June 28, 2004
Contact: Carol Connelly, Director,
Media & Communication Services, ext. 5267, firstname.lastname@example.org
PNC Baseball Team Leads NAIA Statistics
Westville – The Purdue University North Central baseball team and its players finished among the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) leaders in the recently released team and individual statistical reports for the 2004 baseball season, including having the NAIA’s top team batting average and individual batting average.
The season saw the Panthers reach a number of team and individual milestones on the way to a 24-13-1 overall record and was regionally ranked twice during the season, finishing fifth in the final rankings. The NAIA has 211 schools throughout the nation participating in the sport of baseball. The PNC Panthers also belong to the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC), an NAIA-affiliated conference.
"The statistics speak to the team and individual successes we had this year,” said PNC Baseball Coach Ryan Brown. “I believe that our final stats and overall record are indicative of the direction Panther baseball is heading. It's a great feeling knowing that we led the nation in team batting average. Seeing where we rank in the nation reaffirms our belief that we have elevated our program into one of the best in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference."
Brown noted that the team excelled in all areas, ranging from team offensive accomplishments such as leading the NAIA in batting with an overall .371 average; the team excelled in defensive play, committing just 63 errors for the season, qualifying as the sixth-best team in that category; and the pitching staff earned an NAIA second-best standing for the least number of hits allowed – 305.
Players Gary Ray, of Lake Station, Matt Whitaker, of Midland, Texas and Jerad Tillman, of Indianapolis, excelled in individual hitting.
"I am very proud of the accomplishments that Gary, Matt, and Jerad achieved,“ said Brown. “Their individual successes helped lead our program throughout the season. They surpassed our goals and expectations due, in large part, to their work ethic and love of the game."
PNC’s 2004 NAIA rankings were:
Team Batting Average: first place - .371
Team Runs Scored/Game Average: 12th place - 7.66
Team Total Runs Allowed: Eighth place - 224
Team Total Hits Allowed: Second place - 305
Team Total Errors: Sixth place - 63
Individual Batting Average: First place - Gary Ray .508
Individual Hits/Game Average: First place - Gary Ray 1.91; Sixth place - Jerad Tallman 1.62
Individual Triples/Game Average: Sixth place - Jerad Tallman - .12; 11th place - Matt Whitaker - .11
Individual RBI/Game Average: First place - Gary Ray - 1.6; Second place - Matt Whitaker - 1.49
Brown believes the team has a core of players who will establish a winning baseball traditional for the PNC Panthers.
"Although we will be losing some key components in our offense we do return our entire pitching staff. We have 10 juniors returning for the senior year and will count on their leadership to lead us to another successful season," he said.
More information about the team can be obtained by contacting Brown at 1-800-872-1231, ext. 5273 or by visiting www.pnc.edu/depts/sa/Athletics.