Four members of the Gustavus Adolphus baseball team received All-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference recognition Monday, led by junior center fielder Tony Konicek (Rochester, Minn.), who was named the Max Molock MIAC Most Valuable Player. Senior third baseman Aaron Madson (North Mankato, Minn.), senior pitcher Josh Spitzack (West Concord, Minn.) and sophomore catcher Shea Roehrkasse (Jackson Hole, Wyo.) were also honored.
MIAC regular season champion St. Thomas led the way with six selections to the 27-member squad, followed by regular season runner-up and tournament champion St. Olaf with five. Konicek and Spitzack also received All-MIAC recognition in 2004, while this is the first such honor for both Madson and Roehrkasse. Konicek is the third Gustie to be named MIAC MVP following Brad Mazer (2002) and Ben Sherer (2004). St. Olaf senior Eric Tobias was named the Mike Augustin MIAC Most Valuable Pitcher, while St. Thomas’ Dennis Denning and Hamline’s Jason Verdugo shared the Jim Dimick MIAC Coach of the Year Award.
Konicek, who led the MIAC in hitting, finished the year with a .484 batting average, a .828 slugging percentage and a .519 on base percentage. Konicek led the MIAC in batting average, hits (59), doubles (16), home runs (8), runs batted in (48), and total bases (101). In the field, Konicek made only one error in 88 chances. During the season, Konicek recorded a pair of MIAC individual highs, rapping five hits, including three doubles, in a game against Augsburg April 15. Konicek’s batting average is the third highest single-season average in team history, while his RBI total of 48 ranks second-best all-time.
Hitting just ahead of Konicek in the Gustie lineup, Madson had ample opportunity to move around the bases during the 2006 season. The rangy third baseman finished the year with a league-high 36 runs scored, including 20 in MIAC play. Madson hit .322 on the year, leading the team in runs and at bats (149). Madson finished second behind Konicek on the team in hits (48), total bases (74) and home runs (5), while also knocking in 27 runs. During the conference season, Madson ranked second in total bases (49) and fourth in hits (29), while leading the MIAC in total plate appearances (84) and at bats (74). Madson ended his Gustavus career as the school’s all-time leader in at bats (554) and games played (158), surpassing marks set by Ash Larsen last season.
Spitzack appeared in a team-high 14 games for the Gusties this season, starting 11 while throwing eight complete games en route to an 8-5 record. He finished fourth in the MIAC with a 2.44 earned run average while pitching a league-high and single-season school-record 75.0 innings. Spitzack’s eight wins were tops in the league and rank second all-time at Gustavus for a single season. Of his team-high 46 strikeouts, 20 of them were looking, ranking him third among MIAC pitchers. During his career, Spitzack made 44 pitching appearances, throwing 225 innings in total, both school records. Spitzack’s totals of 22 pitching victories and 142 strikeouts rank second and third all-time, respectively.
Roehrkasse started all 40 games at catcher for the Gusties, batting .331 on the year with 43 hits, nine doubles and three home runs. Roehrkasse also knocked in 30 runs, second only to Konicek’s 48, and his 147 plate appearances and 130 at bats ranked second and third in the MIAC, respectively. Roehrkasse made a team-high 190 putouts during the season and committed only three errors in 221 chances behind the plate. Defensively, Roehrkasse caught a league-high 16 baserunners stealing.
Konicek (May 8 at Buena Vista), Madson (April 22 vs. Saint Mary’s) and Roehrkasse (May 3 vs. Carleton) were three of the nine MIAC players to homer twice in a game this season.
Gustavus wrapped up its season with a 28-12 record, third in the MIAC with a 14-6 record. The Gusties bowed out of the MIAC Baseball Tournament in the first round with a 6-4 loss to eventual champion St. Olaf. The 28 wins ranks second in Gustavus history only to the 29 wins posted in 2004. During the regular season, the Gusties led the MIAC in batting average (.335), runs (255), hits (384), doubles (77) and home runs (23), finished second in fielding percentage (.957) and fourth in earned run average (4.38).