Sophomore RHP Steve Maher was selected Midwest Region Pitcher of the Year and was among four Tommies recognized on the 2012 All-Midwest Region teams selected by D3Baseballl.com. Forty-three players were chosen on three teams.
Maher and junior DH-RHP Dylan Thomas (utility) made first team. Freshman CF Ben Podobinski and senior LHP Bryce Gapinski were named to the second team.
Maher, a first-year Tommie, is 12-1 with a 2.10 ERA, and 94 strikeouts and just 18 walks in 81.1 innings. He has has beaten nationally- or regionally-ranked St. Scholastica, UW-LaCrosse, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Whitewater, Chicago and St. John's. In 20-game MIAC stats, Maher went 5-1. He's allowed just one earned run in 14 innings in the postseason, including a complete-game victory in the MIAC playoffs with 16 strikeouts.
Thomas, another 2012 newcomer from Des Moines Area CC, is 7-0 with a save and an 0.80 ERA in his last eight appearances. He's also batting .390 as designated hitter (30 hits in 21 games). In 20-game MIAC stats, Thomas was 4-0 with an ERA of 0.93, which led all conference starters. He was selected Most Outstanding Player of the Whitewater Regional tournament as he drove in five runs with two home runs in the championship game and won another game after allowing one earned run in eight innings. He also was named MIAC Pitcher of the Year.
Gapinski is 9-0 with an 1.51 ERA, seven complete games, four shutouts, and only 11 walks in 83.1 innings. On his career, he's 28-5, with a 2.80 ERA, and his 28 wins are the second most in MIAC history. In 20-game MIAC stats, Gapinski was 4-0 and had only seen walks in 34 innings. He added a shutout win in the MIAC playoffs, and has allowed just one earned run in his last 40 innings.
Podobinski has 19 multi-hit games, a .358 average with 54 hits, 38 runs and 16 steals in 42 games. In 20-game MIAC stats, Podobinski hit .324 with 22 hits and 18 runs.
The Tommies won the program's 10th consecutive conference title with a 19-1 record. UST took second in the MIAC playoffs and received an at-large berth into the Division III playoffs -- the program's 17th NCAA appearance in the last 18 seasons. The No. 4-ranked Tommies (38-8) went 4-0 to claim the regional championship. They start play Friday in the Division III College World Series in Grand Chute, Wis.
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