ELMHURST, Ill. – With the conclusion of the 2016 Summit League Baseball Championship, the league has announced its Academic All-League Team as voted on by the institution's faculty athletics representatives and sports information directors. A total of 10 student-athletes were named to the team and honored for their academic and athletic performances this season.
Omaha and South Dakota State led the league, each placing three student-athletes to the team. Fort Wayne, North Dakota State, Oral Roberts and Western Illinois each placed one member on the academic all-league team.
Tyler Fox, Cole Gruber and Clayton Taylor represented Omaha on the squad for the second straight year. Fox was named Summit League Pitcher of the Year for the second time in his career. A marketing major with a 3.63 grade-point average (GPA), he led the league in wins (10), innings pitched (100.2), games started (15), complete games (2) and shutouts (1). Gruber, an accounting major with a 3.97 GPA, is ranked second in the nation in stolen bases (43). The CoSIDA Division I Academic All-American of the Year, he led The Summit League in batting average (.376), hits (83), runs (55) in addition to his steals. Taylor was named The Summit League Player of the Year while leading the league in RBI with 66. An IT inovation major with a 3.82 GPA, Taylor was an Academic All-American and four-time All-Summit League selection in his career.
Representing SDSU on the team were Luke Ringhofer, Jesse Munsterman, and Anthony Schneider. Ringhofer, a mechanical engineering major with a 3.60 GPA, led his team with a .361 batting average, 73 hits, and an on-base percentage of .465. A second team all-league selection, he set a new school record by reaching base in 49 consecutive games this season. Munsterman had a 3.75 GPA as a civil engineering major. The designated hitter was honored as a first-team all-league selection this season along with a .308 average, 34 RBI and 15 multi-hit games. Schneider is a biology major with a 3.91 GPA. The sophomore infielder ranked second on his team with 12 stolen bases and was tied for third with three home runs.
Fort Wayne was represented by business finance major Greg Kaiser, who owns a 3.66 GPA. The senior shortstop started in all 58 games played with a .313 batting average, 20 doubles, 17 home runs and 49 RBI. A first team all-league and all-tournament team selection, Kaiser led all Division I shortstops in homers.
North Dakota State's Brian VanderWoude has a 3.31 GPA majoring in mechanical engineering. The senior right-hander led the Bison in wins (8), innings pitched (51), strikeouts (61) and appearances (22) this season. He also collected five saves and did not allow an earned run in 14 of his 22 appearances.
Oral Roberts' Matt Whatley is a sophomore exploratory major with a 3.72 GPA. A first team all-league honoree, Whatley led his team with 39 walks and a .468 on-base percentage. He also added 10 doubles, three triples and eight home runs.
An exercise science major with a 3.58 GPA, Western Illinois Roman Visintine led his team with a .345 batting average. The sophomore outfielder had a 14-game hitting streak this season and tied for the team lead with two triples.
To be eligible for the Academic All-League team, a student-athlete must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.30 (on a 4.0 scale), completed at least one full academic year at the current institution and participated in 50 percent of their team's competitions, except pitchers in baseball and softball who must have participated in 20 percent of their team's total contests. The baseball all-league team is made up of the nine student-athletes receiving the most votes with all ties standing.
|2016 BASEBALL ACADEMIC ALL-LEAGUE TEAM|
|Tyler Fox *^||Omaha||Sr.||SP||3.63||Marketing|
|Cole Gruber *||Omaha||Sr.||OF||3.97||Accounting|
|Greg Kaiser *^||Fort Wayne||Sr.||IF||3.66||Business Finance|
|Jesse Munsterman||South Dakota State||Sr.||DH/IF||3.75||Civil Engineering|
|Luke Ringhofer||South Dakota State||So.||C||3.60||Mechanical Engineering|
|Anthony Schneider||South Dakota State||So.||IF||3.91||Biology / Pre-Medicine|
|Clayton Taylor *^||Omaha||Sr.||IF||3.82||IT Innovation|
|Brian VanderWoude||North Dakota State||Sr.||RP||3.31||Mechanical Engineering|
|Roman Visintine||Western Illinois||So.||OF||3.58||Exercise Science|
|Matt Whatley||Oral Roberts||So.||C||3.72||Exploratory|
* - Academic All-League selection in 2015
^ - Academic All-League selection in 2014
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
In its fourth decade of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of over 120,000 at nine institutions, including four located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced eight NCAA Champions along with over 75 Academic All-Americans, 65 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. In 2014-15, The Summit League ranked first for NCAA Graduation Success Rate in women's basketball and second in baseball. For more information about the league and to "See The Summit", visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague and watch the weekly "Inside The Summit League" show at www.thesummitleague.org/itsl.