ST. PAUL, Minn. – Augustana baseball continued to pick up its slew of awards and recognition for its stellar play on the diamond this year with the announcement of four players to the Daktronics All-Central Region teams.
The All-Central Region teams are voted on by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) from the Central Region of NCAA Division II. The Central Region consists of 40 baseball teams from the Northern Sun (15 teams), Mid-America (14 teams) and Great American (11 teams) conferences.
Tony Viger, Kye Winter, Jake Petersen, and Jack Goihl earned All-Region honors for their continued success in this year's historic season for the Vikings. The first team selections for Augustana consisted of Viger at third base, Winter at utility-pitcher, and Petersen at second base. Goihl made the second team as a catcher. The four selections are the most the Vikings have had in one season in team history.
Viger was also selected as the Central Region Player of the Year, becoming the first Viking ever to be receive the honor by Daktronics. The Sioux Falls, S.D. native, already named the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Player of the Year earlier in the season, has been dominant force at the plate all year for Augustana. Viger leads the NSIC in multiple categories in 2014, which include: runs scored (63), hits (88), RBI (61) doubles (28), and total bases (150). The Sioux Falls, S.D. native's 28 doubles also rank first in the NCAA this season. The senior also is currently hitting a career-high .423 at the plate through 54 games.
Viger's incredible season has seen the senior third baseman rise to the top of the national leaderboards on several categories. The former O'Gorman High standout ranks in the top 15 nationally in batting average (14th), runs (fifth), hits (third), doubles (first), RBI (eighth), slugging percentage (eighth), and total bases (fourth).
Winter earned All-Region first team honors at utility-pitcher for his versatility on the mound, in the field, and at the plate. The Willow Lake, S.D. native has been the Vikings' go to guy in big games on the bump this year, going 8-0 in 2014, while defeating Daktronics Central Region Pitcher of the Year Jason Hoppe and All-NSIC first team selection Kyle Fischer of St. Cloud State in head-to-head match-ups earlier in the year. Winter set new career highs at the plate in batting average (.364), runs (39), RBI (42), and doubles (18).
Petersen was named a first team All-Central Region selection at second base. The senior from Blair, Neb. was a second team selection back in 2013. Petersen has been a weapon for Augustana as its leadoff hitter for most of the year, batting a career-best .387 for the Vikings. Petersen's five triples lead the team. The second baseman's five homers on the year also set a new career high for the senior, and currently rank third on the team. The former Blair High graduate holds a team-leading 24-game hitting streak, achieved earlier this year.
Goihl notched the first All-Central Region selection of his career with a strong year as the number five hitter for the Vikings. The junior catcher has hit .406 through 54 games, which is good for fourth in the NSIC, and 36th in the NCAA. Goihl's 22 stolen bases tied for the NSIC lead. The Robbinsdale, Minn. native also ranks fourth in the NSIC in RBI with 53. Goihl's 11 home runs this year are tied for fourth in the NSIC and 17th in Division II.
Augustana's continued success this year, resulting in a school-record 40 wins and first ever NSIC Tournament Championship, has come under the guidance of head coach Tim Huber and his coaching staff. With its win in the championship game against Winona State last weekend, The Vikings earned the automatic bid, and No. 6 seed, from the NCAA to play in the Central Region Tournament, making it the second appearance in school history for Augustana.
Courtesy: Augustana Tim Evans