Shortstop Michael Wielansky was the consensus selection for the NCAA Div. III Mideast Region Player-of-the-Year, as both the American Baseball Coaches Association and D3baseball.com selected the junior sensation for the region's top honor among position players, as announced by the respective organizations over the last two days. In all, six Fighting Scots were named to the all-region teams, as junior Garrett Crum, junior Chandler Dippman, senior Jake Fling, sophomore Dan Harwood, and senior Nanak Saran joined Wielansky with all-region recognition.
Wielansky, now a two-time ABCA Mideast Region Player-of-the-Year, continues to rewrite the storied program's history, and has carried that history-making capabilities over to the national level of late. The St. Louis, Mo. product became the second known player in Div. III history to reach 200 hits, 200 runs, and 150 RBI before the end of his junior year during last week's Mideast Regional. The regional's MVP has really upped his production of late and sports a .500 average (25-for-50) in Wooster's 13 May games. Since May 1, the five-tool student-athlete has scored 18 times, knocked in 14 runs, has been walked 11 times, and sports .615 on-base and .740 slugging percentages. For the season, Wielansky is slashing .411/.517/.679, and he's tops in Div. III in runs with 76. The junior has 78 hits, 32 of which have gone for extra bases and he's knocked in 50.
Crum, a first-team honoree by the ABCA and a second-team selection by D3baseball.com has anchored down first base seamlessly after the graduation of All-American Jamie Lackner. The current All-American candidate is third on the team with a .378 average (74-for-196), and he's fourth nationally with 69 RBI. Crum's 74 hits rank second on the team as do his nine round trippers. Should the slugger knock in a run this week in Appleton, Wis., it'll mark the seventh 70-RBI season in program history, and the smooth-swinging righty's driven in 125 runs now over the last two seasons.
Dippman, a first-teamer as a utility man by both organizations, continues to get better and better as a pitcher. Over his last four starts – all against NCAA Regional qualifiers in La Roche College, Otterbein University, Denison University, and Wabash College – Dippman's gone 4-0 with a tidy 2.12 ERA. Over those four starts, the right-hander has three complete games and has scattered 35 hits over 34 innings while striking out 16. While not on the bump, the slick-fielding third baseman sports a .964 fielding percentage, and he's hitting .314 with career-highs in hits (44), runs (36), and RBI (29).
Fling, a one of two repeat selections for the Scots on the D3baseball.com all-region team earned a third-team certificate. The four-year staple in center field moved into the top-five all-time in Div. III last week in at bats and is now in the top-20 all-time in runs. Fling's hitting .305 (58-for-190) through regionals and he's one of six Scots now with at least 45 runs on the year.
Harwood, a first-team selection by both the ABCA and D3baseball.com at designated hitter, has taken the NCAA Div. III stats leaderboard by storm in his first season as a full-time starter. The left-handed hitting slugger is second nationally with 72 RBI, and enters the Div. III Championships one shy of the current national leader. Harwood's 72 RBI are the fifth-most in a single season in program history, and he's five away from tying W Association Hall of Famer Rick Sforzo's 1986 school record of 77. Harwood's in the top-25 nationally in hits (71), runs (58), homers (14), and slugging percentage (.710) through regional action.
Saran, who collected a second-team certificate from the ABCA, is now a two-year all-region honoree. The ace of the Scots' staff was brilliant early in the season and held Mid-Atlantic Region power Johns Hopkins University to one hit in six innings of work while striking out eight during the team's spring trip. Recently, the veteran righty surpassed 250 innings pitched for his career and 200 strikeouts.
The D3baseball.com All-America team will be announced on Wednesday, and the ABCA one will follow on Thursday evening. The ABCA All-America team is announced during the opening ceremony of the Div. III Championships.