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Simmons named WIAC Position Player of the Year, Richter wins WIAC Coach of the Year

(WSAW)
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 8:51 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. - Senior Aaron Simmons (Franklin, Wis./Franklin) was named the WIAC Position Player of the Year and head coach Nat Richter repeated as WIAC Coach of the Year, highlighting the litany of league honors bestowed upon the UW-Stevens Point baseball team, the conference announced on Wednesday (May 18). Simmons also earned first-team laurels along with Bradley Comer (Rhinelander, Wis./Rhinelander), Sidney Ferry (Paw Paw, Mich./Homeschooled) and Casey Pickering (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley). Lucas Luedtke (River Falls, Wis./River Falls), Payton Nelson (Wausau, Wis./West), Austin Syvertson (Randolph, Wis./Randolph) and Anthony Tomczak (Muskego, Wis./Muskego) earned honorable mention accolades. Matt Baumann (New Berlin, Wis./Eisenhower) was named to the WIAC All-Sportsmanship team to complete the awards.

Simmons lands the league top honor and earns his third career All-WIAC first team award. He tied the UWSP single-season record with 18 home runs this season, 12 of which came in league play. Simmons also legged out a pair of triples, both during conference games, to tie for the all-time conference lead in three-baggers. For the year, Simmons has a .371 average with 54 RBI, tied for the eighth-most in UWSP single season records. He has scored 58 runs on the season and is perfect 12-for-12 in stolen bases. Simmons has also drawn 38 walks, the second-most in a single season for the Pointers. After launching six home runs in the final week of the regular season, Simmons picked up WIAC Player of the Week honors on May 10.Richter repeats as the league coach of the year after leading the Pointers to the team’s 12 WIAC Tournament title last weekend. He has propelled the team to a 34-7 record and the 17th NCAA Tournament appearance in school history. In his two years at the helm, Richter has led the Pointers to back-to-back 30-win seasons for the first time since 2015. Under his guidance this season, the Pointers have drawn more walks, 221, than any other season in school history. His team’s 58 home runs this season are the fifth-most and the 109 walks allowed by the pitching staff are the third fewest in school history.

Comer garners his second-straight first team league award. He hit .351 on the year and his 48 RBI are second on the team. He has hit seven home runs, nine doubles and a triple. Comer is tied for second in the team with 12 stolen bases on the year. He had 16 multi-hit games on the season, including three four-hit games. He had an 11-game hitting streak in April and is currently on an eight-game hitting streak entering the NCAA Tournament.

Ferry also snags his second-consecutive first-team nod. He went 5-0 with six saves on the season and has the lowest ERA on the team at 2.36. Four of his saves and three wins came against league opponents during the regular season. He also has 34 strikeouts this year while walking just three batters. With a two-win, two-saves week to wrap up the regular season, Ferry was named the WIAC Pitcher of the Week on May 10.Pickering picks up his second league honor after getting an honorable mention selection in 2021. This year, he is 6-0 in nine appearances and seven starts. He holds a 4.27 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 52.2 innings. During conference play, he was 4-0 with a 1.77 ERA and 25 strikeouts.

Pickering tossed a pair of complete-game shutouts, a one-hitter against Finlandia on April 4 followed by a two-hit shutout versus UW-La Crosse on April 10. Pickering was named WIAC Pitcher of the Week on April 12.

Luedtke nabs his first league honor after hitting .357 in 41 starts at designated hitter. He is second on the team with nine home runs and had the longest hitting streak on the team this year, a 14-game hitting streak from March 21 through April 10. Luedtke led the team with 17 multi-hit games this year with five-RBI performances against UW-Stout on April 19 and again in the WIAC Tournament title game versus UW-Oshkosh on May 14.

Nelson lands his fourth career conference year-end award with previous honors in 2018, 2019 and 2021 (no awards in 2020). He hit .335 on the year with seven home runs, 40 RBI and 47 runs scored. He led the team with 13 stolen bases. Nelson has 16 multi-hit games on the year with four-hit outings in the season opener versus Illinois Tech and again on April 9 against UW-La Crosse. He picked up WIAC Player of the Week honors on April 12.

Syvertson gets his first league award after 17 relief appearances with a 2-1 record and one save. He struck out 22 batters in 23.1 innings pitched. Syvertson made eight-straight appearances since April 23 without an earned run against and hasn’t walked a batter over those eight outings. Both of Syvertson’s wins and his save came during league play this season. He led all UWSP pitchers with 11 appearances in conference games this season.

Tomczak also garners his first league honor in his first season with the Pointers. He had a team-high .388 average on the year in 25 games, 18 of which were starts. His .516 on-base percentage is also a team-best. Tomczak has three home runs, five doubles and 16 RBI. He also drew 19 walks and scored 15 runs. During league games, he hit .429 in 13 starts and 18 games played. Defensively, Tomczak has cut down a team-best nine attempted base stealers.

Baumann earns the WIAC All-Sportsmanship team laurel after 41 starts in left field and hitting leadoff off year long. His 53 runs scored are second on the team this year. He is hitting .327 with a team-leading 14 doubles. Baumann is second on the team with 30 bases on balls. He also has 25 RBI and has seven stolen bases.

The Pointers face Lawrence on Friday (May 20) at 10:00 a.m. in the opening game of the NCAA Tournament Regional at Zimmermann Field. North Central and Coe College comprise the other half of the regional day one action.

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