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April 1, 2001

2009 Season - 2001 BASEBALL REVIEW



Prior to Greg Wallace taking over the Augustana College baseball program in 1998, the Vikings had a grand total of just two seasons over 20 victories in the school's history. Augustana has been playing baseball since 1912 and only in 1976 (20-10) and 1996 (25-11) did the Vikings break the 20 win plateau. When Wallace assumed control prior to the 1998 season, all that changed.

In his first year Wallace led his charges to a 22-16 record, the second highest victory total in school history. Then came uncharted territory as the Vikings ripped off two consecutive 30-victory seasons and two straight appearances in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin Tournament's championship game. The Blue & Gold was 31-13 in 1999 and had a school record 38-8 mark in 2000. With the loss of six position playing starters and the top four pitchers due to graduation, Wallace was not sure what to expect heading into the 2001 season.

What happened exceeded all expectations as the Vikings posted a 30-14 overall record for a third straight year over 30 victories. They also made it to the championship game of the CCIW Tournament for the third straight season. In conference play, Augustana was 13-8 during the regular season and finished second in the league with a total of 15 points.

The Vikings were 29th in the final NCAA Division III American Baseball Coaches Association/Collegiate Baseball Poll. In the Central Region, Augustana was ranked fourth in the final ranking.

Senior outfielder Jason Pettit (J.D. Darnall HS, Geneseo, IL) was selected as the team's Most Outstanding Offensive Player while junior Kevin Green (Elgin Larkin HS, Elgin, IL) was named the Outstanding Pitcher and Zach Vroman (Rock Island HS, Rock Island, IL) was given the award as the Outstanding Defensive Player.

Pettit batted .376 this past year with 56 hits in 149 at-bats with 34 runs scored with five doubles, two triples and three home runs. He had 35 runs-batted-in with 19 base-on-balls and eight stolen bases. For good measure, Pettit made two appearances as a pitcher and was 1-0 with a 4.91 earned run average with three strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings.

Green was 8-4 with a 3.29 earned run average in 93 innings of work. He appeared in 13 games, all as a starter, and he completed eight. He posted 42 strikeouts while walking just 16 batters.

Vroman patrolled centerfield for the Vikings, playing in 44 games with 43 starts. He had 115 putouts and five assists with just six errors for a .952 fielding percentage. Vroman also led the team in hitting with a .391 batting average with 54 hits in 138 at-bats with 36 runs scored and 27 RBI. He had eight doubles, two triples and two home runs with 11 base-on-balls and 11 stolen bases.

The Vikings were 28-9 heading into a crucial three game series with Illinois Wesleyan on the final weekend of the regular season. The Titans swept three games with the first two by scores of 2-1 and 3-1 and Wallace's team went into the CCIW tournament on a three game losing streak, the first time that happened all year.

In the first round of the CCIW tournament, which was held in Naperville, Illinois, that losing streak reached four with a 7-0 loss to North Central. Facing elimination, Augustana battled Carthage in a 16 inning marathon that started on Friday, May 11 in Lisle, Illinois and ended on Saturday, May 12 in Naperville. In the bottom of the 16th inning, Reggie Hughes (Antioch HS, Antioch, IL) doubled to lead off, went to second on a sacrifice bunt and came home on a throwing error to give the Vikings a 7-6 victory. Next up was a rematch with North Central and sophomore Jeff Dunn (Illini Bluffs HS, Mapleton, IL) pitched a gutsy complete game and Augustana won 6-5 to enter the championship game against Illinois Wesleyan. Once again Wallace's team showed its mettle, battling the Titans into the ninth inning before CCIW "Player of the Year" Steve Schilsky hit a home run in the bottom of the inning to give IWU a 3-2 victory and the conference championship.

At one point during the year the Vikings won 16 of 20 games between March 24 and April 25. As a team Augustana hit .325 with 447 hits in 1,375 at-bats and nine players finished the year over .300. Ernie Jack (United Township HS, East Moline, IL) set a new Augustana school record with 10 home runs, breaking the old mark of nine set by Jason Fosdick in 2000.

The Vikings landed six players on the CCIW all-conference team with Jack, Pettit, Green and Kevin Iaquinto (Waubonsie Valley HS, Naperville, IL) making the first team and Mike Kane (Davenport Assumption HS, Davenport, IA) and Vroman were honored on the second team.







NAME                         POS        B/T        HT       WT     YR          HOMETOWN (HIGH SCHOOL)

Jim Baldwin*                 P           L/L        6'3       200     Jr.           Warrenville, IL (Geneva)

Chris Beard*                 C/OF       R/R        6'0       190     So.          Moline, IL (Moline)

Jason Brien*                  P           R/R        6'4       235     So.          Machesney Park, IL (Harlem)

Wally Brownley**           3B/P        R/R        6'0       180     Jr.           Schaumburg, IL (Schaumburg)

Troy Charleston*            P           R/R        6'1       190     Sr.          Moorhead, MN (Moorhead Sr.)

Blake Cherrington*          SS          R/R        6'2       165     Fr.          Wheaton, IL (Wheaton North)

Jeff Dunn**                  P           R/R        5'10      195     So.          Mapleton,IL (Illini Bluffs)

Anson Ellis***               C/DH       R/R        5'11      195     Jr.           Cary, IL (Cary Grove)

Will Gray**                   C           R/R        5'8       165     Sr.          Geneva, IL (Highland Park)

Kevin Green*                 P           R/R        6'1       185     Jr.           Elgin, IL (Larkin)

Ted Grothe**                P           R/R        6'0       180     So.          Galesburg, IL (Galesburg)

Joe Goolsby***              1B          L/L        6'0       175     Jr.           Morris, IL (Morris)

Matt Hawkins**              P           R/R        6'1       185     So.          Farmer City, IL (Blue Ridge)

Mike Hoffman*               OF         R/R        6'1       200     Jr.           McHenry, IL (Johnsburg)

Reggie Hughes*              C/1B       L/R        6'2       205     Jr.           Antioch, IL (Antioch Comm.)

Kevin Iaquinto***           SS          R/R        5'10      185     Jr.           Naperville, IL (Waubonsie Valley)

Ernie Jack*                   C/DH       L/R        6'0       205     Fr.          Silvis, IL (United Township)

Chris Nelson*                2B          R/R        5'10      150     Fr.          Normal, IL (Normal Comm. West)

Tony Nelson*                1B/DH      R/R        6'2       195     Jr.           Grayslake, IL (Mundelein)

Jason Pettit****             OF/P       R/R        6'1       190     Sr.          Geneseo, IL (Geneseo)

Spencer Sweet*              P           R/R        5'10      185     Jr.           Watertown, WI (Watertown)

Jeff Szczupaj*                OF         R/R        5'10      180     Jr.           Schaumburg, IL (Schaumburg)

Mike Ugel***                P           R/R        6'1       195     Sr.          Niles, IL (Notre Dame)

Zach Vroman***            OF         R/R        5'8       150     Jr.           Rock Island, IL (Rock Island)

Brad Wendell**              2B          R/R        5'10      185     So.          Buffalo Grove, IL (Buffalo Grove)



TEAMS                                  W      L       T     .PCT       W      L       T     .PCT      POINTS

Illinois Wesleyan                      15      6       0      .714        37      13      1      .735        20

Augustana                              13      8       0      .619        30      14      0      .682        15*

North Central                          14      6       1      .690        21      21      1      .500        15*

Carthage                                12      8       1      .595        24      17      1      .583        12

Elmhurst                                12      9       0      .571        23      19      0      .548         

Millikin                                  9       12      0      .429        20      18      0      .526         

North Park                             4       17      0      .190        5       35      1      .130         

Wheaton                                4       17      0      .190        8       27      0      .229         

* - Augustana finishes second by virtue of better placing in the CCIW tournament.


May 11-13 ** North Central College ** Naperville, Illinois

GAME           OPPONENTS                                                 DATE                   SITE                                 TIME

Game #1       #1 seed (Illinois Wesleyan) vs. #4 seed (Carthage)        Friday, May 11          Naperville, IL (North Central)       11:00 am

                   Illinois Wesleyan 6, Carthage 5                                                                                                  

Game #2       #2 seed (North Central) vs. #3 seed (Augustana)          Friday, May 11          Lisle, IL (Benedictine)                11:00 am

                   North Central 7, Augustana 0                                                                                                   

Game #3       Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner                           Friday, May 11          Naperville, IL (North Central)       3:00 p.m.

                   Illinois Wesleyan 6, North Central 4                                                                                             

Game #4       Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser                                Friday, May 11          Lisle, IL (Benedictine)                3:00 p.m.

                   Augustana 7, Carthage 6 (16 innings)                                                                                          

                   Game #4 started on Friday, May 11 in Lisle, Illinois and play was suspended due to darkness after 14 innings with the score tied 6-6. Play was resumed on Saturday, May 12 in Naperville, Illinois and Augustana won 7-6 in 16 innings.

Game #5       Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser                             Saturday, May 12       Naperville, IL (North Central)       11:00 am

                   Augustana 6, North Central 5                                                                                                   

Game #6       Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner                           Saturday, May 12       Naperville, IL (North Central)       3:00 p.m.

                   Illinois Wesleyan 3, Augustana 2 (Championship)                                                                             

The top four teams, by CCIW winning percentage, qualify for the CCIW baseball tournament. The four qualifying team receive one championship point for each regular season CCIW baseball victory and additional championship points based on the following tournament records: 3-0 = 5 points; 4-1 or 3-1 = 4 points; 3-2 = 3 points; 2-2 = 2 points; 1-2 = 1 point and 0-2 = 0 points. Teams that do not qualify for the tournament do not receive championship points for regular season victories. If a tie occurs in total points after the tournament, then the team that finished highest in the tournament will be the conference champion. The CCIW champion receives the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III baseball tournament.