ELMHURST, Ill. – With the conclusion of the 2018 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 nine student-athletes were named to the team and honored for their academic and athletic performances this season.
All six teams placed at least one baseball student-athlete on the team with North Dakota State, South Dakota State and Western Illinois earning two selections each.
Kevin Folman and Jayse McLean represented North Dakota State on the team. Folman earns his second-straight honor and is a senior relief pitcher majoring in math education with a 3.69 grade-point average (GPA). He led the Bison with a 3.18 ERA this season in 18 appearances and finished second in The Summit League with six saves. McLean, a redshirt junior, has a perfect 4.00 GPA as a mechanical engineering major and was recently named to the Google Cloud Academic All-America First Team. The outfielder led the Bison with seven home runs on the year. He was fourth in the league in both runs (40) and home runs (7) while being named second team all-league.
Representing South Dakota State on the team were Newt Johnson and Anthony Schneider. Both Johnson and Schneider were 2017 recipients, while Schneider also earned the distinction in 2016. Johnson, an exercise science major with a 3.62 GPA, finished the 2018 campaign third in a trio of Summit League categories – walks (37), RBI (45) and on-base percentage (.431) – while adding seven home runs and eight doubles. Schneider has a 3.89 GPA majoring in human biology at SDSU. The senior ranked second in the league in on-base percentage (.432), third in slugging percentage (.532) and homers (8), fifth in RBI (37) and sixth in runs scored (37).
A pair of Western Illinois student-athletes were named to the team in Javin Drake and Deion Thompson. Drake is a sophomore in the Fighting Leatherneck starting rotation with a 3.93 GPA majoring in physical education. He started 12 games for WIU with a 3.96 ERA and one complete game. His .240 opponent batting average was fifth in the league this season. Thompson is a law enforcement and justice administration major with a 3.62 cumulative GPA. An all-tournament team honoree, the junior led his squad with nine doubles and six home runs while batting .271 on the year.
Fort Wayne was represented by redshirt senior Brandon Phelps, who has a 3.70 GPA majoring in elementary education. He led The Summit League with three complete games on the year and ranked fourth in wins (5) and seventh in strikeouts (66).
Omaha's Cal Hehnke was named to the Academic All-League Team after recording a 3.53 GPA as a civil engineering major. He junior ranked third in the league in both saves (5) and opponent batting average (.226) on the year.
Oral Roberts' Nick Rotola rounded out the team. The senior outfielder is a business administration major with a 3.40 GPA. He led the league in both hits (82) and doubles (12) while swiping 10 bases. A first team all-leaguer, Rotola helped guide the Golden Eagles to their 18th regular season and 19th tournament titles.
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.
|2018 BASEBALL ACADEMIC ALL-LEAGUE TEAM|
|Javin Drake||Western Illinois||So.||SP||3.93||Physical Education|
|Kevin Folman ^||North Dakota State||Sr.||RP||3.69||Math Education|
|Cal Hehnke||Omaha||Jr.||RP||3.53||Civil Engineering|
|Newt Johnson ^||South Dakota State||Sr.||3B||3.62||Exercise Science|
|Jayse McLean||North Dakota State||R-Jr.||OF||4.00||Mechanical Engineering|
|Brandon Phelps||Fort Wayne||R-Sr.||SP||3.70||Elementary Education|
|Nick Rotola||Oral Roberts||Sr.||OF||3.40||Business Administration|
|Anthony Schneider *^||South Dakota State||Sr.||DH/OF||3.89||Human Biology|
|Deion Thompson||Western Illinois||Jr.||IF||3.62||Law Enforcement & Justice Administration|
* - Academic All-League selection in 2016
^ - Academic All-League selection in 2017
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Through 35 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 100,000 at eight institutions, including three 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), 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 with the University of North Dakota becoming an official member on July 1, 2018. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced nine NCAA Champions along with over 90 Academic All-Americans, nearly 100 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.