The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) announced the 2004 baseball awards in the past week and Gustavus figured notably in the awards. Sophomore first baseman Ben Sherer (Bismarck, ND) was named MIAC Player of the Year. In addition, six Gusties were named to the All-Conference team.
The six who earned All-Conference honors were Sherer, senior third baseman and pitcher Trent Larson (Burnsville, Minn.), senior second baseman Bryant Rogness (Lakeville, Minn.), first year right fielder Tony Konicek (Rochester, Minn.), senior left fielder Tyler Vrieze (Richfield, Minn.), and sophomore pitcher Josh Spitzack. All six Gusties finished in the top 15 in numerous league statistics.
Two-time All-Conference selection, Sherer won the MIAC batting title with a .513 average. He also led the league in hits (39), RBI ((29), home runs (8), and total bases (72). He also led the team in slugging percentage at .704 and was third in fielding percentage at .984. He ranks 26th in NCAA Division III in doubles per game at .45.
Larson earned his second All-Conference honor, finishing tenth in the league with a batting average of .435. He had an individual game high in runs scored (5) against St. Mary?s on April 7. He placed third in the league with an on-base percentage of .533. He placed in the top 15 with runs scored (23), hits (27), and runs batted in (20). He also earned MIAC Fielder of the Week honors during the middle of April. On the mound, Larson struck out 28 batters and placed second in batters struck out looking with 14.
Rogness, a four-year regular for the Gusties, led the league in runs scored with 30. He used his speed to his advantage placing ninth in stolen bases with five. He also placed eighth in the conference with a batting average of .440, fifth in hits (33), and third in doubles (9). Rogness was also named National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Hitter (NCBWA) and MIAC Fielder of the Week in mid-May.
First time All-conference selection Konicek had a remarkable year finishing second in runs scored (24) and hits (34) in league play. He compiled a batting average of .430 and had a seventh place finish in slugging percentage with .722.
Vrieze had a fourth place finish at the plate with a .453 batting average. He placed third in runs scored (24), eighth in slugging percentage (.719), and sixth in doubles (7).
On the mound, Spitzack pitched 39 innings, striking out 27 batters. He had an opposing batting average of .255 placing him in fourth in league pitching. He was also named MIAC Pitcher of the Week at the end of April.
The Gusties finished with a record of 13-7 in the MIAC and 29-15 overall. The team set a school record for wins in a season with 29. The old record was 25, set in 2002. Coach Mike Carroll?s squad finished third during the regular season, but then finished second in the MIAC playoff tournament losing to St. Thomas 6-5 in the championship game.