Nine members of the Nebraska Wesleyan University baseball team were named to the 2008 Great Plains Athletic Conference Baseball All-Conference team that was announced Monday (May 5). NWU sophomore pitcher Zane Cascini was named the Hauff Mid-America Sports/GPAC Pitcher-of-the-Year. Cascini was joined by designated hitter John Rust on the All-GPAC First Team. Outfielders Andy McGowan and Jared Meays were named All-GPAC Second Team, while Steve Schaffer, Andy Nealon, Corey Petersen, Chris Wahl and Jon Scholz received honorable mention All-GPAC. In addition, Jared Meays was named to the GPAC Gold Glove Team as the right fielder.
Cascini (RHP, So.) had a 6-1 record as NWU’s No. 1 starter this season. The Lincoln, Neb., native struck out 40 and walked just 15 in 59.0 innings of work. He had a 4.58 ERA overall with three complete games and one shutout. He was 4-0 with a 2.68 ERA in GPAC play. He becomes only the second NWU pitcher to earn GPAC Pitcher-of-the-Year honors. Travis Solano was the co-pitcher of the year in 2001.
Rust (DH, So.) led the team with a .382 batting average and had a team-high six homeruns. He had a slugging percentage of .618 with six doubles, a triple and 25 RBI. The Lincoln, Neb., native was honorable mention All-GPAC as a freshman.
McGowan (OF, So.) led NWU with 51 total hits on the season, which is the fourth highest single season total in NWU history. The Lincoln, Neb., native set a new NWU single season record with 149 at-bats. McGowan batted .342 with 10 doubles, three home runs and a team-high 35 RBIs as NWU’s lead-off batter. He earned All-GPAC honorable mention last season.
Meays (OF, Sr.) hit .361 and had 35 hits on the season. During GPAC play, Meays led the team with a .426 batting average. The Columbus, Neb., native had eight double and 15 RBIs. He committed just one error in 57 chances in the outfield. Meays was All-GPAC honorable mention last season and also earned Second-Team All-GPAC honors as a sophomore in 2006.
Schaffer (OF, Fr.) hit .355 with one home run and 34 RBIs as a true freshman. The Lincoln, Neb., native had 43 hits, with seven doubles and one triple. He led the team with eight stolen bases.
Nealon (C, Fr.) had a .377 batting average as a freshman this season. The Lincoln, Neb., native threw out 10 of 40 runners attempting to steal. He hit .422 in GPAC play.
Petersen (1B, Jr.) finished the year with a .367 batting average. The Omaha, Neb., native had a team-high 11 doubles with four home runs and 29 RBIs. He recorded 233 putouts and committed just six errors at first base.
Wahl (RHP, Fr.) had a 4-4 record with a 5.50 ERA. The Crete, Neb., native had 32 strikeouts with just eight walks. He led the team with five complete games. He appeared in 12 games with eight starts and pitched 52 1/3 innings.
Scholz (2B, Sr.) had a .292 batting average with 26 hits on the season. He started 29 games at second base and committed only six errors in 132 chances. The Columbus, Neb., native led the team with 11 sacrifices.
Bret Hoch from Morningside College was the GPAC Player-of-the-Year and Boyd Pitkin from Briar Cliff University was selected as the GPAC Coach-of-the-Year.
Nebraska Wesleyan finished the 2008 season with a 21-20 overall record. The Prairie Wolves finished 13-11 in the GPAC to place sixth in the league.
NWU All-GPAC Performers
Zane Cascini, P, So., Lincoln, Neb. (GPAC Pitcher-of-the-Year)
John Rust, DH, So., Lincoln, Neb.
Andy McGowan, OF, So., Lincoln, Neb.
Jared Meays, OF, Sr., Lincoln, Neb.
Andy Nealon, C, Fr., Lincoln, Neb.
Corey Petersen, 1B, Jr., Omaha, Neb.
Steve Schaffer, OF, Fr., Lincoln, Neb.
Jon Scholz, OF, Sr., Columbus, Neb.
Chris Wahl, P, Fr., Crete, Neb.
Gold Glove Team
Jared Meays, RF, Sr., Columbus, Neb.