The nickname “Mad Dog” just screams tenacity, doesn’t it?
Linfield’s head coaches seemed to think Kramer Lindell (Jr., West Linn, Ore.) lives up to his moniker, because they chose the baseball standout as the male recipient of this year’s Vern Marshall Award, which salutes the student-athletes that demonstrate the greatest tenacity.
Over the course of Linfield’s NCAA Division III Baseball Championship season, the center fielder recorded a career-high .389 batting average (81 points higher than last year) and drove in 38 runs. His 74 hits, including 18 doubles and four home runs, are tied for the fourth most all-time for a single season.
Lindell was the team leader in on-base percentage (.471) and also ranked in the top five for hitting (third, .389) and slugging percentage (fourth, 547) One of just three players to start all 50 games in 2013 – tying a single-season record – he was the only full-time starter not to commit a defensive error, registering a perfect fielding percentage over 126 chances.
“He epitomizes what that award is all about,” head coach Scott Brosius said of Lindell. “He’s no-nonsense, shows up every day, comes to practice and works hard, plays hard. You never see him taking a day off.”
The junior stole 17 bases, was hit by pitch a team-high 11 times, enjoyed a 16-game hitting streak during the middle part of the year and finished the season on a seven-game hitting streak. After recording just one hit over the last four games of the regular season, Lindell came alive in the postseason, capping the year with a 7-for-18, four RBI offensive output at the NCAA Finals in Appleton, Wis.
A two-time first team all-Northwest Conference honoree, Lindell also copes with epilepsy, and remarkably has never let his medical condition affect his on-field performance.
“He has these seizures that can really be impactful to him on the physical side of things, and he’ll come to a practice sometimes without even letting me know that he’s had one the night before or the morning of,” Brosius said.
Despite having to manage his health on top of a tough academic load as a physics major, Lindell has yet to miss a game in three seasons as a Wildcat, and has demonstrated marked improvement, both offensively at the plate and defensively in the outfield, each year.
“He’s one of those inspiring kids,” Brosius said. “He deals with some adversity that normal athletes at our schools don’t and just plays at a high level and continues to push himself to be the best that he can every day.”
The Marshall Award was established in honor of 1957 Linfield graduate Vern Marshall, a former athlete and college and professional sports referee who passed away in 2002.
Slides for game-winning run in NCAA Finals title game
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