May 24, 2004
Contact: Carol Connelly, Director,
Media & Communication Services, ext. 5267, firstname.lastname@example.org
PNC Baseball Players Earn Conference Awards
WESTVILLE Purdue University North Centrals baseball
team recently concluded a landmark 2004 season by rewriting
the team and athletic department record books.
The Panther Baseball Team set an athletic department record
by placing four players on the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic
Conference (CCAC) All-Conference Team. Two players were named
NAIA Region VII Academic Scholars through the compilation
of a 3.5 grade point average. The Panthers also placed a player
on the NAIA All-Region VII team and the team made its first
appearance in a CCAC tournament.
The team finished the season with a 24-13-1 overall record
and was regionally ranked twice during the season, finishing
fifth in the final rankings.
Head Baseball Coach Ryan Brown is proud of the teams
accomplishments on and off the field.
"The success we had on the ball field this year is due
to the work ethic and dedication of our student-athletes. I
am proud of the goals we set and achieved. This team has set
the precedence for what we expect of our program," said
The PNC students athletes who earned four of the 17 spots
available on the CCAC All-Conference Team are: Gary Ray, of
Lake Station, first base; Ryan Hawkins, of Columbus, outfield;
Jason Stuebe, of Munster, relief pitcher and Matt Whitaker,
of Midland, Texas, designated hitter.
In addition, Ray and teammate Andy Newton, of Valparaiso,
became the first PNC baseball players on the CCAC Region VII
Academic Scholars team and Ray was named the CCAC All-Region
VII first baseman, marking the first time a PNC athlete was
on the All-Region Team. Ray hit .508 with 51 RBIs, seven home
runs, nine doubles, one triple and had a .750 slugging percentage.
"Gary and Andy have worked as hard in the classroom as
they did on the ball field, said Brown. Their
accomplishments speak to their commitment to academic success.
Both are well rounded individuals and the definition of student-athlete."
At seasons end Brown reflected on the teams success
and the milestones reached by individual athletes and the
team. PNC finished third in CCAC play at the end of the season
and earned the right to host the CCAC Tournament in early
May, both being school records. The Panthers swept the tournament
and went on to its first appearance in the National Association
of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Region VII tournament.
There, the team faced William Penn University of Iowa, the
nations number 25 team, in the first round and lost
10-3. That was followed by a game against St. Xavier University,
ranked 16th nationally and lost 12-2.
But those losses came at the end of a remarkable season. PNC
finished first in the CCAC in team batting average, .370;
slugging percentage, .516; stolen bases and homeruns and finished
third in team pitching with a 4.20 ERA. All are school records.
Brown is already looking ahead to the 2004-2005 season. We
learned that we could win and be successful in this program,
the CCAC and the NAIA. Teams throughout our conference and
the Midwest recognize the Panther jersey now so we wont
be sneaking up on anyone, said Brown.
We are focusing our attention on recruiting pitchers
and infielders. I believe that players from this years
team will instill and demand a work ethic from all of our
future recruits. We had two mottos during our season, Expect
to Win and Building Tradition. Weve
set expectations for the future and cant wait for the