CHILLICOTHE, Ohio - Ball State junior second baseman/right-handed pitcher Kolbrin Vitek (Bryan, Ohio/Bryan) has been named the Mid-American Conference Player of the year, as voted on by the league's head coaches. Vitek becomes the sixth Ball State Cardinal all-time to receive the honor and the first since Brad Snyder garnered the accolade in 2003.
Also, senior catcher Zach Dygert (Angola, Ind./Angola) and redshirt sophomore right-hander Perci Garner (Dover, Ohio/Dover) were named First Team All-MAC along with Vitek, while sophomore first baseman Ian Nielsen (La Porte, Ind./La Porte) earned Second Team All-MAC accolades.
Vitek has already been named to the Golden Spikes Award Watch List for the nation's top player and the John Olerud Award Watch List for the nation's top two-way player. He leads the MAC in runs scored (71), is second in home runs (17) and slugging percentage (.718) and is third in RBI (68), while also leading the MAC on the mound with a 3.27 ERA. He is batting a team-high .368 on the season and has tallied a team-high 81 hits, including 20 doubles.
Vitek, a preseason All-American selection, has been equally impressive on the mound as he has a 3-4 record as a weekend starter and has posted two saves on the year in a team-high 74.1 innings of work. In league action, he has a 3-2 record with two saves and lowers his team-best ERA to 2.72 in 53.0 innings of work, while averaging 7.47 strikeouts per game.
Vitek has been named a MAC West Player of the Week three times this season while also earning MAC West Pitcher of the Week accolades once. He was named the Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week earlier this season for leading the Cardinals to a series victory over Ohio when he tossed 7.0 shutout innings and posted a .500 batting average on the weekend.
Dygert, a team captain, earns his third All-MAC honor of his career after notching Second Team All-MAC honors as a sophomore and First Team All-MAC accolades as a junior and senior. He becomes the first Cardinal since Bryan Bullington (2000-02) to be honored for three straight seasons with All-MAC honors.
Dygert, a Johnny Bench Award Watch List member for the nation's top catcher, owns a .291 batting average and is second on the team with 11 home runs. He is third on the team with 54 RBI and is second in the MAC with 40 walks for a .432 on-base percentage. He has scored 41 runs and is second on the team with 17 doubles.
Garner picks up his first career MAC honor as he becomes the Cardinals' first starting pitcher First Team All-MAC honoree since Ben Snyder in 2005. He owns a 5-2 record on the season as the Cardinals' primary Friday starter and has a 4.43 ERA. He leads the team with 76 strikeouts in 67.0 innings of work and has made 10 starts this year, all in league play.
Garner posted a 4-2 record with a 3.86 ERA in MAC play this season, which ranks 10th in the league. He averages a MAC-high 9.18 strikeouts per nine innings in league action. He was named the MAC West Pitcher of the Week after striking out nine batters and tossing 6.0 shutout innings against Buffalo.
Nielsen, a Freshman All-America honoree last season, earns his second All-MAC honor of his career after also picking up Second Team accolades last season. He is third on the team with a .333 batting average and is second on the team with 55 RBI. He is third on the team with 10 home runs and is third with 72 hits. He has posted 21 multiple-hit games this season and 10 multiple-RBI games, including an eight-RBI performance at Bowling Green earlier this season (April 10).
Nielsen was also named to the ESPN The Magazine First Team Academic All-District this season for his work in the classroom as well as on the field.
Ball State opens the 2010 MAC Tournament Wednesday morning as the fourth-seeded Cardinals face the fifth-seeded Bowling Green Falcons at 9 a.m. at VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, Ohio.
MAC Player of the Year - Kolbrin Vitek, Ball State, 2B/P
MAC Pitcher of the Year - Jesse Hernandez, Central Michigan, RHP
MAC Freshman of the Year - Dietrich Enns, Central Michigan, LHP
MAC Coach of the Year - Cory Mee, Toledo
2010 MAC Baseball All-MAC First Team
C- Zach Dygert, Ball State
1B- Nate Theunissen, Central Michigan
2B- Brad Agustin, Buffalo
3B-Joe Corfman, Toledo
SS- Jon Berti, Bowling Green
OF-Anthony Gallas, Kent State
OF- Gauntlett Eldemire, Ohio
OF- Robbert Maddox III, Ohio
SP- Jesse Hernandez, Central Michigan
SP-Perci Garner, Ball State
SP-Kevin Leady, Bowling Green
SP- Kendall Lewis, Eastern Michigan
RP- Dietrich Enns, Central Michigan
DH-Matt Delewski, Toledo
Utility -Kolbrin Vitek, Ball State
2010 MAC Baseball All-MAC Second Team
C- John Turk, Akron
1B- Ian Nielsen, Ball State
2B- Evan Campbell, Kent State
3B-Travis Shaw, Kent State
SS-Jared Hoying, Toledo
OF-T.J. Blanton, Bowling Green
OF- Adam Eaton, Miami
OF-Chris Dudics, Toledo
SP-Robert Sabo, Kent State
SP- David Starn, Kent State
SP- Matt Suschak, Toledo
SP-Mike Hamann, Toledo
RP-Trent Howard, Central Michigan
DH-Matt Pitzullo, Bowling Green
Utility - Derek Spencer, Bowling Green