UIC Baseball Touts Seven All-Horizon League Selections

Redshirt senior Alex Grunenwald
Redshirt senior Alex Grunenwald

May 21, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Sophomore Tomas Michelson and redshirt senior Alex Grunenwald highlight a group of seven UIC baseball players that earned All-Horizon League distinction as announced by the conference office on Tuesday afternoon.  Michelson and Grunenwald were named to the first team, while seniors Joe Betcher and Ryan Boss and sophomore Tyler Detmer collected second team laurels.  The Flames also placed two members on the All-Newcomer team in freshman Ian Lewandowski and redshirt junior Andres Ortegano.

“I’m happy that this group has been recognized,” said head coach Mike Dee.  “To be acknowledged as one of the best in the league is a great honor.”

Michelson becomes the 10th Flames’ pitcher to take home first-team accolades since UIC’s inception into the conference in 1995, which is the highest total among current Horizon League programs.  The right-hander finished the season with a 6-5 record and the league’s second-best ERA of 2.80.  His 63 strikeouts and opposing batting average of .248 ranks second and third in the conference, respectively, while pacing the league in innings pitched at 96.1.  Along with earning three Horizon League weekly awards, Michelson was named the National Primetime Pitcher of the Week by for his season-opening win against then-No. 24 Texas A&M. 



“I think Tomas’ statistics speak for themselves,” said Dee.  “I truly believe he is the best in the league and I think he is pitching as well as he has pitched all year right now.  Aside from one outing, he has given us a chance to win every game he has played in.”

Grunenwald was voted the top first baseman in the Horizon League as he leads the conference in home runs (8) and RBI (43).  Grunenwald also fronts the league in putouts (518) and ranks fourth in fielding percentage (.991) as he committed a mere five errors on the season.  The Merrill, Wis., native is a two-time Horizon League Batter of the Week, earning the award twice in a three-week span.  Grunenwald joined UIC in 2012 and was named to the All-League second team and the HL All-Tournament squad last season.

“Alex is a guy you always want on the field,” said Dee.  “He has tremendous toughness and he’s a great defensive player.  I’m happy that he has been honored as the best at his position.”

Boss currently leads UIC with a .305 batting average and ranks within the top-four of the conference players in slugging percentage (.503), RBI (36), triples (4), home runs (6) and total bases (94).  The power hitter sits 11th on UIC’s career home run leaderboard with 19 jacks.  Boss picked up All-Newcomer honors from the Horizon League during his freshman season in 2010.

Detmer has been UIC’s most consistent hitter, owning a batting average above .300 for a large majority of the 2013 season.  He leads the Horizon League in doubles with 16 and fronts UIC with 57 hits along with Boss, which ranks seventh in the HL.  The centerfielder is the lone Flame to play in all 52 games this season.

Betcher has been a fixture at third base for UIC in the past four seasons as he is the program’s career active leader in games played (187) and games started (175).  During his freshman year in 2009, Betcher was named to the Horizon League’s All-Newcomer team and earned All-Tournament honors in 2012.

Ortegano and Lewandoski continue UIC’s 18-year streak of placing at least one person on the league’s All-Newcomer Team.  Lewandowski has earned five wins so far this season, which is highest tally among conference freshmen as he also leads that same group in innings pitched (74.1) and strikeouts (39).  Ortegano found his spot in the starting lineup midway through the season and owns the team’s fourth-best batting average of .258 and third-highest slugging percentage of .381.

Since 1995, UIC has claimed 84 first-and second-team All-League honorees, which stands as the second-most among current Horizon League schools.

A complete listing of the All-League teams and specialty awards are listed below.

First Team All-League
P – Jake Long, Milwaukee
P – Tomas Michelson, UIC
C – Garrett Gray, Wright State
1B – Alex Grunenwald, UIC
2B – Michael Porcaro, Milwaukee
SS – Spencer Mahoney, Valparaiso
3B – Drew Dosch, Youngstown State
OF – Kieston Greene, Wright State
OF – Chris Manning, Valparaiso
OF – Derek Peake, Milwaukee
DH – Will Fadness, Milwaukee
UTIL – Andrew Bain, Valparaiso

Second Team All-League
P – Karch Kowalczyk, Valparaiso
P – Cole Webb, Valparaiso
P – Mike Schneider, Milwaukee
C – Josh White, Youngstown State
1B – John Loeffler, Valparaiso
2B – Tanner Vavra, Valparaiso
SS – Phil Lipari, Youngstown State
3B – Joe Betcher, UIC
OF – Tyler Detmer, UIC
OF – Jonathan Capasso, Milwaukee
OF – Luke Meeteer, Milwaukee
DH – Ryan Boss, UIC
UTIL – Ryan Solberg, Milwaukee

All-Newcomer Team (Not position specific)
P – Ian Lewandowski, UIC
P – Cole Webb, Valparaiso
P – Lance Horner, Youngstown State
P – Chris DeBoo, Valparaiso
C – Mitch Ghelfi, Milwaukee
C – Josh White, Youngstown State
1B – Pat Wilson, Milwaukee
SS – Andres Ortegano, UIC
OF – Nick DiNello, Youngstown State
OF – Mark Fowler, Wright State
OF – Kieston Greene, Wright State
OF – Bryce Hara, Valparaiso

Player of the Year: Michael Porcaro, Milwaukee
Pitcher of the Year: Jake Long, Milwaukee
Relief Pitcher of the Year: Karch Kowalczyk, Valparaiso
Newcomer of the Year: Mitch Ghelfi, Milwaukee
Coach of the Year: Scott Doffek, Milwaukee