Baseball | Monday, May 5, 2014
Willamette Baseball Places Nine Players on All-Northwest Conference Team
Breier, Gallant, Semlacher and Wyatt Receive First Team Honors
SALEM, ORE. -- For the second year in a row, Willamette University has placed nine players on the All-Northwest Conference Baseball Team, as chosen in voting by the NWC head coaches. Four Bearcats earned First Team All-NWC honors for the 2014 season, while one received Second Team recognition and four were chosen for Honorable Mention.
Overall, 63 players from the nine conference teams received All-NWC honors. Seventeen athletes each were chosen for the First Team and the Second Team, with 29 athletes receiving Honorable Mention.
Willamette designated hitter Ty Wyatt (Fr., Keizer, OR/McNary HS) was the only freshman named First Team All-NWC. The Bearcats' other First Team selections were junior catcher Brad Breier (Torrance, CA/South HS), junior third baseman Hunter Gallant (Rescue, CA/Ponderosa HS) and senior center fielder Tosh Semlacher (Gold River, CA/Jesuit HS).
Sophomore reliever Jackson Watt (Rocklin, CA/Whitney HS) was selected Second Team All-NWC, while senior right fielder Brandon Chinn (Salem, OR/Sprague HS), junior pitcher Peter Hoffman (Hayden, ID/Lake City HS), senior shortstop Tommy Kawamura (Renton, WA/Lindbergh HS) and junior first baseman Tiras Koon (Honolulu, HI/Iolani School) all received Honorable Mention recognition.
Nick Fisher from Linfield College was chosen NWC Player of the Year. Aaron Thomassen, also from Linfield, was selected NWC Pitcher of the Year, and Linfield Head Coach Scott Brosius was named NWC Coach of the Year.
Willamette finished the season at 22-17 overall and 14-10 in the NWC. It is the fifth time in the last seven years that the Bearcats have finished with at least 20 wins.
First Team All-NWC
Brad Breier (Jr., C) earned First Team All-NWC honors after being named Honorable Mention All-NWC in 2013. He started all 33 games in which he played, and tied fellow All-NWC honorees Hunter Gallant and Tiras Koon for second on the team with a .325 batting average.
Breier earned 20 RBIs and 39 hits on the year, including six doubles, one triple and one home run. He drew 12 walks against just five strikeouts.
In three years at Willamette, Breier has achieved a .328 batting average with 35 runs scored, 44 RBIs and a .441 slugging percentage.
Hunter Gallant (Jr., 3B) was also selected to the First Team after receiving Honorable Mention recognition last year. Playing and starting in 31 games, Gallant earned a .325 batting average with 41 hits in 126 at bats. His nine stolen bases tied for the team lead, while his three home runs and .437 slugging percentage ranked third.
In conference play, Gallant's batting average rose to .370, good for fourth in the NWC, while his on-base percentage of .427 ranked sixth and his .507 slugging percentage was eighth.
For his career, Gallant owns a .327 batting average, 71 runs and 71 RBIs. He has hit 28 doubles and stolen 24 bases, and holds the Willamette single-season record for at bats (170), set in 2013.
Tosh Semlacher (Jr., CF), a four-year starter for the Bearcats, earned First Team All-NWC recognition this year. He was chosen Honorable Mention All-NWC in 2013. In 29 games played (28 starts), Semlacher ranked fourth on the team with a .324 batting average and achieved and a team-leading 29 runs scored, plus 33 hits, 11 RBIs and nine stolen bases.
Semlacher's seven stolen bases in conference play placed him third in the NWC, while his two triples, 21 runs and .442 on-base percentage each ranked fourth.
Semlacher concluded his Willamette career ranked in the top 10 in four different statistical categories: triples (7, 5th), stolen bases (37, 7th tie), runs (108, 8th) and sacrifices (16, 10th tie). He achieved a .299 career batting average to go with 143 hits and 77 RBIs.
Ty Wyatt (Fr., DH), the only freshman selected First Team All-NWC, left quite an impression in his first year as a Bearcat. For the season, Wyatt led the team in nearly every major offensive statistic: batting average (.359), hits (46), RBIs (37), slugging percentage (.531) and on-base percentage (.413).
His four home runs and 10 doubles each ranked second on the team.
In conference play, however, Wyatt reached a different level, leading the NWC in batting average (.398), hits (37) and RBIs (32), while ranking second in slugging percentage (.581) and on-base percentage (.447).
Wyatt is the first Willamette freshman to be selected First Team All-NWC since shortstop Doug Bloom ('11) in 2008.
Second Team All-NWC
Jackson Watt (So., RHP) emerged as one of the NWC's best relief pitchers this year, going 5-2 with a 3.28 earned run average in 19 appearances, all out of the bullpen. His seven saves in 2014 ranked second in the NWC and tied him for third place on Willamette's single-season list, while his 19 appearances placed him fourth on the Bearcats' single-season chart.
In 35 2/3 innings pitched this year, Watt limited opponents to a .243 batting average, striking out 26 batters while allowing just seven walks. For his career, he has achieved a 5-4 record with a 4.75 ERA in 30 appearances, all in relief.
Honorable Mention All-NWC
Brandon Chinn (Sr., RF) hit .214 for the season with 19 runs and 10 RBIs. He also contributed eight sacrifice bunts and two sacrifice flies. On defense, he provided the Bearcats with solid play in right field after primarily playing first base his first three years at Willamette.
In his career, Chinn earned a .281 batting average to go with 55 runs and 50 RBIs. He ranks second all-time for the Bearcats with 25 sacrifices and third all-time with 767 putouts. He was named Second Team All-NWC in 2011 and Honorable Mention All-NWC in 2013.
Peter Hoffman (Jr., RHP) earned a 4-4 record and a 3.87 ERA in 2014. During a team-high 79 innings pitched, Hoffman registered 58 strikeouts against just 19 walks. He recorded the win in Willamette's 7-3 victory or #1-ranked Linfield College on March 8.
On March 30, Hoffman pitched a nine-inning complete game in a 5-1 Bearcat victory over Pacific University. Hoffman struck out six batters and allowed only one walk during the game, limiting the Boxers to one extra-base hit.
In three seasons at Willamette, Hoffman has pitched in 35 games. His 30 starts rank ninth all-time at Willamette, while his seven complete games rank tenth. In 218 innings pitched (7th all-time), Hoffman has a 3.92 ERA (9th all-time). He has recorded 150 strikeouts and allowed 59 walks. He was named Second Team All-NWC in 2013.
Tommy Kawamura (Sr., SS) returned to the Bearcats this year after sustaining an injury just six games into last season. The only player to start all 39 games for Willamette, Kawamura earned a .248 batting average with 26 runs scored and 18 RBIs.
Kawamura also contributed to the Bearcat offense with eight stolen bases and four sacrifice flies, and his on-base percentage of .389 was bolstered by an NWC-best 31 walks, good for seventh in Willamette's single-season records.
In his career, which includes another Honorable Mention All-NWC selection in 2012, Kawamura earned a .276 batting average to go with 118 hits, 89 runs and 52 RBIs. He ranks fourth all-time at WU with 90 walks, and seventh with 307 assists on defense.
Tiras Koon (Jr., 1B) had an outstanding year for the Bearcats, achieving a .325 batting average to go with 38 hits and 27 RBIs. His .547 slugging percentage and .424 on-base percentage were both team highs, and his .573 slugging percentage in conference play ranked third in the NWC. Defensively, Koon led the Bearcats with 217 putouts.
Koon was named the NWC Student-Athlete of the Week for his play during Willamette's three-game series against top-ranked Linfield College. He hit .429 during the series, including a three-run homer in the top of the eighth inning of game two to give WU the lead for good.
In three years at Willamette, Koon has achieved a career batting average of .296. He has earned 83 hits, scored 46 runs, and notched 53 RBIs.