DALLAS (NCBWA) Marietta College shortstop Tim Saunders (Sr., Alliance, Ohio) was named National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association NCAA Division III Position Player of the Year on June 7, with teammate Austin Blaski (Sr., Pandora, Ohio/Gilboa) being named that organization's national Pitcher of the Year. Marietta (48-8) won its second straight national title in May with a 7-2 win over Wheaton College (Mass.) in the title game of the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship in Grand Chute, Wis.
Saunders was named American Baseball Coaches Association first-team All-America, "D3baseball.com" first-team All-America and Ohio Athletic Conference "Player of the Year" with a .441 batting average, 80 runs scored, 19 doubles, seven triples, five home runs, 48 RBI, a .667 slugging percentage, a .512 on-base percentage and 41-of-47 stolen bases. He was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 32nd round of the MLB draft.
Blaski was also named ABCA first-team All-America, "D3baseball.com" first-team All-America and the Ohio Athletic Conference "Pitcher of the Year" with a 13-1 record, a 1.23 earned run average, three complete games, three shutouts, 2.62 walks per nine innings and 9.41 strikeouts per nine innings. He was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 21st round of the MLB draft.
Saunders earned the NCBWA award with seven-of-eighth first-place votes. Western Connecticut State University outfielder Conor Bierfeldt (Jr., Torrington, Conn.), with one first-place vote and six runner-up votes was second. Blaski collected six first-place votes, with Trinity University's Ben Klimesh (Sr., Wilmette, Ill./Winnetka -New Trier) finishing second with two first-place votes and five second-place ballots.
Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. Members receive a membership card, directory, newsletter updates and official votes in the Howser Award Player of the Year, Regional Player of the Year and NCBWA All-America voting. The NCBWA also sponsors preseason All-America awards, publication and writing contests.