ELMHURST, Ill. – With the conclusion of the 2017 Summit League Baseball season, the league has announced its Academic All-League Team as voted on by the institution's faculty athletics representatives and sports information directors. A total of 11 student-athletes were named to the team and honored for their academic and athletic performances this season.
South Dakota State led the way by placing four student-athletes on the team. North Dakota State, Oral Roberts and Western Illinois each landed a pair of players on the squad, while Omaha had one representative on the academic all-league team.
Chris Halbur, Philip Jacobson, Newt Johnson and Anthony Schneider represented South Dakota State on the team. Schneider earns his second consecutive honor and has a 3.94 grade-point average (GPA) as a biology/pre-medicine major. The junior is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District selection ('16, '17) and led the Jackrabbits with 10 stolen bases and was second with five home runs. Halbur an agribusiness major with a 3.43 GPA posted a 3-0 record with 10 saves and a 0.92 ERA this season as a first team all-league selection. Jacobson, a CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree, posted a .295 batting average with five doubles, one homer and 17 RBI on the year. A junior, he has a 3.91 GPA majoring in pharmacy. Johnson is an exercise science major with a 3.72 GPA and was named to the all-league second team this season. The junior shared the team lead in both doubles (16) and RBI (40) and finished the year with a .302 average.
Representing North Dakota State on the team were Kevin Folman and Ben Petersen. Folman is a redshirt junior math education major with a 3.68 GPA who led the Bison and ranked third in The Summit League with eight saves. He compiled a 4-1 record and 2.70 ERA in 21 relief appearances. A business management major with a 3.35 GPA, Petersen was a second team all-league and all-tournament team performer this season. A senior outfielder, he led NDSU in home runs (9), runs scored (42), slugging percentage (.503) and total bases (100).
A pair of Oral Roberts student-athletes were named to the team in Sam Grellner and Matt Whatley. Grellner was named an All-Summit League Second Team selection as an outfielder after posting a .285 batting average and 22 total extra-base hits this season. A senior, Grellner has a 3.63 GPA with a major in business administration. Whatley, a two-time Academic All-League honoree, has a 3.72 GPA while majoring in sport management. A three-time All-Summit League selection, the catcher is a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award and threw out 43 percent of would-be base stealers on the year without making an error. He ranks 12th in the nation with 49 walks and is third in the league with 49 RBI, while recording a .303 average on the year.
Western Illinois is represented on the academic all-league team by Adam McGinnis and Roman Visintine. McGinnis, a first team all-league selection at catcher, led The Summit League with a .355 batting average and on-base percentage of .471. A business management major with a 3.44 GPA, he ranked second in the league in doubles (17) and was third in slugging percentage (.566), while being named a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award. Visintine collects his second career honor as an exercise science major with a .363 GPA. The junior outfielder, a second team all-league performer, led the league with five triples, ranking 33rd nationally, and added a .346 on-base percentage.
Omaha's Sam Palensky was named to the Academic All-League Team after recording a 3.76 GPA as a general studies major. He led the Mavericks with a .289 batting average and 15 multi-hit games on the year.
To be eligible for the Academic All-League team, a student-athlete must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.30 (on a 4.0 scale), completed at least one full academic year at the current institution and participated in 50 percent of their team's competitions, except pitchers in baseball and softball who must have participated in 20 percent of their team's total contests. The baseball all-league team is made up of the nine student-athletes receiving the most votes with all ties standing.
|2017 BASEBALL ACADEMIC ALL-LEAGUE TEAM|
|Kevin Folman||North Dakota State||R-Jr.||SP||3.68||Math Education|
|Sam Grellner||Oral Roberts||Sr.||OF||3.63||Business Administration|
|Chris Halbur||South Dakota State||Sr.||RP||3.43||Agribusiness|
|Philip Jacobson||South Dakota State||Jr.||OF||3.91||Pharmacy|
|Newt Johnson||South Dakota State||Jr.||3B||3.72||Exercise Science|
|Adam McGinnis||Western Illinois||Sr.||C||3.44||Business Management|
|Sam Palensky||Omaha||Sr.||IF||3.76||General Studies|
|Ben Petersen||North Dakota State||Sr.||OF||3.35||Business Management|
|Anthony Schneider ^||South Dakota State||Jr.||DH||3.94||Biology/Pre-Medicine|
|Roman Visintine ^||Western Illinois||Jr.||OF||3.63||Exercise Science|
|Matt Whatley ^||Oral Roberts||Jr.||C||3.72||Sport Management|
^ - Academic All-League selection in 2016
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Celebrating its 35th season of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of over 120,000 at nine institutions, including four located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced eight NCAA Champions along with over 80 Academic All-Americans, 75 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague and watch the weekly "Inside The Summit League" show at www.thesummitleague.org/itsl.