ROCHESTER, MN (PRESS RELEASE) - The Northwoods League has announced the recipients of the 2009 Rawlings Finest in the Field Award. The annual award recognizes the top fielders at each position.
The 2009 Northwoods League South Division Champion La Crosse Loggers had three players earn the award. The tandem of middle-infielders Robert Abel (San Francisco) at second base and Austin Knight (Dallas Baptist) at shortstop combined to commit just 17 errors during La Crosse's franchise-best season to allow each to have the top fielding percentage at their position. Logger centerfielder Boomer Collins (Nebraska) was the only outfielder that played enough games to qualify that didn't commit an error the entire season. Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers teammates Hunter Nolen (Northern Colorado) and Will Piwnica-Worms (Duke) claimed the hardware at catcher and outfielder, respectively. Green Bay first baseman Nick O'Shea (Minnesota) and Madison pitcher Matt Jansen (Purdue) each were second-year NWL players that picked up their first Rawlings Finest in the Field Award. There was a tie at pitcher so Green Bay's Craig Gullickson (Clemson) also receives an award. Third baseman Jayson Langfels (Eastern Kentucky) of Alexandria and outfielder Chad Wright (Kentucky) of Wisconsin earned the other two awards.
The winners are selected based on final fielding statistics compiled by league statistician Sports-Ticker, a Cheshire, Connecticut based sports statistical service company. The honorees receive a special Rawlings baseball glove mounted on an engraved trophy base. The 2009 Rawlings Finest in the Field Award recipients and their field percentages are below.
Catcher Hunter Nolen, Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers, Univ. of Northern Colorado, .997
First Base Nick O'Shea, Green Bay Bullfrogs, University of Minnesota, .988
Second Base Robert Abel, La Crosse Loggers, University of San Francisco, .978
Shortstop Austin Knight, La Crosse Loggers, Dallas Baptist University, .974
Third Base Jayson Langfels, Alexandria Beetles, Eastern Kentucky University, .961
Outfielder Boomer Collins, La Crosse Loggers, University of Nebraska, 1.000
Outfielder Chad Wright, Wisconsin Woodchucks, University of Kentucky, .993
Outfielder Will Piwnica-Worms, Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers, Duke University, .991
Pitcher Craig Gullickson, Green Bay Bullfrogs, Clemson University, 1.000
Pitcher Matt Jansen, Madison Mallards, Purdue University, 1.000
To qualify for an award a player needs to appear in at least two-thirds (46) of the scheduled games at a given position, with the exception of catcher which is one-half (34) of the scheduled games. For pitchers, the individual that had the most total defensive chances without committing an error earns the number one ranking.
The Northwoods League plays more games than, draws more fans than, and plays in venues superior to any Summer Collegiate Baseball League in North America. The Northwoods League recently completed its 16th season of play.
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