Baseball | Monday, May 19, 2008
Stalker Chosen First Team All-West Region
SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University junior first baseman Kyle Stalker (Bellevue, WA/Sammamish HS), who set school records with 22 home runs and 63 runs batted in this season, has been named First Team All-West Region for NCAA Division III, as selected by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA). WU center fielder Sean Anderson (Sr., Klamath Falls, OR/Klamath Union HS) was chosen Second Team All-West Region.
The ABCA selected 16 athletes as First Team All-Region, with 18 players each on the Second Team and Third Team lists. David Derek of McMurry University (Texas), who led Division III with 26 home runs, was chosen West Region Player of the Year. Blake Booher from the University of Texas at Tyler, who achieved an 11-1 record and a 2.06 earned run average, was named West Region Pitcher of the Year.
First Team All-West Region
Stalker earned a .361 batting average while consistently moving runners around the bases. He supplied plenty of instant offense with his 22 homers and also connected for singles at key times throughout the year. He led the team with 27 walks and hit an impressive .382 with runners in scoring position.
His homers that easily cleared the fence will be remembered by Bearcat fans. It was those long blasts that allowed Stalker to achieve a .844 slugging percentage. He belted three homers in one game against Lewis & Clark College on March 1 and hit two homers in four other games. He was chosen NWC Player of the Week on March 4 after smacking seven home runs and going 7 of 15 at the plate as WU went 4-1 during the week.
Stalker led the Northwest Conference in home runs, RBIs and total bases (124) during the season. He scored 44 runs and finished the year with a .469 on-base percentage. He was named First Team All-Northwest Conference and was selected NWC Player of the Year.
Defensively, he recorded 319 putouts and earned 20 assists, while playing in 39 games as a starter. He saved numerous low bounces near the bag and reached out to stop other throws that were off the mark. He committed just three errors and achieved a .991 fielding percentage. He was involved in 35 of Willamette's 38 double plays.
Through May 11, he was ranked second nationally in NCAA Division III in both total home runs and home runs per game (0.56). He was sixth in the nation in RBIs and fourth in RBIs per game (1.62). His slugging percentage ranked eighth in the nation.
In three seasons with the Bearcats, Stalker has become Willamette's all-time home run leader with 36 career homers. He has maintained a career batting average of.305 and has produced 105 hits, 109 RBIs and 73 runs.
Second Team All-West Region
Anderson led Willamette with a .388 batting average, 57 hits, 49 runs, 11 doubles and five triples. He started 37 games and tied for second on the team with 147 at bats. His .694 slugging percentage and .459 on-base percentage trailed only Stalker on Willamette's offensive chart.
At the start of the season, Anderson was WU's lead-off batter. Later, he moved into the clean-up position, where he hit .482 in the final 15 games of the season. He finished the year with eight home runs and was 13 of 16 on stolen bases.
On defense, Anderson earned a .972 fielding percentage. He registered 68 putouts with one assist and two errors. He was named First Team All-Northwest Conference.
During his four years with the Bearcats, Anderson achieved a .324 career batting average and a .508 career slugging percentage. His 581 at bats, 188 hits, 142 runs and 49 doubles all set Willamette career records. He tied the school record for career triples with eight and tied the single season record for triples with five this season.
He was one of Willamette's fastest players. He was successful on 36 of 50 stolen base attempts during his career. He also registered 335 putouts in the outfield, including several on diving catches.
The Willamette University Baseball Season
The Bearcats concluded the 2008 season with a 20-20 overall record, including 16-15 (5th place) in the Northwest Conference. Willamette smacked 66 home runs and 66 doubles during the season, while scoring 332 runs and achieving a .308 team batting average. Five players produced at least seven homers and eight players hit at least five doubles. As of May 11, the Bearcats were ranked second in NCAA Division III with 1.65 home runs per game.