BURNSVILLE, Minn. – Augustana baseball was recognized by the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference on Tuesday for its great regular season play. The Vikings had five players selected to the All-NSIC first and second teams.
Tony Viger, Jake Petersen, Jack Goihl, Kye Winter, and Marcus O'Neill earned All-NSIC honors for Augustana the league announced in a press release. Viger was selected to the first team at third base, Petersen chosen to the first team at second, and Goihl made the first team at utility. Winter was rewarded for his versatility displayed this season in the field and on the hill, being named to All-NSIC first team at both the pitcher and outfielder positions. O'Neill was named to the second team in the outfield.
Viger was also selected as the NSIC's Player of the Year for his stellar play this season, becoming the first Viking to win the award since Nate Baumann back in 2010. The Sioux Falls, S.D. native has been a unstoppable force at the plate for Augustana all year, leading the NSIC in multiple categories, including runs scored (60), hits (82), RBI (58), doubles (26), and total bases (142). Viger's 26 doubles currently lead the NCAA this year. The senior third baseman's .429 batting average marks a new career high and led a Vikings' offense that dominated opposing pitchers for most of 2014.
Winter earned All-NSIC first team honors at both the pitcher and outfield after playing a key role for Augustana all season long. The Willow Lake, S.D. native was the Vikings go to guy in big games on the mound, going 7-0 in the regular season, while defeating NSIC Pitcher of the Year Jason Hoppe and fellow All-NSIC first team selection Kyle Fischer of St. Cloud State in head-to-head matchups earlier in the year. Winter set new career highs at the plate in batting average (.358), runs (34), RBI (40), and doubles (15).
Goihl notched his first All-NSIC first team selection with a strong year as the cleanup hitter for Augustana. The junior catcher hit .400 in the regular season, which was good for sixth in the NSIC. Goihl's 20 stolen bases tied for the NSIC lead. The Robbinsdale, Minn. native also ranks fourth in the NSIC in RBI with 47.
Petersen recorded his second straight All-NSIC first team selection at second base. The senior from Blair, Neb. hit a career-best .372 for the Vikings. Petersen's four triples lead the team in the regular season. Petersen's five homers on the year also set a new career high for the senior.
O'Neill was named to the All-NSIC second team at outfield for a second straight year. The two-time All-NSIC selection gave Augustana production for the number two spot in the lineup, hitting .362 on the season and finishing second on the team with 52 runs. O'Neill's 36 RBI in the regular season set a new career high for the junior from Blaine, Minn.
The Vikings' four first team All-NSIC players were the most chosen on the first team since Augustana joined the league back in 2009, a testament to the guidance and success the program has achieved under head coach Tim Huber and his coaching staff.
The Vikings return to the field on Wednesday as the No. 2 seed to host No. 7 seed Southwest Minnesota State in the NSIC/US Bank Baseball Tournament. The game is set to begin at 3 p.m. at Karras Park Home of Ronken Field.
Courtesy: Augustana Chris Smith