WAUKESHA, Wis. – The Concordia University Wisconsin Baseball team had three players named to First Team All-Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference, as the league released its 2016 awards Thursday morning. All-in-all the Falcons had five players receive recognition from the league, highlighted by the three First Team selections.
Junior Andrew Heideman and sophomores Kyle Hilliard and Nathan Thyssen were named First Team All-NACC, voted on by the leagues head coaches. In addition, senior Andrew Mueller was chosen to the Second Team, while freshman Seth Hougesen earned both Honorable Mention recognition, as well as being named to the All-Freshman Team.
Heideman (Bakersfield, Calif.) landed First Team honors after posting impressive numbers in conference games this season. In 39 innings against NACC competition, Heideman recorded a 1.15 ERA, ranking third in the league. He struck out 32 batters and posted a 4-1 record, while adding a save. Heideman allowed just five earned runs in NACC games this season. Heideman was a Second Team All-NACC selection, as well as the Freshman of the Year in 2014.
Hilliard (Oak Forest, Ill.) led the conference in hitting this season, batting .418, including a .464 clip in conference play. In 19 league games, he drove in 21 runs and scored 13 times. His overall numbers this season were 29 RBI and 18 runs scored, while adding four doubles and a triple. Hilliard posted a .451 on-base percentage, while also serving vital to the Falcons pitching staff as the team's starting catcher.
Thyssen (Appleton, Wis.) ranked fourth in the conference with a .366 batting average, driving in 18 runs and scoring 31 times. In addition he stole 13 bases this season, while posting a .474 on-base percentage. Thyssen belted two home runs, three triples and 11 doubles, serving as a key component in the middle of the Falcons lineup. Thyssen earned Second Team All-NACC honors last season.
Mueller (Horicon, Wis.) was a feel-good story for the Falcons this year, pitching for the first time since the 2013 season after missing the last two years due to injury. He picked up right where he left off, earning Second Team honors, just as he did in 2013. Mueller ranked third in the conference with a 2.38 ERA during the entire season. In NACC-only play he posted a 2.36 ERA, throwing 45.2 innings. Mueller struck out 18 in conference games and recorded two complete-game efforts, while posting a 4-2 league record.
Hougesen (Indianapolis, Ind.) really hit his stride when NACC play began, ranking second in the NACC in ERA in league-only games. The freshman southpaw posted a 1.08 ERA in 25 innings against NACC competition, posting a 2-1 record. He struck out 24 batters, while allowing just three earned runs in four conference starts.
The Falcons finished the regular season with a 23-17 record, including a 13-7 mark in conference play. CUW will open NACC Tournament play today against MSOE at 1 p.m. The NACC Tournament will take place from Thursday through Sunday at Kapco Park on the campus of CUW.