HILLSBORO, Ore. – A championship season led to plenty of recognition for Whitworth University on the 2019 All-Northwest Conference baseball team, which was released on Monday evening by the conference office.
Click here for the entire All-NWC team.
CJ Perry, in only his second season guiding the Pirates, was selected by his peers as the NWC Coach of the Year. Tyler Bailey, Nicholas Nerud, Taylor Poffenroth and Matthew Young are first team honorees. Cody Simmons, Austin Rice and Brett Thomas made the second team. Mathew Pulliam received honorable mention consideration.
Perry guided Whitworth to a 19-5 NWC record in 2019, winning the conference regular season title by four games over Whitman and Pacific (Ore.). The Pirates clinched the regular season title with a week to spare. Perry took over as Whitworth's interim coach in January of 2018 and was named the full-time head coach at the conclusion of the 2018 season.
Bailey (Sr., 3B, Spokane, Wash.) batted .411 in 24 Northwest Conference games, which led the league. His 15 doubles was also the best among NWC players in league-only statistics, on which All-NWC voting is based. Bailey added two home runs and 21 RBIs, while playing a stellar third base (.939 fielding percentage). Bailey was an honorable mention All-NWC choice in 2018.
Nerud (Sr., Valencia, Calif.) took over as Whitworth's starting short stop in 2019 and delivered an All-NWC performance. He batted .402 in 24 NWC contests with nine doubles and 17 RBIs. Nerud stole 14 bases and posted a fielding percentage of .965 with only four errors in 113 defensive chances. He was part of 12 double plays.
Poffenroth (Sr., OF, Spokane) provided most of the pop in Whitworth's offense in 2019. He led the squad with three home runs and 25 RBIs in 24 conference games. He also batted .400 with ten doubles and had a .600 slugging average. Poffenroth did not make a single error as the Pirates' starting center fielder.
Young (Jr., Tigard, Ore.) was Whitworth's most consistent starting pitcher. He posted a record of 7-1 in Northwest Conference play with a 2.90 ERA. He threw three complete games and was selected as the NWC's Pitcher of the Week three times. Young led the Pirates with 47 strikeouts and allowed only one home run in 59 NWC innings-pitched.
Simmons (Jr., Wenatchee, Wash.) started 22 of Whitworth's 24 Northwest Conference games at catcher, often catching both ends of a double header. He batted .318 with a home run and 18 RBIs. Simmons threw out 33.3% of potential base stealers (7 of 21) and committed only two errors all season.
Rice (So., Irrigon, Or.) became Whitworth's game-one starter during the NWC schedule and went 5-0 with a 3.27 ERA. He struck out 39 batters in 41.1 innings, leading the team with 8.49 strikeouts per nine innings.
Thomas (So., Tigard, Ore.) was Whitworth's top relief pitcher in Northwest Conference play. He posted three saves and a 0.00 ERA in six appearances. He allowed only seven hits in 13 innings, with 12 strikeouts.
Pulliam (Sr., Spokane, Wash.) was the Pirates' best long reliever. He finished 1-0 with one save during the league schedule and posted a 1.82 ERA in 24.2 innings.