May 16, 2012

Baseball faces Utah Valley in final regular season series


Northern Colorado concludes the regular season with a four-game series at Utah Valley. The Wolverines snapped a 32-game winning streak on Tuesday against Utah but are still undefeated in Great West Conference action with a 24-0 record.

Ball Magnets
In the last two games, the Bears have been hit by pitch a total of 13 times -- eight on Sunday in the second game against Texas-Pan American and five on Tuesday against Air Force. The eight hit by pitches ties the single game record from Feb. 8, 2006 against Air Force. Senior Casey Coy was plunked four times, while fellow senior Adrian Schenk got hit three times.

Looking For 50
Northern Colorado's next victory will be the 50th for Head Coach Carl Iwasaki with the Bears. He won his 150th as a head coach with the first win in the series over Texas-Pan American on Saturday.

Weekly Honors
Senior Adam Hilker was named the Great West Conference Player of the Week after helping lead the Bears to 3-of-4 wins at Texas-Pan American. He hit .444 with six of the team's 14 RBI in the series. Freshman Ryan Yamane was named College Sports Madness Great West Player of the Week after scoring four of the team's 17 runs, hitting .385 and walking six times. One of those runs was also the winning run in the 14-inning victory for the Bears.

Going Streaking
Senior Adam Hilker is on a 17-game hitting streak for the longest active stretch on the team. His previous career long streak was 14 games with the final game of the 2011 season and the first 13 games in 2012. Hilker has been on base in all 51 games in which he's played this season and has only been without a hit in three of those 51 contests.

Made To Be Broken
The 2012 team has hit 36 triples this season, which leads the nation. That breaks the team's single-season record of 28 previously held by the 1978 team. Senior Casey Coy and freshman Jensen Park have each hit seven triples to tie for the team lead, which is tied for ninth in the nation.

One Of Six
Senior Adam Hilker became just the sixth player in school history to record 200 hits in a career and now stands at 211. He needs two more to tie former teammate T.J. Berge (2008-11) with 213 and four to knot T.J.'s father, Jordan (1980-83) for third with 215. Fellow senior Tony Crudo needs two more to become the seventh player with 200. The all-time record at Northern Colorado is 243 by Kevin Sandberg (2006-09).

We're Number One
For the second-straight week, Northern Colorado leads the nation in both triples (36) and triples per game (0.71). The team has already shattered the regular season record of 28 from the 1978 team.

Standing In Second
After pitching in three games over the last week, senior right-hander Cameron Tallman has now appeared in 73 games throughout his career at Northern Colorado, which ranks second on the all-time charts. He is nine shy of knotting the record of 82, held by Tyler Pearson (2004-07). Tallman's 22 appearances this season is currently tied for sixth in school history and five shy of the record of 27, set last year by Brendan Hall.

Taking The Extra Base
Of his 57 hits this season, senior Casey Coy has 22 for extra bases (39 percent). He leads the team with 14 doubles and has six triples, both of which rank nationally. Coy is also second on the team with 30 walks and has been hit by a pitch a team-leading 13 times.

Milestone Victory
The win over North Dakota on April 28th marked the program's 1,500th victory. The Bears are now 1,507-1,159-3 all-time. The team also won their 50th game in Great West Conference action on Sunday at UND and are now 56-22 in the league's third year.

Texas-Pan American Recap
• The Bears won their fifth series of the year with a 3-1 four-game set over Texas-Pan American.
• Northern Colorado shut out UTPA twice, winning 3-0 in game two and 4-0 in game four. The Broncs entered the series with the Bears 18-1 at home in 2012.
• With the three victories, the Bears are now 24-6 all-time against the Broncs.
• The pitching staff had an amazing 1.89 combined ERA in the series with seven pitchers not allowing an earned run. Freshman Jess Amedee (4.0), junior Jake Johnson (5.2), junior Dan Talley (3.0), sophomore Josh Tinnon (2.1), senior Joe Willman (6.2) and junior Kevin Willman (6.0) all kept the Broncs off the scoreboard.
• In the series, senior Adam Hilker hit .444 with six of the team's 14 RBI. Freshmen Jensen Park and Ryan Yamane hit .400 and .385, respectively, while Yamane drew six walks.
• The three wins vaulted Northern Colorado into second place in the standings with a 15-9 league record.
• Nine of the team's 39 hits were for extra bases with six doubles and three triples. Ryan Yamane led the team with two doubles.

National Rankings
• The Bears rank first in the nation in both triples (36) and triples per game (0.71).
• Northern Colorado ranks tenth in the country in batting average (.315) but is second in the Great West, trailing the national leader, Utah Valley (.349).
• The team is also ranked 12th in on-base percentage (.401), 23rd in hits (538), 38th in runs (324), 45th in slugging percentage (.427) and 47th in scoring (6.4) and hit by pitch (69).
• Individually, senior Adam Hilker ranks 24th in hits (77) and 25th in batting average (.391).
• Freshman Ryan Yamane is 23rd in base on balls per game (0.85) and 24th in total walks (40).
• Freshman Jensen Park also now ranks 12th with seven sacrifice flies.
• Senior Casey Coy and freshman Jensen Park are tied for ninth in the nation with seven triples, while senior Adrian Schenk is tied for 24th with six.
• On the hill, sophomore Chris Hammer is 56th in the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 4.78-to-1. He also ranks 67th in walks allowed per nine innings (1.56) and 66th in complete games with three.

Player Of The Week
Northern Colorado has earned four Great West Conference Player of the Week awards this season. The Bears earned three straight with shortstop Adam Hilker (March 6), right fielder Adrian Schenk (March 13) and third baseman Tony Crudo (March 20) all garnering league honors. Hilker added his second award on May 15.

Preseason Poll
In the third year of the Great West Conference, Northern Colorado was predicted by the league's coaches to finish third in the standings. The Bears have finished second in each of the first two years of the league and played for the tournament title in 2010.

1.     Utah Valley (7)                           63
2.     Houston Baptist (1)                    53
3.     Northern Colorado                      46
4.     NJIT                                             37
5.     NYIT                                            33
6.     Texas-Pan American                   24
7.     North Dakota                              23
8.     Chicago State                                9