Austintown, Ohio - May 25, 2010 – Six student-athletes on the Mideast Regional Championship Heidelberg University baseball team have added to their academic resumes.
Earning a spot on the Academic All-Ohio Athletic Conference Team is Steve Decker(Maumee, Ohio / Springfield), Jason Lash (Strongsville, Ohio / Strongsville),Everett Thomas (Nashua, N.H. / Evansville (Ind.), Nathan James (South Spencer, Ind. / Rockport) and Andy Lowe (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Carroll), while Alex Monroe(Chagrin Falls, Ohio / Kenston) was named to the honorable mention list.
Eleven years ago Matt Palm took over the Berg baseball program and has led the team to a handful of academic honors. Since 2000, Heidelberg baseball has placed a student-athlete on every Academic All-OAC team. Heidelberg’s six honorees are the most ever in a single year and it leads all 10 OAC institutions. Its six recipients top its five from a season ago. Its five first team recipients is also a program-best, improving on its four from a season ago.
Returning to the academic list for the second straight year is Decker. A three-year starting catcher, Decker carries a 3.55 grade point average as a business administration and sport management major. He graduate earlier this month and plans to enter the workforce upon the conclusion of the baseball season. Decker was also tabbed the OAC’s May Scholar-Athlete of the Month, as well as named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District IV Second Team. This season Decker is hitting .408, which ranks fourth on the team. He has registered 71 hits in 174 at bats, while getting hit by a single season record 23 pitches. Besides calling the pitches behind the plate, Decker’s thrown out 22 would be base stealers.
Also returning to the All-Academic list is Lash. As a chemistry and biology major, Lash boasts a cumulative gpa of 3.57. Earlier this month he landed a spot on the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District IV First Team. Lash has started since his freshman year at shortstop. In his junior campaign he is batting .421 (77-for-183). He has registered 34 extra base hits and has knocked in 54 runs.
Thomas is a business administration major with a 3.52 gpa. He graduated earlier this month and is looking to attend graduate school in the fall. On the mound for the Berg Thomas has posted a 3-1 record. He owns a 4.76 earned run average in 39.2 innings of work and has struck out 21 in the process. Thomas has started six games in 10 trips to the mound.
James’ Academic All-OAC nod this season joins his honorable mention selection from a season ago. As an athletic training major James has a 3.92 gpa. In his second season in the starting rotation, the junior right-hander is 7-2 with 49 strike outs. Last weekend he picked up the win in the Mideast Regional Championship game. He has made 10 appearances, getting the start on seven occasions.
Picking up his first Academic all-OAC honor is Lowe. This accolade joins his spot on the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District IV Second Team. In the classroom, Lowe is studying accounting and carries a 3.56 gpa. The junior closer leads the pitching staff with a 2.47 ERA and 12 saves. He also owns an overall record of 4-1 and has 48 strike outs. His 12 saves set a new single season record.
Rounding out the list of honorees is Monroe. The accounting and economics major is earning his first academic accolade of his career. The junior starting left fielder has a 3.80 gpa. In his first season as a full-time starter, Monroe is hitting .318 with 55 hits in 173 at bats. He has knocked in 41 runs, while scoring 43 of his own.
Heidelberg owns an overall record of 40-6 this season and is in final preparation for its first trip to the Division III World Series set for May 28-June 1 in Appleton, Wis. The Berg earned a spot in the World Series following its first-ever Mideast Regional title last weekend. Along the way the Berg also brought home the 2010 OAC Regular Season and Tournament Championships.