The College of Wooster baseball team was well represented on the 2018 All-North Coast Athletic Conference team, as the Fighting Scots' entire starting infield earned first-team certificates, and in all, nine student-athletes made the team, as announced by the league office on Tuesday morning. Junior Chandler Dippman led the quintet of first-team honorees with first-team certificates at third base and as a utility player, while junior first baseman Garrett Crum, sophomore designated hitter Dan Harwood, junior second baseman Jacob Stuursma, and junior shortstop Michael Wielansky rounded out the first-team honorees. Senior center fielder Jake Fling, senior starting pitcher Nanak Saran, and senior right fielder Drew Tornow were voted to the second-team, while junior starting pitcher Brian Murray was a honorable mention selection.
Dippman, who was elevated to the first-team as a utility player after earning second-team honors as a sophomore, also made his initial appearance on the all-conference team as a third baseman. The Waterville, Ohio native, who continues to see his workload on the mound increase, sports the second-best ERA in the league at 2.06, and he enters this week tied for fourth in the conference with seven wins. Dippman's 56 2/3 innings pitched are the 10th-most in the conference, and his .265 average against is the 11th-best. Offensively, Dippman's turned in a .331 average (44-for-133), and he's matched his career-high in runs with 34. The sure-handed fielder sports a .961 fielding percentage at the hot corner, and he's a key reason why Wooster enters the week tops in Div. III with a .979 fielding percentage.
Crum, also elevated from last year's second-team, is having a career year in his second full season as a starter. The Scots' first baseman is third nationally with 65 RBI, and he ranks second in the conference in that stat and hits (67). Crum's .370 average (67-for-181) is the 10th-best in the NCAC, and he's also in the league's top-10 in total bases (107), runs (44), home runs (9), and slugging percentage (.591).
Harwood emerged as one of the premier hitters in the region in his first full season as a starter. The smooth-swinging left-handed power hitter went on a tear from the first game of the year, and enters the week second in Div. III in home runs (14) and RBI (68). Within the NCAC, the designated hitter's 126 total bases and .741 slugging percentage are also tops amongst league hitters, and he's third in hits (66) and runs (53).
Stuursma, a first-time all-conference honoree, boasts the conference's 11th-highest fielding percentage among those with at least 100 chances, while offensively, he's fourth with 51 runs and sixth with 61 hits among all NCAC student-athletes. Stuursma's third league-wide in walks with 29, and he's in the top-10 in the league in eight other statistical categories, including doubles (15) and steals (11).
Wielansky turned in one of the top all-around seasons in the NCAC for the third consecutive year, and was rewarded with his third-straight appearance on the all-conference first-team. Through the NCAC Tournament, the junior sensation leads the conference in runs by 12, carries a two-hit lead over Crum and a three-hit lead over Harwood, and has walked a league-high 38 times. In fact, the shortstop ranks second and 19th nationally in runs and hits through games played May 13. Wielansky is the only student-athlete to rank in the top-three league-wide in on-base percentage (.514) and slugging percentage (.686), and he's the lone player in the NCAC with checkmarks in the league's top-five in hits, runs, RBI (44), doubles (19), triples (6), and homers (6).
Fling, the program's eighth four-time All-NCAC selection and first since pitcher Anthony Trapuzzano (2006-09), collected his third straight second-team accolade. Of the eight four-time all-conference honorees in program history, Fling's the second to do so as an outfielder with the other being Jared Treadway (1999-02). Among other stats, Fling's in the top-15 in the league in hits (55), runs (43), and RBI (35).
Saran, the 15th pitcher in the tradition rich program's history to be a three-time All-NCAC pitcher, enters the week tied for second in the NCAC with eight wins, and he's held the opposition to a .206 average against, the second-lowest among league pitchers. The right-hander's 2.80 ERA ranks seventh in the league, and he's tied for fourth with 59 strikeouts.
Tornow, now a two-time all-conference honoree, turned in a balanced season offensively. The right fielder is one of six starters with at least 50 hits and at least 40 runs on the year, and his 17 stolen bases are the third-most in the league. Tornow's 53 hits are the 13th-most in the NCAC while his 45 runs rank eighth. The three-year starter is fourth league-wide with seven round trippers and tied for third with five triples.
Murray, who earned all-conference honors in his first full season as a starter, strung together a 3.30 ERA spanning 60 innings, both top-10 marks in the league. Against Murray, the opposition hit a tidy .221, an average that's the third-best among league pitchers. Murray's 5-2 on the year, and his 10 games started are tied for the seventh-most in the league.