After compiling a 33-8 overall record heading into play at the NAIA Great Lakes Region Tournament, the Mount Vernon Nazarene College baseball team had nine players and its head coach honored when the 1998 National Christian College Athletic Association All-East Region Team was announced on Wednesday afternoon.
Head coach Keith Veale was named the NCCAA East Region Coach of the Year for his leadership in a season when most so-called experts predicted that the team would be down after losing seven starting position players and their top two pitchers to graduation or the major league draft from the team that went 47-8 in 1997.
Andy Heimbach, a sophomore righthanded pitcher from Wheelersburg, was selected as the NCCAA East Region Player of the Year. Heimbach currently has a 9-2 record with a 2.50 earned run average. He has tossed four shutouts this season to tie the Cougars' career shutout mark with nine.
Joining Heimbach on the All-Region Team were fellow pitchers Jeremiah Armstrong and Dave Byard. Armstrong, a junior from Uhrichsville, Ohio, has compiled an 9-1 record with a 3.34 ERA. He has two shutout and leads the team with 80 strikeouts. Byard, a sophomore from Byesville, Ohio, is currently 7-2 with a 2.48 ERA. He has tossed two shutouts and fanned 40 batters.
Chris Iceman and Brian Sheets were named to the All-Region Team on the infield. Iceman, a junior first baseman from Lucas, Ohio, currently has a .394 batting average with 53 hits, three homeruns, and seven doubles. Sheets, a sophomore third baseman from Vermilion, Ohio, has posted a .380 batting average with a team-high 14 doubles and 38 runs scored. He has also recorded 52 hits and 36 runs batted in.
Chris Stanifer and Sean Barrett were named as All-Region outfielders. Stanifer, a junior from Adrian, Michigan, sports a .340 batting average and leads the team with 24 stolen bases in 26 attempts. Barrett, a senior from Brookville, Ohio, leads the team with nine homeruns while batting .301 with 31 RBI.
J.K. Waers and Matt Corona round out the Cougars selected to the 17-player All-Region Team. Waers, a senior catcher from Byesville, Ohio, has posted a .350 batting average with 11 doubles and five homeruns. Meanwhile, Corona, a freshman designated hitter from Bucyrus, Ohio, has compiled a team-high .451 batting average with three homeruns and 19 RBI.
|First Base||Chris Iceman||Junior||Mt. Vernon Nazarene|
|Second Base||Bob Garvin||Senior||Geneva|
|Third Base||Brian Sheets||Sophomore||Mt. Vernon Nazarene|
|Outfield||Chris Stanifer||Junior||Mt. Vernon Nazarene|
|Outfield||Sean Barrett||Senior||Mt. Vernon Nazarene|
|Catcher||J.K. Waers||Senior||Mt. Vernon Nazarene|
|DH||Matt Corona||Freshman||Mt. Vernon Nazarene|
|Pitcher||Andy Heimbach||Sophomore||Mt. Vernon Nazarene|
|Pitcher||Jeremiah Armstrong||Junior||Mt. Vernon Nazarene|
|Pitcher||Dave Byard||Sophomore||Mt. Vernon Nazarene|