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Three Lopers listed on All-Region team

UNK junior Alex Achtermann (second from left) is greeted at home plate on March 3, 2018 after belting a home run against Central Oklahoma (KHGI)

Juniors Alex Achtermann, Brandon Hernandez and Brett Young have all been selected to the 2018 Rawlings/ABCA (American Baseball Coaches Assoc.) All-Central Region team.

Previously, the CCA (Conference Commissioners Assoc.) and the NCWBA (National Collegiate Baseball Writers Assoc.) announced their all-region squads. Achtermann and Hernandez made all three squads with Young also on the NCWBA team.

Achtermann (Denver) and Hernandez (San Diego) made the ABCA first-team and move onto the national ballot where they could earn All-American accolades. Young (Lodi, Calif.) was chosen ABCA second-team. The Central Regional is made up of 40 schools from the MIAA, GAC (Great American Conf.) and NSIC (Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conf.).

Achtermann, chosen as an infielder this time around, wasn't named the Region Player of the Year. That tip of the cap went to Minnesota-Crookston first baseman Reed Hjelle. Concordia-St. Paul's Gus Varland was tabbed Region Pitcher of the Year for a third time this spring.

The MIAA Player of the Year, Achtermann started games at pitcher, first base, third base, right field and designated hitter. Playing in 49 games he finished at .413 with 13 doubles, 15 home runs and 57 RBI's. Scoring a team-best 56 runs and having a team-high 147 bases, Achtermann also led UNK in slugging percentage (.714) and on-base percentage (.481).

A left handed batter but a right handed pitcher, Achtermann led the MIAA in three offensive categories. On the mound, he posted a 6-1 record and a 4.45 ERA over 11 starts. He fanned 55 in 62.2 innings and maintained a .915 fielding percentage as well.

One of two Lopers to start all 52 games, Hernandez set new UNK single season records for at-bats (240) and doubles (27) while tying the hits mark (92). The lefty finished his lone Loper campaign at .383 with four HR's, 46 RBI's and 50 runs scored. Hernandez led the team in steals (12) and also had four assists in the field.

Missing a few games due to injury, Young still batted .356 with 14 doubles, 11 HR's, 39 RBI's and 53 runs. UNK's leadoff hitter, Young drew a team-best 30 walks, stole nine bases and hit four first inning homers. Finally, he showed off a strong arm by throwing out nine runners from center field.

UNK went 28-24 (21-15 MIAA) in 2018, finishing in fifth place in the MIAA and qualifying for the eight-team league tournament. The Lopers ended its modern history (1961-2018) with 1,205 wins.

Courtesy UNK Sports Information

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