Pitchers Jordan Piche and A.J. McElderry lead the list of Indian Hills Community College baseball players named to the All-Region team.
Piche and McElderry were the Falcons’ first-team choices on the all-region squad. IHCC also had two second-team picks, freshmen Adam Deneke and Taylor Ostrich, and six players who received honorable mention accolades. They are sophomores Yuliecer Arias, Guillermo Cruz, Cashtyn DeLeeuw, Jeremy Delgado and Levi Grassley and freshman Jake Stalzer.
This year’s IHCC pitching staff had an ERA of over one run a game lower than in 2011 and Piche and McElderry were two big reasons for that.
Piche had a 9-4 record, leading the team in wins, and a 2.66 ERA with a team-high 85 strikeouts in 88 innings. He led the Falcons with seven complete games and has signed to play for the Kansas Jayhawks next year.
McElderry, from Batavia, assumed the closer’s role early in the season and had a 0.74 ERA with a 4-1 record and eight saves in 20 appearances. He struck out 27 in 24 1/3 innings.
The two second-team selections from IHCC were two of the top hitters this year. Ostrich had the best batting average at .346 and also led in walks (21) and on-base percentage (.440). He slugged 17 doubles and two homers and drove in 31 runs.
Deneke hit .313 with 15 doubles, two triples, three home runs and a team-best slugging percentage of .500. He also appeared in six games as a pitcher with a 1-1 record and 2.53 ERA.
Arias, a second-team all-region pick last year, and Cruz both significantly improved their offensive performance in their second year at IHCC. Arias’ batting average jumped from .316 to .340 with team highs in at-bats (212), runs (42), hits (72), doubles (18), RBIs (33) and total bases (95). Cruz went from a .250 average as a freshman to .304 this season. He led the squad in steals with 24.
Delgado and Grassley both transferred to Indian Hills for their sophomore campaign. Delgado hit .311 and led the team with four triples. Grassley had a .278 average, nine doubles, a triple and four homers.
DeLeeuw put together a solid season on the mound with a 2.79 ERA and a 7-2 record, the identical won-loss record he had as a freshman. He had 68 Ks in 68 IP and started a staff-high 13 games.
Stalzer, from Albia, came on strong at the end of the season, winning three games in two weeks to wind up 4-2 with a 3.55 ERA. The lefty had six complete games and fanned 60 in 50 2/3 innings.