Indiana State senior shortstop Tyler Wampler (West Terre Haute, Ind.) was one of seven Sycamores honored by the Missouri Valley Conference with post season recognitions as he was named the MVC Defensive Player of the Year along with being selected to the MVCC All-Conference First Team, and named to the MVC All-Defensive Team. He is the first Sycamore to be named the MVC Defensive Player of the Year.
Freshman left handed closer Ryan Keaffaber (Wabash, Ind.) was named the MVC Freshman of the Year and a First Team All-Conference selection as a reliever pitcher while junior right handed pitcher Brad Lombard (Fort Dodge, Iowa) was named the MVC Newcomer of the Year.
Sycamore senior catcher Mike Fitzgerald, junior centerfielder Landon Curry, and junior left handed starting pitcher David Stagg were named to the MVC All-Conference Second Team while junior second baseman Derek Hannahs was named to the Honorable Mention team.
Indiana State received three of the six specialty awards. Evansville received two including Pitcher of the Year in Kyle Freeland and Coach of the Year in Wes Carroll. Wichita State’s Casey Gillaspie was named the MVC Player of the Year.
Wampler earned the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award. With incredible range in the field, Wampler owns a .973 fielding percentage with 67 putouts and a team-high 152 assists (third in MVC). He also ranks 10th in the league in fielding double plays (27). Wampler is the first Sycamore to earn the league’s Defensive Player of the Year honor.
Keaffaber, a lefty reliever who hails from Wabash, Ind., has been sensational in his Indiana State debut, leading the league with 11 saves, while also adding three victories. His 2.32 ERA ranks fifth in the Valley, allowing just 36 hits (2nd in MVC) and 15 runs (fewest in MVC) in 50.1 innings pitched. His .203 opponent batting average also ranks third in the Valley. Keaffaber is just the second Indiana State player to earn the league’s Freshman of the Year honor (Mitch Stetter, 2000).
Lombard, a Fort Dodge, Iowa native, and a Jefferson Community College transfer, made an immediate impact on the mound for the Sycamores this season. In 13 appearances, he owns a 3.51 ERA with 55 strikeouts, tallying a 6-2 record and allowing just 32 runs in 82.0 innings of work. Lombard is the fifth Sycamore to earn the Valley’s Newcomer of the Year honor, joining Rick Angell (1998), Clint Barmes (2000), Tim Brewer (2005) and Dakota Bacus (2012).
Fitzgerald (Rochester, Ill.) has been the starting catcher in 46 of the Sycamores 49 games this season and carries a .300 batting average with 10 doubles, three home runs, and 26 RBI. His slugging percentage of .419 is second best on the team while his on-base percentage of .460 is the best on the team (third in MVC).
Curry (Uniondale, Ind.) is one of just two Sycamores who have started all 49 games this season and has started 124 straight for the Sycamores in three years at Indiana State. The junior has a .249 batting average this season as Indiana State’s leadoff hitter with three doubles, a triple, and 20 RBI. He has also stolen 18 of 25 bases and has a team high fielding average of .993 with 141 putouts and just one error.
Stagg (West Des Moines, Iowa) leads the pitching corps with seven wins with a record of 7-3 in 13 appearances with a 2.69 ERA (10th in MVC). He has struck out a team high 82 batters (tied for 4th in MVC) with 33 of those going down looking (2nd in MVC). He has allowed 28 runs (26 earned) in 87.0 innings of work with opposing teams batting .209 against him (4th in MVC).
Hannahs (Robinson, Ill.) has been an key ingredient in the Sycamore infield defense this season at second base with 132 assists and 99 putouts in 241 chances this season. He has 28 doubles plays to his credit. He has also been one of the top hitters and RBI leader for most of the season. The junior currently has a .302 batting average with five doubles and 32 RBI which is second on the team.
Indiana State (35-14) will begin play in the 2014 Missouri Valley Conference tournament on Tuesday when they take on Bradley (23-25) at 7:30 p.m. (ET).