The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

July 27, 2012

Haferbier is Big East MVP

BELLEVUE — After Northeast’s baseball season came to an end, senior Mitchell Haferbier got a bit of pleasant news from his coach.

He was named the Big East Conference MVP and was one of three Rebels selected to the all-conference first team. Northeast finished second in the conference to Lisbon, which also had three first-team picks.

“I was pretty excited,” Haferbier said. “You work in high school to get things like that. There are a lot of good players in our conference, so it was really neat.”

He was selected as a pitcher and was clearly the most dominant pitcher. He went 7-0 in conference play with a Big East-low 0.79 ERA.

“Pitching for our team, I really liked it,” Haferbier said. “Half of the time when I started, we were already up three or four runs because our offense was so good. It takes a lot of pressure off me as a pitcher.”

Haferbier struck out 50 and allowed 19 hits and 13 walks in 35 1⁄3 innings. Opponents hit just .135 against him.

“As long as I hit my spots and wasn’t wild, my fastball and curveball were good enough to hold them down,” he said. “The defense did a nice job of getting me out of jams. When I didn’t have a big strikeout game, they stepped up.”

He also had a lot of success at the plate, batting .473, which tied for third in the conference.

“I took the same approach as last year,” Haferbier said. “I tried not to swing at bad pitches and to get the pitcher behind in the count. When it was 2-0 or 3-1, I got a fastball down the middle I could capitalize on.”

Haferbier drove in 23 runs, which also tied him for third in the conference. He said a lot of the credit for that went to Tevin Stoecker and DJ Fulton, the other two Rebels, who were named to the first team.

“Tevin led off and usually got on,” Haferbier said. “Then DJ would get a hit and knock him in or at least move him over. It gave me a lot of RBI chances and that helped a lot.”

Haferbier’s high school career is over, but his athletic career isn’t. He’ll play basketball for the University of Dubuque next season. He said he might also continue his baseball career for the Spartans.

Haferbier said Dubuque assistant coach Dustin Bierman reached out to him the earliest of any college coach. Dubuque’s head coach Robbie Sieverding is a Marquette Catholic graduate.

“We developed a really good relationship,” Haferbier said. “I took a visit there — it was the only visit I went on — and I loved it. They have a good thing going there. They finished second in their conference last year.”

Haferbier, who plans to major in biology with the goal of becoming a physical therapist, said he was likely going to be a guard/forward combination.

“I’m just going to go work my hardest and see what happens,” he said.

Fulton was selected as the first-team catcher and was second in the conference with a .500 batting average. He drove in 21 runs during his senior season. Stoecker, a sophomore outfielder, was sixth in the conference with a .467 batting average and second with a .636 on-base percentage. He scored 30 runs, good for second in the league.

Preston had two first-team selections in senior utility player Austin Daniels and junior third baseman Colton Bormann. Daniels led the Big East with a .596 batting average, 12 doubles and 29 runs driven in. He tied for the conference lead in home runs with Camanche senior TJ Runge; each hit five. Daniels was also third in runs scored with 26.

Bormann hit .512 during conference play but was one at-bat short of qualifying for the batting title race. He drove in 16 runs and scored 21. Bormann also performed well on the mound. He had a 1.14 ERA in 24 2⁄3 innings, while striking out 31 and walking three.

Runge, who batted .446, was Camanche’s only first-team selection. He drove in 21 runs.

The right side of the first-team infield comes from Bellevue — Comets senior Ron Schroeder at first and junior Cole Reeg  at second. Schroeder hit .451 with 17 RBIs. Reeg batted .386 with 20 runs scored.

Marquette junior Isaac Sturm was selected to the first team as a utility player. He hit .435 and had the fourth-lowest ERA in the league (2.86) among qualifying pitchers. Sturm struck out 38 batters in 36 2⁄3 innings.

ALL-BIG EAST CONFERENCE BASEBALL

First team

Pitchers — Mitchell Haferbier (Northeast) sr.; Marshall Morgan (Lisbon) sr. Catcher — DJ Fulton (Northeast) sr. First base — Ron Schroeder (Bellevue) sr. Second base — Cole Reeg (Bellevue) jr. Shortstop — Kasey Lasack (Midland) jr. Third base — Colton Bormann (Preston) jr. Outfield — Jordan Bahl (Lisbon) sr.; Ben Knake (Lisbon) sr.; Tevin Stoecker (Northeast) soph. Utility — TJ Runge (Camanche) sr.; Isaac Sturm (Marquette) jr.; Austin Daniels (Preston) sr.

Second team

Pitchers — Nolan Christensen (Calamus-Wheatland) jr.; Connor Woodward (Lisbon) fr. Catcher — Hunter Caspers (Lisbon) jr. First base — Levi Trenkamp (Northeast) sr. Second base — Kolbi Kohl (Lisbon) sr. Shortstop — Jason Feddersen (Preston) sr. Third base — Matt Zeimet (Preston) jr. Outfield — Jamie Kremer (Bellevue) jr.; Parker Pankowski (Marquette) jr.; Keegan Tritle (Lisbon) fr. Utility — Cole Atkinson (Camanche) sr.; Brock Givens (Lisbon) fr.; John Diercks (Calamus-Wheatland) jr.

Honorable mention

Bellevue — Peyton Wolter (jr.). Calamus-Wheatland — Alex Hart (sr.). Camanche — Brandon Jewell (sr.). Lisbon — Ryan Kortemeyer (fr.). Marquette — Jake Gerlach (jr.). Midland — Colton Dirks (fr.). Northeast — Jared Henfrey (jr.). Preston — Blake Tebbe (sr.). Prince of Peace — Lucas Laufenberg (soph.).

Most Valuable Player — Haferbier (Northeast).

Coach of the Year — Ryan Stensland (Lisbon).

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