INDIANAPOLIS – The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference released its annual awards for the 2019 season on Monday, May 13, as freshman Andrew Littlefield (Louisville, Ky.) and senior David Herrmann (Fishers, Ind.) headlined the honors for the Hanover College baseball team.
Littlefield was named the HCAC Freshman of the Year, while Herrmann was HC's lone selection to the first team. Senior Tyler Fitch (Crestwood, Ky.) and junior Mark Walkenhorst (Fort Thomas, Ky.) were named to the second and honorable mention teams, respectively.
Littlefield is the first Panther to receive the freshman of the year award since 2009, as he posted the top batting average among first-years in the HCAC, hitting .342. The freshman added four home runs and 21 runs scored as well. Behind a conference-leading seven sacrifice flies, which ranked 13th nationally, Littlefield paced the team with 26 runs batted in. He also saw time on the mound, pitching 34.1 innings over seven starts and posting a strikeout-per-nine-inning rate of 6.33.
Herrmann gives the Blue and Red two consecutive years with a pitcher on the conference's first team, as his classmate Garett Zorb (Medina, Ohio) did so in 2018. The senior went 6-0 for a career-high win total, which also ranked fourth in the HCAC this spring. With 57.0 innings pitched, Herrmann posted a 1.89 earned run average, ranking third in the league and among the top 50 in NCAA Division III. He finished his career strong, logging 25.0 innings over his last three outings, allowing just two runs and striking out 24 batters, including a school-record-tying 14 against Bluffton.
For his career, Herrmann recorded a 3.10 ERA to go along with a 14-15 record. The senior finishes with 43 appearances, 38 starts, nine complete games, 258.0 innings pitched and 202 strikeouts. His inning and "K" totals both rank third in program history.
Fitch is the lone Panther receiving his second all-HCAC award, as he was also named to the honorable mention team in 2017. This spring, Fitch had a career-high .331 batting average and 23 RBI. The senior also hit a team-best .342 in league play. He added seven extra-base hits and 12 runs scored as well. Over his four years, Fitch batted .287 with 56 RBI, 36 runs and 21 doubles.
Walkenhorst saw extended action for the first time in his collegiate career, taking advantage with a team-high .379 batting average. The junior slashed .379/.500/.650, while also hitting a team-high six home runs to go along with 21 RBI and 25 runs scored. With 10 doubles, Walkenhorst logged extra bases on 16 of his 39 hits in 2019.
Senior Ty Stover (Galveston, Ind.) was Hanover's selection for the HCAC Christopher M. Ragsdale all-sportsmanship team. Stover capped his career by hitting a personal-best .344 in his final season, to go with 27 runs and 21 RBI. With a four-year average of .303, Stover was one of three senior players for HC to surpass the 100-hit plateau for their career. The senior finished with 135 hits, 83 RBI and 70 runs. Fitch and senior Chase Sizemore (Fishers, Ind.) also topped 100 career hits this spring.
Under the guidance of first-year head coach Grant Bellak, the Panthers nearly doubled their win total from last season, finishing with a 15-19 overall mark, including a 5-5 record over the final two weeks of the campaign. Hanover concluded HCAC play 7-11, giving the program its highest conference winning percentage since 2015.
Contact: Tyler Jester