KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Three of the four qualifiers for the MIAA Baseball Tournament each had three players earn first-team honors on the All-MIAA Baseball Team as selected by the conference coaches.
Regular season champion Emporia State (42-10, 29-7 MIAA), runner-up Central Missouri (39-11, 27-9 MIAA) and fourth-place Nebraska-Omaha (37-18, 27-13 MIAA) accounted for nine of the 14 spots on the first team. Missouri Western (34-22, 22-16 MIAA) also had three players make the top squad while third-place Missouri Southern (34-18, 24-10 MIAA) had two.
The ESU Hornets have the conference's Player of the Year for the second time in as many seasons with the selection of senior OF Connor Crumbliss. He leads the MIAA in hits per game (1.60 -- 83 total), is second in stolen bases (0.56 per game -- 29), runs scored (1.52 per game -- 79), doubles (.48 per game -- 25) and total bases (2.50 per game -- 130) with a .413 batting average ranking him third in the conference.
He and fellow first-team selection, junior OF Chance Tuttle of UCM, are ranked 1-2 in Division II runs scored per game -- Tuttle averages 1.54 per game (74 total).
Other Hornets on the first team include a unanimous selection at catcher in senior Mike Sharp and junior 1B Kenny Burkhead.
Sharp leads the conference in home runs (.26 per game -- 13) and is second in runs batted in (1.06 per game --53) and slugging percentage (.703) while carrying a .384 batting average (9th in the MIAA).
Burkhead leads the MIAA in RBI (1.40 per game --73) and is among the conference leaders in hits (1.42 per game -- 6th) and stolen bases (.44 per game -- 7th) while batting .374.
ESU's head coach Bob Fornelli was once again named the MIAA's Coach of the Year by his peers. It is the second time in as many seasons and third time overall he's been so honored. Fornelli is the first repeat selection since UCM's Darin Hendrickson in 2004-05.
Central Missouri senior RHP Chris Matlock was named Pitcher of the Year as a reliever, the first to earn the honor in that role since Grant Barger of ESU did it in 2003.
Matlock set the single season (13) and career (24) conference records for saves in 2009. He is 4-1 with a 1.00 earned run average in 24 appearances this season for the Mules. His 13 saves this season currently ranks fourth in Division II.
Matlock joined Tuttle as a unanimous first-team choice. Not only does Tuttle lead Division II in runs scored, he leads the conference in batting (.424), stolen bases (.67 per game -- 32), total bases (2.60 per game -- 125), on-base percentage (.537) and slugging percentage (.727).
Junior RHP Mitch Stubenhoffer is the third Mule on the first team. He enters the conference tournament with a 6-0 record and a 2.81 earned run average (fourth in the MIAA).
UCM also has the Freshman of the Year in SS Bret Schwartz. He is batting .354 with 35 RBI and 46 runs scored for the Mules, and is among the conference leaders in on-base percentage (.462 -- 7th) and walks (.54 per game -- 6th).
The Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks also had a pair of unanimous selections in senior SS Evan Porter and senior DH Drew Schwab. They were joined on the first team by junior 2B Andrew Hansen.
Porter ranks fourth in the MIAA with a .405 batting average and has eight homers and 54 RBI. He's fourth in the conference in hits (1.51 per game -- 83) and fifth in doubles (.36 per game -- 20) and total bases (2.31 per game -- 127.).
Schwab is right behind Porter in the batting race with a .404 average. He has seven homers and 45 RBI, and ranks fifth in the MIAA with a .637 slugging percentage.
Hansen set the MIAA single-season record for doubles with 30 in 2009, and his average of .56 doubles per game is second in Division II. He's batting .422 (second in the MIAA) with three home runs and 45 RBI, while ranking second in the league in hits (1.59 per game -- 86) and fifth in runs scored (1.07 per game -- 58).
Missouri Western had a pair of seniors -- RHP A.J. Huttenlocker and OF Troy Landi -- make the first team along with junior UT Andy Hebrard.
Huttenlocker finished the season with and 11-3 record and a 3.35 earned run average. He leads the MIAA in victories and tossed eight complete games in 2009 (second in the MIAA) while averaging 9.38 strikeouts per nine innings (fifth in the MIAA).
Landi led the Griffons with his .348 batting average to go with 14 homers and 29 RBI. He's currently ranked second in the MIAA with .25 homers per game, and fourth in both stolen bases (.54 per game -- 30) and runs scored (1.11 per game -- 62).
Hebrard pitched, played both first and third base and was a designated hitter for Western. He batted .326 with four homers and 28 RBI while posting a 7-6 record in 14 appearances (eight starts) on the mound with a 3.88 ERA and one save.
Southern rounds out the first team with junior LHP C.J. Maffei and junior 3B Skyler Rawlins. Maffei has an 8-3 record with a 2. 94 ERA (seventh in the MIAA). Opponents are hitting .247 (seventh in the MIAA) against him and he's averaged 6.64 innings per appearance (second in the MIAA).
Rawlins hit .349 for the Lions with a team-high nine home runs (.18 per game -- 8th in the MIAA) and 28 runs batted in. He's also seventh in runs scored (1.00 per game -- 50).
Five starting pitchers and five outfielders selected
due to ties in voting
Player of the Year: Connor Crumbliss, OF, ESU
Pitcher of the Year: Chris Matlock, RHP, UCM
Freshman of the Year: Bret Schwartz, SS, UCM
Coach of the Year: Bob Fornelli, ESU