Kearney, Neb. – Juniors Alex Achtermann, Brandon Hernandez and Brett Young have been named to the 2018 NCBWA (National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association) All-Central Region team. This is one of three D2 All-Region and All-American teams; the ABCA (American Baseball Coaches Assoc.) and the CCA (Conference Commissioners Assoc.) also have squads and those will be released soon. Achtermann not only is a first-team pick (utility player) but also the 2018 NCBWA Central Region Player of the Year. The versatile Coloradoan is joined on the first-team by left fielder Brandon Hernandez (San Diego, Calif.) with center fielder Brett Young (Lodi, Calif.) named honorable mention.
First-team selections move onto the national ballot where they could earn All-American honors The MIAA Player of the Year, Achtermann started games at pitcher, first base, third base, right field and designated hitter. Playing in 49 games he finished at .413 with 13 doubles, 15 home runs and 57 RBI’s. Scoring a team-best 56 runs and having a team-high 147 bases, Achtermann also led UNK in slugging percentage (.714) and on-base percentage (.481). A left handed batter but a right handed pitcher, Achtermann led the MIAA in three offensive categories. On the mound, he posted a 6-1 record and a 4.45 ERA over 11 starts. He fanned 55 in 62.2 innings and maintained a .915 fielding percentage as well. One of two Lopers to start all 52 games, Hernandez set new UNK single season records for at-bats (240) and doubles (27) while tying the hits mark (92). The lefty finished his lone Loper campaign at .383 with four HR’s, 46 RBI’s and 50 runs scored.
Hernandez led the team in steals (12) and also had four assists in the field. Missing a few games due to injury, Young still batted .356 with 14 doubles, 11 HR’s, 39 RBI’s and 53 runs. UNK’s leadoff hitter, Young drew a team-best 30 walks, stole nine bases and hit four first inning homers. Finally, he showed off a strong arm by throwing out nine runners from center field. Junior Gus Varland of Concordia-St. Paul is the Pitcher of the Year with Scott Eul of Minot State (N.D.) the Coach of the Year. Overall, the 45-person squad included 16 MIAA players. UNK went 28-24 (21-15 MIAA) in 2018, finishing in fifth place in the MIAA and qualifying for the eight-team league tournament. The Lopers ended its modern history (1961-2018) with 1,205 wins.