 runs scored. He only committed two errors in 67 chances (.970).
Perry started six games on the mound and made eight appearances. He posted a 2-0 record with a 2.73 ERA. He also had one save.
Blumenthal went 4-3 on the mound with a 3.35 ERA while leading the Pirates with eight starts in the 24 NWC contests. He was second on the team in innings pitched (51.0) and strikeouts (38).
Renner took on the role of closer for the Bucs, posting four saves and a 2-0 record to go along with a 3.18 ERA. He had 13 strikeouts in 11.1 innings.
All 12 Pirates will play key roles in the team's first NCAA tournament appearance. The McMinnville Regional of the NCAA Division III tournament will open on May 16th and Whitworth will find out which team it plays when the entire field is announced on the morning of May 14th.