Appleton, Wis. – May 27, 2010 – On the eve of the 2010 Division III Baseball Championships in Appleton, Wis., the Heidelberg University baseball team picked up a handful of national honors. At the championship banquet for the Division III World Series, Heidelberg had five named to the ABCA/Rawlings All-America Teams, a student-athlete honored for his dedication in the classroom and head coach Matt Palm was recognized for his guidance.
Earning ABCA/Rawlings All-American First Team honors was senior catcher Steve Decker (Maumee, Ohio / Springfield), junior third baseman Willie Brechun (Canton, Ohio / Canton Central Catholic) and sophomore right fielder Ricardo Lizcano (Toledo, Ohio / Roy C. Start). Garnering second team All-American recognition was junior short stop Jason Lash (Strongsville, Ohio / Strongsville) and junior right handed closer Andy Lowe (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Carroll).
Junior right handed pitcher Nathan James (South Spencer, Ind. / Rockport) was presented with the inaugural NCAA Elite 88 Award. The Elite 88 Award recognizes the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade point average amongst the players competing in the championship. One award is presented at all of the NCAA 88 championships. As an athletic training major, James boasts a 3.919 gpa, while also maintaining a spot in the starting rotation.
Palm was named the Mideast Region Coach of the Year to round out the list of honorees for Heidelberg. In his 11th year at the helm, Palm’s regional coach of the year comes on the heels of leading the Berg to its first Mideast Regional title and trip to the World Series. Along the way the Berg won its fourth straight, fifth overall, Ohio Athletic Conference Regular Season Championship and its third consecutive, fourth overall, OAC Tournament title. Palm was also honored this season as the OAC Coach of the Year. He has picked OAC Coach of the Year honors five times (2000, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010) and he received his first regional coach of the year honors this season.
The five ABCA/Rawlings All-Americans are the most in a single-season at the Berg. They also join three ’Berg All-American honors by D3baseball.com that were announced yesterday. Earning a spot on the D3baseball.com All-American list was Lizcano, Brechun and Lowe. Overall in the history of the Berg baseball program that dates back to 1959, Heidelberg has picked up 16 All-American accolades, with 15 of them coming since2003.