Springfield, Ohio – The Wittenberg University baseball team named their 2018 season award winners at their family banquet after the 3rd Annual Tiger Cup competition on Saturday, Sept. 29 from Carlton Davidson Stadium. At the ceremony, Coach McGee announced the naming of the 2018 team Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, Pitcher of the Year and the Red Maurer Award.
The first award given out was the Rookie of the Year honor given to Jack Siefert. After compiling a .309 batting average with 38 hits, Siefert finished second in the North Coast Athletic Conference "Newcomer of the Year" voting. The Highland Heights, Ohio native tallied eight hits, six homers, 24 RBI's and 20 runs scored. Siefert was amongst the top 30 in the NCAC in batting average, while finishing 19th in the conference in slugging percentage. The eight long balls Siefert hit in 32 games was the 5th most in the NCAC in 2018. Making an early impact amongst the NCAC, Siefert would also finish in the top three in five major offensive categories for the Tigers including, doubles, homers, RBI's, total bases, and slugging percentage.
Jace Barga would claim the 2018 Most Valuable Player and Pitcher of the Year award for the Tigers. Barga was the only member of the Wittenberg baseball team to earn any post-season recognition finishing out what was one of the best single-season performances in Wittenberg baseball history, as he was named First Team All-NCAC. In 12 starts on the season, Barga would toss 68 1/3 innings with a 2.50 ERA and 55 strikeouts with just 18 walks and a .258 batting average against. The Versailles, Ohio native tallied two complete games for the Tigers, adding two shutouts to his credit. The hurler would finish in the top 10 in multiple NCAC categories, including topping the list in complete-game shutouts, coming in second in complete games, and third in starts and ERA. This award has not been given out in 30 years. The last recipient was Kevin Tarter during the 1990 season.
The final award given out on the day was the Red Maurer Award presented to team captain Tim Bates. Bates was an influential member in changing the team culture of the Wittenberg Tiger baseball program. As a four-year starter and a two-year captain, Bates closed out his time in the red and white batting .315, slugging .416 with 10 doubles 22 RBI's and 24 runs scored. Bates made his presence known all around campus, being involved in multiple organizations and offices, including the Office of Admissions and the Compass Center. Bates was a true ambassador of the university and the Tiger baseball program.