(GREENVILLE, Pa.) – Thomas More College senior second baseman Ben Laumann (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) and Head Coach Jeff Hetzer earned year end accolades from the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) and 10 Saints were named first team All-PAC by the conference's 10 head baseball coaches.
Laumann was named the PAC Player of the Year and Hetzer was tabbed the PAC Coach of the Year.
In 42 games this season, Laumann hit .345 (58-for-168) with 16 doubles, four triples and seven home runs. He is tied for first among the league leaders in runs scored (55) while his 16 doubles, 103 total bases and 17 stolen bases rank second. In 17 PAC regular-season games, Laumann hit .391 (27-for-69) with a PAC-best 30 runs scored. He finished the circuit with a .506 on-base percentage, a .797 slugging percentage and six home runs while going a perfect 10-for-10 in stolen base attempts.
Laumann is Thomas More's fourth PAC Player of the Year selection. He is also a four-time All-PAC First Team honoree. His 197 career runs rank first all-time at Thomas More, while his 216 career hits rank second. He is also just one double shy (55) of tying the program record.
Hetzer, in his 18th season with Thomas More, guided the Saints to the PAC championship tournament title. He the all-time time winningest coach in program history as he has a career record for 470-257-3. The Coach of the Year award is Hetzer's fourth (2011, 2014, 2016, 2018). This year's tournament championship is the fifth for the Saints (2010, 2011, 2014, 2016, 2018) since joining the PAC in 2006. The Saints will be making their eighth appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship this week, including their sixth in the last nine years.
Joining Laumann on first team All-PAC was junior catcher Sam Hauer (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder), junior second baseman Sean Lawrence (Independence, Ky./Simon Kenton) and senior pitcher Jayson Essell (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills). Hauer has started 41 games this season and has a .387 batting average with five home runs, 13 doubles and 43 RBI, while throwing out 11 base runners. Lawrence batted .384 in 42 games and had eight home runs, four triples, 15 doubles and 40 RBI. He also had a 3.09 ERA and a 5-1 record on the mound with 17 strikeouts. Essell leads the Saints' starters on the mound as he has 2.50 ERA and a 7-2 record with 35 strikeouts in 75.2 innings pitched.
Junior shortstop Jacob Whitford (Fort Thomas, Ky./Highlands), senior third baseman Tyler Smith (Independence, Ky./Simon Kenton) and first-year Jordan Houze (Lawrenceburg, Ky./Lawrenceburg) were named second team All-PAC. Whitford has a .347 batting average with four home runs, five triples, 10 doubles and 35 RBI, while also recording 63 put outs and 23 double plays. Smith has a .365 average at the plate with one triple, nine doubles, 23 RBI and 27 runs scored. Houze has pitched 56.1 innings and has a 4.47 ERA and a 6-1 record with 33 strikeouts.
Named Honorable Mention All-PAC was junior right fielder Joshua Boeckmann (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder), junior center fielder Blaise Ostertag (Burlington, Ky./Conner) and sophomore designated hitter Matt Wellbrock (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder). Boeckman has a .314 average at the plate in 42 games played with one home run, two triples, 11 doubles and 31 RBI. Ostertag is batting .314 with five home runs, four triples, five doubles and 29 RBI. Wellbrock has played in 29 games and has a .324 batting average with two homeruns, six double and 21 RBI.
Lawrence was also named to the PAC Baseball Sportsmanship Team.
The Saints open up NCAA Division III Championship play on Thursday (May 17) as No. 8 seed at the Central Regional hosted by Webster University and will play No. 7-ranked and No. 1-seeded Webster. First pitch is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. Central/2:15 p.m. Eastern at GCS Credit Union Ballpark in Sauget, Illinois.