The Horizon League announced its postseason baseball awards Tuesday. Nate Palace (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Oaks Christian), Spencer Mahoney (La Grange Park, Ill./Lyons Township), Nolan Lodden (West Des Moines, Iowa/West Des Moines Valley [Heartland CC]), Giovanni Garbella (San Diego, Calif./Cathedral Catholic), and Chad Jacob (Irvine, Calif./Woodbridge) were the five Crusaders that earned All-League distinction.
Palace, a First Team All-League selection at first base, represented one of the top power presences in the Horizon League. His .579 slugging percentage ranked third in the HL while his seven home runs and 39 runs batted in are team watermarks. The sophomore also racked up 15 doubles and 37 runs scored in 38 games played.
Mahoney garnered his second All-League selection at shortstop, earning Second Team honors this season. Mahoney is enjoying one of his best seasons in the Brown and Gold as his name now graces several offensive categories in Valpo's all-time record books. The four-year starter is currently 8th in career hits (214), 2nd in walks (135), tied for 5th in runs scored (144), 7th in at-bats (720), tied for 9th in doubles, and is the all-time leader in career assists (555). This season, he's batting .333 with 47 runs scored and a team-high 71 hits. The owner of 41 walks, 15 doubles, and two homers, Mahoney has accumulated a .887 OPS.
Lodden earned Second Team All-League distinction as an outfielder in his first season as a Crusader. The Heartland CC transfer possesses a .344 batting average to date along with a .455 on-base percentage. Lodden has hashed out 17 multi-hit games and will enter Wednesday's Horizon League Championship opener with an eight-game hitting streak.
Garbella and Jacob were both named to the All-Freshman Team.
Jacob hit safely in 15 of his 21 games played while providing superb defense on the left side of the infield. He owns a .269 batting average with six doubles and eight runs driven in.
Garbella crafted a .286 batting average and .476 slugging percentage during Horizon League play. In his rookie campaign with Valpo, he scored six runs and cracked his first career home run against Milwaukee on May 3rd.
Valpo (21-29, 15-14 Horizon) will square off against Youngstown State (16-33, 9-21 Horizon) in the opening game of the Horizon League Championship on Wednesday afternoon at Oil City Stadium in Whiting. First pitch is slated for 12:00 pm CT. Links to the live video and live stats will be available at ValpoAthletics.com.
2015 Horizon League Postseason Awards
Player of the Year: Jeff Boehm, UIC (Sr., OF)
Pitcher of the Year: Jake Dahlberg, UIC (So., LHP)
Reliever of the Year: Andrew Elliott, Wright State (Sr., RHP)
Freshman of the Year: Gabe Snyder, Wright State (1B)
Coach of the Year: Mike Dee, UIC
1st Team All-League
Starting Pitcher: Jake Dahlberg, UIC
Starting Pitcher: Joe Pavlovich, Milwaukee
Starting Pitcher: Justin Langley, Milwaukee
Relief Pitcher: Andrew Elliott, Wright State
First Baseman: Nate Palace, Valparaiso
Second Baseman: Michael Timm, Wright State
Shortstop: Mitch Roman, Wright State
Third Baseman: Mickey McDonald, UIC
Catcher: Sean Murphy, Wright State
Outfielder: Jeff Boehm, UIC
Outfielder: Sam Koenig, Milwaukee
Outfielder: Frank Califano, Youngstown State
Designated Hitter: Matt Morrow, Wright State
Utility Player: Tyler Detmer, UIC
2nd Team All-League
Starting Pitcher: Jesse Scholtens, Wright State
Starting Pitcher: Luke Mamer, Wright State
Starting Pitcher: Trevor Lane, UIC
Relief Pitcher: Cody Peterson, Milwaukee
Relief Pitcher: Ryan Hinchley, UIC
First Baseman: Alex Lee, UIC
First Baseman: Gabe Snyder, Wright State
Second Baseman: Tell Taylor, Milwaukee
Shortstop: Spencer Mahoney, Valparaiso
Third Baseman: John Brodner, Wright State
Catcher: Mitch Ghelfi, Milwaukee
Outfielder: Rob Enslen, Oakland
Outfielder: Nolan Lodden, Valparaiso
Outfielder: Mark Fowler, Wright State
Designated Hitter: Mike Porcaro, Milwaukee
Utility Player: Ian Yetsko, Oakland
Pitcher: Jeremy Randolph, Wright State
Pitcher: Austin Schulfer, Milwaukee
Rob Calabrese, UIC (C/DH)
David Cronin, UIC (IF)
Matt DiLeo, Oakland (C)
Giovanni Garbella, Valparaiso (OF/IF)
Chad Jacob, Valparaiso (IF)
Matt Morrow, Wright State (DH)
Gabe Snyder, Wright State (1B)
Daulton Varsho, Milwaukee (OF/C