Sawyer Nauman received the first of what should be a long line of postseason awards on Thursday, when the Mississippi Valley Conference announced him as its Mississippi Division baseball player of the year.
Dubuque Hempstead’s Jeff Rapp, along with assistant Don Pirkle, landed the Valley Division coaching staff of the year award, and a total of 10 local players earned first-team accolades. Hempstead’s Trey Schaber, Kellen Strohmeyer, Logan Runde and Zach Sabers, along with Senior’s Ray Schlosser, Gavin Guns and Cole Smith earned first-team accolades in the Valley, while Western Dubuque’s Nauman and Wahlert’s Aaron Savary and Jake Brosius made the Mississippi first team.
Guns, Strohmeyer, Runde, Savary, Nauman and Brosius were unanimous selections.
Nauman, a senior first baseman, leads Class 3A and set a school record by hitting .548 (51-for-93) and also leads 3A with 57 RBIs, a 1.140 slugging percentage and .686 slugging percentage while ranking second in the class with 106 total bases, 19 doubles and 12 home runs. He drew 31 walks and 12 hit batsmen while striking out only seven times.
Guns, a senior corner infielder, batted .445 (49-for-110) with eight doubles, one home run, 21 RBIs, 21 walks and went 12-for-16 in stolen bases.
Strohmeyer, a junior shortstop, can add to his school single-season record of 59 hits when the Mustangs play at the Class 4A state tournament in Iowa City next week. He hits .424 (59-for-139) with 14 doubles, three triples, three home runs, 31 RBIs, 19 walks and 22 stolen bases in 22 attempts.
Runde, a senior right-fielder, takes a .421 (48-for-114) average into the state tournament. He has 12 doubles, three triples, three home runs, 39 RBIs, 25 walks and 11 stolen bases in 11 attempts. Hempstead’s pitching ace, he is 6-1 with a 2.08 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 43 2/3 innings.
Savary, a junior right-handed pitcher, improved to 8-1 with a 1.31 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 59 innings while leading Wahlert to a pair of postseason wins and a berth in the Class 3A state field next week in Iowa City. Opponents hit just .130 against him. At the plate, Savary hits .306 (33-for-108) with seven doubles, two triples, five home runs and 28 RBIs.
Brosius, a senior second baseman, leads Class 3A with 13 home runs and 108 total bases while ranking third with 51 RBIs and fourth with a .818 slugging percentage. Wahlert’s leadoff man, he is hitting .371 (49-for-132) with eight doubles, six triples and 21 walks while stealing 27 bases in 27 attempts.
Schaber, a senior corner infielder, owns a .354 batting average (35-for-99) with 11 doubles, one home run, 28 RBIs and 16 walks.
Sabers, a senior utility man, ranks second in Class 4A with 35 walks. He hits .288 (30-for-104) with eight doubles, one home run and 16 RBIs and stole 15 bases in 15 attempts despite being injured much of the season.
Schlosser, a junior catcher, ranked second in Class 4A by throwing out 16 attempted base stealers. He hit .309 (34-for-110) with 11 doubles, four home runs, 30 RBIs and 19 walks. On the mound, he went 4-2 with a 1.47 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 38 innings.
Smith, a senior shortstop/utility man, batted .348 (40-for-115) with six doubles, one home run, 13 RBIs, 20 walks and 21 stolen bases in 21 attempts. He also went 1-1 with a 2.42 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 26 innings.
Hempstead landed junior Brock Booth, sophomore Solen Munson and seniors Dane Schope and John Cornelius on the Valley’s second team. Wahlert sophomore Jack Walsh and senior Jared Walter earned second-team accolades in the Mississippi.
Honorable mention went to Hempstead seniors Michael Garrett and Mitchell Heuer, Senior 12th graders Alex Reavell and Drew Zillig, Wahlert senior Landon Stoll and sophomore Ryan Brosius, and Western Dubuque senior Jayden Siegert and junior Bryn Vantiger.