Webb and Hickey named All-Region by ABCA
May 21, 2014
BLUFFTON, Ohio - Bluffton senior Tim Webb (Delaware/Worthington Christian) and freshman Luke Hickey (Toledo/Whitmer) have been named Third Team All-Mideast Region by the ABCA following a regular season that saw the Beavers come up just one win shy of their first-ever berth in the Heartland Conference tournament. It marks just the third time in school history that two Bluffton University baseball players have earned All-Region honors and the first since Kyle Niermann and Tyler Stephenson in 2012. They were two of just seven Heartland Conference baseball players to be honored by the ABCA.
Senior Tim Webb put the senior slump theory to rest right away when he finished his final week in Florida with a .387 batting average thanks to 12 hits, including four multi-hit games during the first week of the season. He never slowed down, finishing with a .389 batting average, the seventh-highest average in the Heartland Conference. His 37 RBI were the 9th-highest total in the HCAC and they also placed him 6th all-time for a single season at Bluffton. Webb's .507 slugging percentage placed him 14th in the HCAC, while his .448 on-base percentage was 9th in the conference. He pounded 58 hits in his final season, tied for 5th in the HCAC as well as tied for 9th all-time on Bluffton's single season list. Webb threw out 15 would-be base stealers, tied for 2nd all-time at Bluffton.
Webb, a CoSIDA First Team Academic All-District selection and three-time HCAC All-Academic honoree, left an indelible mark on Bluffton's career record books, both offensively and behind the plate. The four-time All-Heartland Conference selection is 3rd all-time with 46 career doubles and his 180 hits are tied for 4th on the career list. He scored 95 runs (tied for 8th all-time) and his 105 RBI place him in a tie for 5th all-time. Webb is in the top 10 for games played, games started, at bats and total bases. He threw out a school-record 48 would-be base stealers, 20 more than his closest rival, and he also sits at the top of the career lists for putouts (698) and chances (805).
Bluffton's first-ever baseball Freshman of the Year started slowly, but a 4-of-5 game at Rose-Hulman helped him find his stroke as Luke Hickey saw his average jump 72 points in just over three hours. Unfortunately for the Heartland Conference pitchers, Hickey was just getting warmed up as the freshman phenom hit .429 with 25 runs and 19 RBI in 25 conference games. His .429 batting average in conference play was 3rd in the HCAC while his 25 runs were tied for 6th. His .473 on-base percentage and .571 slugging percentage were 6th and 7th, respectively. For the season, Hickey hit a team-high .394 with 56 hits, the 12th-highest single-season total in Bluffton history.
Bluffton crossed the 20-win barrier with a 21-18 mark for the second consecutive season, the first 20-win seasons in school history. The Beavers dropped their first six Heartland Conference contests then won six straight HCAC series for a 13-12 record and fifth place finish, the best finish since the 2006 squad tied for 2nd with an 11-12 mark in HCAC action. Defensively, the 2014 Beavers established new school marks with 1,004 putouts and 1,500 chances. Bluffton also set school records with 11 saves and 334.2 innings pitched.