The list of first for the 2013 Linfield baseball program just keeps growing. In the days leading up to the NCAA Division III Finals, three Wildcats have been honored as first team All-Americans by both the American Baseball Coaches Association and D3baseball.com.
Chris Haddeland (Jr., McMinnville, Ore.) was named the D3baseball.com Pitcher of the Year and teammates Tim Wilson and Jake Wylie (Sr., Eagle, Idaho) joined the ace on both organizations’ lists of the nation’s top players. While D3baseball.com released its team via press release Monday morning, the ABCA had the privilege of announcing its team in person at Thursday night’s pre-Finals celebration banquet.
The three first teamers are a first for top-ranked Linfield, which has featured multiple All-Americans on the all-star squads as recently as 2011, but never all on the first team.
Haddeland, Linfield’s ace right-hander, set a program single-season record with 13 victories on the year, with seven complete games and a pair of shutouts. Including a save on the third day of the regional tournament, the sophomore earned a decision in every appearance this season, recording 85 strikeouts in 109 innings of work. The Northwest Conference and All-West Region Pitcher of the Year and Austin Regional Most Outstanding Player enters the Finals with a 0.99 ERA after surrendering just 12 earned runs and holding opposing hitters to a .184 average.
Wylie packed a punch at the plate as the team’s leader in home runs (7), RBI (60) and slugging percentage (.631). Starting 31 games in left field, one in right, seven behind the plate and four as designated hitter, the junior supplied 18 multiple-hit games, including a perfect 5-for-5 game, and has driven in the third most runs of any player in Division III this season. Wylie (.387) is one of four Wildcats hitting .350 or better, shares the team lead with 18 doubles and garnered first team all-NWC honors for the first time in his career.
Wilson becomes the Wildcats’ first three-time All-American after receiving second team ABCA honors in 2011 and a third team citation from D3baseball.com last season. This year, the second baseman led the Wildcats with a .420 average and .479 on-base percentage through regional tournament action. Stealing 31 bases, Wilson took over the career lead in that category, with 70 total swiped bags in three seasons. Linfield’s leadoff man ranks among the national leaders in hits (81) and registered one of the team’s highest fielding percentages (.985) over 205 defensive opportunities at second base and in left field.
Linfield, which received its first No. 1 ranking of the Division III era this season, makes its third appearance in the NCAA Finals. The ‘Cats (38-7) look to add to their record-breaking victories total as early as Friday, when they take on Auburn Regional champion Ithaca. Game time is set for 1:15 p.m. CDT.
Haddeland, Wylie and Wilson
0.99 ERA, 60 RBI, 81 hits
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128