ALL-CONFERENCE: Ranta Named Pitcher of the Year as 12 Bruins Get All-NWC Honors
NEWBERG, Ore. – Led by staff ace Brian Ranta, the Northwest Conference Pitcher of the Year, a total of 12 George Fox University Bruins have been named to either the First or Second All-Conference Baseball Teams or received All-NWC honorable mention for the 2012 season as voted on recently by the league's nine coaches.
Joining Ranta on the All-NWC First Team are left fielder David Greenstein and catcher Josh Rapacz, while third baseman Danny Clifford earned All-NWC Second Team honors. Honorable mention went to shortstop Taylor Hunter, right fielder Timothy Williams, center fielder Jared Chase, utility player Derek Blankenship, starting pitcher Taylor Dunn, relievers Taylor Hill and Clay Gartner, and closer Alex Keenan.
Ranta, a senior right-hander from Clackamas, Ore., posted a 7-1 record with a 1.95 earned run average with 79 strikeouts and only 22 walks in 92.1 innings, all team-leading numbers. He made 12 appearances, all starts, with four complete games and one shutout. Opponents batted only .212 against him. In conference statistics, he ranked first in strikeout, starts, and innings, second in ERA and wins, and third in complete games. In NCAA Division III national stats, he was 40th in strikeouts and 83rd in ERA.
Ranta was named the NWC Pitcher of the Week and the Bruin Athletic Association Athlete of the Week three times, and was honorable mention for NWC honors two other times. He was the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association NCAA Division III National Pitcher of the Week for Mar. 19-25 after throwing the fourth non-hitter in George Fox history, a 1-0 win over Whitman in which he struck out a career-high 12 and allowed only two runners on walks.
Among his other impressive games, Ranta fanned 11 with one walk in a 7-1 win over Pacific Lutheran in the Linfield Tournament, and fanned 10 Lutes while allowing only two earned runs with a no-decision in an 8-6 11-inning win at PLU. He struck out nine with no walks and one run allowed in a 3-1 win over Puget Sound, and surrendered no earned runs in an 8-1 win at Whitworth. He worked 10 innings to a 2-2 standoff against Chapman All-American Brian Rauh before the Bruins won in 12 innings 3-2.
Greenstein, a left-swinging senior from Oregon City, Ore., batted.398 with 49 hits, 10 doubles, two triples, two home runs, a .561 slugging percentage, 15 walks, a .468 on base percentage, 10 stolen bases, 19 runs batted in, and 34 runs scored. He was the team leader in batting, walks, on base pct., runs, and tied for the lead in steals.
In conference statistics, Greenstein ranked fourth in batting and on base pct., sixth in triples, eighth in slugging pct. and runs, 10th in doubles, 11th in stolen bases, 12th in total bases (69, T), and 13th in hits. He was the NWC Hitter of the Week and Bruin Athletic Association Athlete of the Week for Feb. 13-19, and honorable mention for NWC honors one other time.
After missing the first week of the season due to illness, Greenstein, a transfer from Hawai'i Pacific, broke in by going 7-for-11 with a double, triple, two home runs, six runs scored and seven RBIs in a twinbill against La Verne in the Arizona Desert Classic. He had four hits in the first game, and four runs and five RBIs in the second. He had 14 multi-hit games on the season, including seven three-hit games, and scored multiple runs 10 times. He drew three walks and had three stolen bases in one game vs. Texas-Dallas in Arizona, and closed his career with a 3-for-3 game vs. Linfield in the Linfield Tournament.
Rapacz, a third-year sophomore from West Richland, Wash., hit .350 with 50 hits, six doubles, one home run, a .413 slugging percentage, 26 RBIs, 15 runs scored, and three sacrifice flies. An outstanding defensive catcher, he threw out 12 of 20 runners trying to steal against him, a .625 percentage.
In conference statistics, Rapacz ranked sixth in sacrifice flies, eighth in batting, 11th in hits, 14th in RBIs, and 22nd in total bases (59). He was honorable mention for NWC Hitter of the Week twice.
Rapacz had 16 multi-hit games during the season, including a 4-for-5 game with four RBIs in a win over Texas-Dallas in the Arizona Desert Classic. He also had three-hit games at Chapman, vs. Pacific, vs. Whitman, and Whitworth, and vs. Puget Sound. He had four games with multiple runs scored and three with two or more RBIs. He pounded out two doubles in one game vs. Whitman.
Clifford, a sophomore from Canby, Ore., batted .351 with 54 hits in 154 at bats, including seven doubles, three triples, seven home runs, a .571 slugging percentage, a .412 on base percentage, three stolen bases, four sacrifice flies, 33 RBIs, and 33 runs scored. He led the Bruins in at bats, hits, home runs, slugging, sacrifice flies, and RBIs.
In conference statistics, Clifford ranked third in triples and sacrifice flies, fourth in home runs and total bases (88), sixth in slugging pct. and RBIs, seventh in batting and hits, 12th in at bats and runs, 15th in hit by pitches (5, T), and 16th in on base pct. He was honorable mention for NWC Hitter of the Week three times.
Clifford, a transfer from Mt. Hood Community College, collected 18 multi-hit games, with 4-for-5 games vs. La Verne in the Arizona Desert Classic and at Willamette. He tripled and homered in the same game vs. La Verne, and doubled and homered in wins over Concordia (Texas) in Arizona and at Whitworth. He had nine games with multiple runs scored and 10 with two or more RBIs. He scored three runs in one game at Whitworth, and drove in three runs in games vs. La Verne, at Willamette, and vs. Pacific Lutheran in the Linfield Tournament.
Hunter, a senior from Canby, Ore., and the son of head coach Marty Hunter, provided defensive stability on the infield while batting .230 with 29 hits, three doubles, 12 hit-by-pitches, 13 sacrifice bunts, four stolen bases, 14 RBIs, and 20 runs scored. He was the team leader in hit-by-pitches and sacrifices.
In conference statistics, Hunter ranked first in sacrifice bunts and second in hit by pitches. In NCAA Division III national stats, he was sixth in sacrifices and 46th in hit by pitches. His career total of 35 sacrifice bunts ranks seventh all-time in D-III.
During the season, Hunter had seven multi-hit games, including a 3-for-4 game at Willamette in which he scored twice and drove in two. He scored two runs in a game three times, and had the game-winning run by stealing second and third and scoring on a wild throw in the bottom of the 9th in Brian Ranta's 1-0 no-hitter vs. Whitman. He doubled and drove in three runs in the season opener vs. British Columbia in the Lewis-Clark State Tournament, one of three multi-RBI games for him, and was hit by a pitch three times in one game at Lewis & Clark.
Williams, a fourth-year junior from Oceanside, Calif., batted .321 with 43 hits, 13 doubles, four triples, a .478 slugging percentage, 13 walks, 10 hit-by-pitches, a .418 on base percentage, 10 stolen bases, 19 RBIs, and 25 runs scored. He paced the Bruins in doubles and triples and tied for the top in steals.
In conference statistics, Williams ranked first in triples, third in doubles, fourth in hit by pitches, 11th in stolen bases, 14th in slugging pct. and sacrifice bunts (4, T), 15th in on base pct., 16th in total bases (64), and 23rd in batting. He was honorable mention for NWC Hitter of the Week twice.
Williams achieved 14 multi-hit games during the season, with three-hit games vs. Concordia-Portland in the Lewis-Clark State Tournament. He tied the Bruins' single-game record with two triples while driving in five runs in a win over Puget Sound. He scored two runs in a game five times, and had three multi-RBI games, doubling and driving in three in a win at Chapman. He had two steals in a game at Lewis & Clark.
Chase, a junior from St. Helens, Ore., ran down everything in center while batting .246 with 31 hits, four doubles, nine hit-by-pitches, seven stolen bases, seven sacrifice bunts, 15 RBIs, and 18 runs scored. In conference statistics, he ranked fifth in sacrifice bunts and hit by pitches. He was honorable mention for NWC Hitter of the Week once.
Chase posted nine multi-hit games in 2012, with three-hit games vs. La Verne and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the Arizona Desert Classic and vs. Whitman. He had five games with two runs scored, and drove in two or more runs four times, with three RBIs in his three-hit game vs. Whitman. He stole two bases in one game at Lewis & Clark.
Blankenship, a sophomore from Baker City, Ore., played second, third, short, the outfield, and served as the designated hitter after suffering a hand injury that limited his defensive time for several games. He batted .240 with 29 hits, five doubles, a triple, a home run, 13 walks, 15 RBIs, and 17 runs scored.
In conference statistics, Blankenship was 19th in sacrifice flies (2, T). He had eight multi-hit games during the year, including a 3-for-6 game vs. La Verne in the Arizona Desert Classic, scored multiple runs three times, and had four games with two RBIs. He scored three runs and drove in two in one game vs. Concordia-Portland in the Lewis-Clark State Tournament.
Dunn, a sophomore right-hander from Lake Oswego, Ore., posted a 3-2 record as the Bruins' No. 2 starter with a 3.17 ERA, 41 strikeouts and 17 walks 65.1 innings, starting 11 of the 13 games in which he appeared. In conference statistics, he ranked sixth in ERA and starts, 12th in innings, 14th in strikeouts and games, and 15th in wins. He was honorable mention for NWC Pitcher of the Week three times, and was named the Bruin Athletic Association Athlete of the Week for Feb. 27-Mar. 4.
A transfer from Clark College, Dunn twice threw seven innings of shutout ball, combining with Clay Gartner for a 4-0 shutout at Lewis & Clark and leaving with a 1-0 lead in an eventual 2-1 loss to Puget Sound. He struck out five and walked none in the Lewis & Clark game, and had five strikeouts with one walk in the UPS game. He fanned a season-high seven in seven innings with one run allowed in a no-decision game vs. Texas-Dallas in the Arizona Desert Classic. He struck out five and allowed only two hits and one earned run in a 5-4 win at Willamette.
Hill, a senior righty from Sherwood, Ore., appeared in 14 games, starting three, with a 4-4 record, a 3.38 ERA, and 23 strikeouts with 10 walks in 40.0 innings. In conference statistics, he ranked eighth in games, ninth in ERA, and 11th in wins.
A transfer from Hawai'i Pacific, Hill struck out three and allowed only four hits with no earned runs allowed in seven innings but got no decision in his first start, an eventual 5-3 win over Concordia (Texas) in the Arizona Desert Classic. He fanned a season-high five with no walks and no earned runs in five innings vs. Concordia-Portland in the Lewis-Clark State Tournament. He threw 5.2 innings of one-run relief with three strikeouts and no walks vs. Linfield, picking up the win when the Bruins rallied from a seven-run deficit to win 8-7.
Gartner, a third-year right-handed sophomore from Clovis, Calif., made 12 appearances with two starts, posting a 0-1 record with two saves, a 5.32 ERA, 13 strikeouts and nine walks in 23.2 innings. In conference statistics, he ranked fifth in saves.
Gartner found a niche in the bullpen after struggling as a starter early in the season, posting a 1.65 ERA in 16.1 relief innings. He picked up his first save with two innings of one-hit shutout relief in a 4-0 win at Lewis & Clark, striking out three with no walks, and notched his second save with two innings of two-hit ball with no runs allowed vs. Whitman. He struck out the side in one inning at Chapman, and fanned two in one inning at Whitworth.
Keenan, a junior righty from Portland, Ore., compiled a 2-3 record with three saves, a 5.19 ERA, 16 strikeouts and six walks in 17.1 innings while appearing in 12 games, all in relief. He was the team leader in saves. In conference statistics, he was third in saves. He was honorable mention for NWC Pitcher of the Week once.
Keenan, a transfer from Mt. Hood Community College, earned his first save with two innings of one-hit shutout ball in a 6-5 win vs. Pacific, striking out a season-high four with one walk. He also garnered saves in a 5-4 win at Willamette and a 7-4 win vs. Puget Sound. He threw two innings of scoreless ball with two strikeouts and one hit allowed to gain a 5-3 win over Concordia (Texas) in the Arizona Desert Classic, and was the winning pitcher in the Bruins' 3-2 12-inning win at Chapman with two innings of shutout ball and three strikeouts.
George Fox finished the year with a 20-20 record, the Bruins' 17th straight year at .500 or better, and tied for fourth in the conference with Linfield at 15-9 in league play.
Brock Gates of Pacific Lutheran was named the NWC Player of the Year, while Dan Ramsey of conference co-champion and NCAA National Tournament representative Whitworth was the Coach of the Year.