Broyles and Niermann First Team All-HCAC
Nick Broyles and Kyle Niermann named First Team All-HCAC
May 17, 2011
BLUFFTON, Ohio - Seven Bluffton University baseball players were honored by the Heartland
Collegiate Athletic Conference coaches for their play on the field this spring. Junior
Nick Broyles (Toledo/Whitmer) and sophomore Kyle Niermann (Napoleon) both earned first team acclaim while freshman catcher Tim Webb (Delaware/Worthington Christian) was selected to the second team. Juniors Ryan Leugers (Botkins), Kyle Trainer (Mechanicsburg), Tyler Stephenson (Springfield/Northwestern) and freshman Airic Steagall (Hillsboro) all took home honorable mention All-HCAC recognition following the 2011
season. It marked the first time since 2008 (Tim Kay) that the Beavers have placed
anyone on the first team.
Nick Broyles, who was named Second Team All-HCAC a year ago, continued his assault on the opposing pitching and the Bluffton record books with a superb junior campaign. He shattered his own school record (39 in 2010) with 51 runs scored. His 48 RBI was just one off his school mark of 49 set a season ago. Bluffton's version of the 30-30 players that became popular in Major League Baseball two decades ago, Broyles pounded eight home runs and was nearly perfect on the bases with 17 thefts in 18 attempts. His 17 steals equaled the school record and he was just two dingers away from his school-record 10 homers. For the season, Broyles finished with a school-record 114 total bases and his 62 hits was the third-highest total in school history. The standout ripped 18 doubles (2nd all-time) and five triples (tied for 2nd all-time).
With another season yet to play, Broyles already holds the career record with 114 RBI and he is tied with John Holzwart for the most doubles in school history (34). He needs just two steals to break all-time mark of 40 held by Matt Henderson. Broyles is closing in on school records with 113 runs, 266 total bases, 10 triples, 149 hits and 28 HBP's. His .627 slugging percentage is #5 all-time. Broyles pounded two homers in a game twice this season and he equaled the school record with a pair of triples against John Jay in Florida.
In Heartland Conference play, Broyles feasted on the opposing pitching to the tune of an HCAC-best 43 hits and 80 total bases. His .457 batting average was second best in the conference, as were his 12 doubles and 34 runs scored. He stole a conference-high 11 bases and came in third with seven long balls.
Also picking up first team honors after being selected to the second team in 2010, Kyle Niermann set the table with a school-record 68 hits which added up to a .382 batting average and .411 on-base percentage. His 68 safeties were the most by a Heartland Conference player prior to the HCAC tournament. Niermann eclipsed the old record of 39 runs with 42, but he now ranks second behind Nick Broyles who crossed the dish 51 times this year. His 178 at-bats moved him to #1 on the single season list at Bluffton, while his 96 total bases placed him fourth all-time.
Niermann ranks 7th all-time with a .378 career batting average and he is well on his way to the career hits mark of 168 with 111 safeties after just two seasons. He was second to Nick Broyles in the Heartland Conference with 41 hits in HCAC play this year. The smooth right fielder (.988 fielding percentage) broke the school mark with five runs in Bluffton's win over Franklin and he also equaled the Bluffton record for hits in a game with five safeties twice in 2011.
Freshman backstop Tim Webb took over behind the plate full-time upon returning from Florida and he did not disappoint. The first-year catcher smoked the ball to the tune of a .362 batting average with 42 hits and a .526 slugging percentage. Webb finished with four home runs, including three in consecutive innings during Bluffton's 19-5 victory over rival Defiance College. His three taters equaled Kyle Alberson for the school record in a single game. He scored 26 times and drove in 22 runs while stealing five bases in five tries. Webb threw out 14 of 56 would-be base stealers and he finished with a .980 fielding percentage.
Junior lefty Ryan Leugers anchored the Bluffton pitching staff in 2011, piling up 61.1 innings and a 4-5 record in nine starts. He made 12 appearances and finished with a pair of complete games. Leugers fashioned a 6.16 earned run average while facing an explosive array of teams in the Heartland Conference. He fanned 42 batters while allowing just 14 walks (2.35 per 9 innings) for an impressive 3-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Leugers is ranked 9th all-time with a .311 opponent batting average.
Third baseman Tyler Stephenson picked up his second straight honorable mention All-HCAC award in 2011. After a slow start, the junior picked it up in HCAC play and finished the season with a .331 batting average, including 51 hits and 14 two-baggers to go along with his three home runs. Stephenson drove in 36 runs and crossed the plate 32 times while slugging it at a .494 clip.
The left-handed hitting Stephenson is tied for fourth on the career list with 153 safeties, just 15 away from the school record of 168 held by Brad Buckingham and Tony Moore. He currently has 32 doubles, two back of the record held by John Holzwart and teammate Nick Broyles. Stephenson is 5th all-time with 95 RBI and tied for 4th all-time with 233 total bases. He equaled the school mark with three doubles in a win over Anderson, while his seven at-bats in a victory over Earlham and six RBI in a win over Franklin also put his name in the single-game records.
Kyle Trainer also collected his second consecutive honorable mention All-HCAC award after a junior campaign in which he set a school record with 105 assists. The second baseman hit .336 with 41 hits and 22 runs scored. Trainer was a perfect 6-of-6 on stolen bases and he drove in 12 runs. His 188 chances place him tied for 12th all-time at Bluffton. He also contributed with four sacrifice bunts this season.
Freshman Airic Steagall split time early in the season, but he quickly established himself at first base and in the middle of the order for the Beavers in 2011. The freshman smacked it at a .357 clip with 28 runs scored and 15 RBI while posting a .462 on-base percentage thanks to his keen eye at the plate (17 walks). His 229 putouts was the fourth highest total for a single season and his 18 double plays tied the school record.
Bluffton won a school-record 19 games in 2011 and the Beavers also established a school mark with 11 wins in the Heartland Conference.