May 16, 2013

Craig, Crable headline all-conference selections

INDIANOLA, Iowa – First baseman Tyler Craig and outfielder Brett Crable earned first team all-conference honors and Simpson placed five total players on the 2013 All-Iowa Conference Baseball Team, as announced by the league office.

Outfielder Jake Barr and utility player Blake Heitmeier took home second team honors while second baseman Ethan Hale was an honorable mention pick.

2013 Iowa Conference Baseball Awards and All-Conference Teams

Craig, a junior from Urbandale, Iowa, established himself as one of the most feared power hitters in the league in 2013, leading the Iowa Conference with 45 RBIs, 14 doubles and 97 total bases. He also hit seven home runs while carrying a .342 batting average and slugging .614. Craig's 45 RBIs are the most by a Simpson player since 2004, when three players drove in 46 or more runs.

Crable, a junior from Phoenix, Ariz., picked up the pace in the second half of the season, hitting .382 over the final 21 games. The centerfielder finished the season hitting a team-high .363 to go along with 22 RBIs and six outfield assists.

Barr, a junior from Henderson, Nev., landed on the second team for the second year in a row after hitting .343 and tying for the team lead with 35 runs scored. The left fielder led the team with 59 hits and committed only one error in the outfield. He began the season with a school-record tying 5-for-5 performance against Sul Ross State in February.

Heitmeier, a senior from Mount Pleasant, Iowa, showed a knack for reaching base in 2013. He led the team and ranked second in the league with a .493 on-base percentage, hitting .324, drawing 12 walks and getting hit by pitches an astonishing 23 times. He led the conference in the hit-by-pitch category, reaching base the hard way 11 more times than any other player. He re-set his own school record established last year and owns Simpson's career record, getting hit by 46 pitches throughout his four years. The all-purpose Heitmeier started games at second base, third base, right field and designated hitter.

Hale, a senior from West Des Moines, Iowa, was arguably the best fielding second baseman in the conference throughout the season. He committed just three errors in 216 chances – a .986 fielding percentage – and turned 25 double plays. His 67 career double plays are the most by a non-first baseman since the automated scoring era began in 2003. At the plate, he hit .266 and drove in 21 runs.

Simpson went 18-23 in 2013, going 12-16 in the Iowa Conference to place fifth. Despite owning the fifth-seed in the IIAC Tournament, the Storm were one of three teams left standing on the tournament's final day. Simpson went 2-2 on the weekend, losing to tournament champion Wartburg and runner-up Coe.