Cougars Ranked 22nd In First ABCA Poll Of Season
Courtesy of Concordia University Chicago
RIVER FOREST, Ill. -- The Concordia University Chicago baseball team is ranked #22 in the first American Baseball Coaches Association's (ABCA) Division III poll for the 2012 season.
Coming off four straight seasons of over 30 wins including last year's school-record 35 wins, the Cougars are currently 9-2 this season. Concordia-Chicago's only two losses came against teams that are also ranked in this week's poll - #19 Illinois Wesleyan University and #30 University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. The Cougars also have a win over UW-LaCrosse, a win over #31 Rose-Hulman Institute, and two wins over Coe College, a team that was ranked #25 in ABCA's preseason poll.
Concordia is hitting .375 as a team with 107 runs scored, an average of 9.7 runs per game. Senior designated hitter Cam Stephens (Rosemont, IL/East Leyden), a 2011 D3Baseball.com Second-Team All-American, leads the Cougars with a .477 batting average and .591 slugging percentage. Third baseman Anthony Even (Franklin Park, IL/West Leyden), a senior transfer from Delta State University, is hitting .429 with a team-leading 15 runs scored.
The team's pitching has been anchored by sophomore Brenden Schulz (Kenosha, WI/Bradford) with a 2-0 record and 1.93 ERA in two starts (14 innings). Fellow sophomores Dan Kluss (Niles, IL/Niles West) with a 2-0 record, one save and 2.03 ERA (13.1 innings), and Kevin Pawell (Kenosha, WI/Bradford) with a 1-0 record, one save and 1.38 ERA (13 innings) are also among the team's pitching leaders.
"It's great to be recognized as a top 25 team nationally right now," said Adam Smith, Concordia University Chicago head baseball coach. "At the same time, we realize that it is early and there's a lot of baseball still to be played. But we will continue working hard towards our goals of a conference title and regional appearance, and the other things like recognition in the polls will take care of itself."