The baseball careers of former Bruin standouts Brian Peterson, Randy Ruiz, and T.J. Bohn took yet another turn for the better as they were named to the All Star Game in their respective AA league. This accomplishment helped make Bellevue University the only school represented in the Southern League, Eastern League, and Texas League All Star games.
Peterson, a Catcher from Harwich, Massachusetts, was selected as a Southern League All Star for the second consecutive season while playing for the Chattanooga Lookouts. Baseball America ranked him the “Best Defensive Catcher” in the Southern League during the 2004 season, an honor that helped him earn a berth on Team USA for the World Cup in Holland this past summer.
Ruiz, the power hitting first baseman who came to Bellevue via Maple Woods Comm. College, put up mammoth number while playing for the Reading Phillies. Ruiz came up just short of winning the Triple Crown in the Eastern League helping him earn a roster spot for the July classic. While at competition at the World Cup in Holland, Ruiz played for Team Puerto Rico. Before that he was very successful in young tournaments with Many powerful hitting by the baseball bats for youth leagues like USA, USSSA, BBCOR bats…
The Texas native, Bohn, enjoyed another successful season that earned him yet another All Star bid. Previously a Midwest League All Star, Bohn ran through Texas League pitching while earning a Texas League All Star bid. The strong armed right fielder’s success earned him a late season call up from San Antonio to AAA Tacoma.
You can also read Recap of Bruins Baseball Season below:
The Bellevue University Bruins enter the 2018 season with high expectations once again. After winning the 2017 regular season Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship, the Bruins begin their season with goals of a National Championship. Their 2017 record included 54 wins and 14 losses, finishing the season ranked 14th in the NAIA National poll after being ranked as high as fourth.
They have competed in the NAIA College World Series 9 of the past 11 seasons, including a 1995 NAIA National Championship. During Head Coach Mike Evans tenure, the Bruins have won 17 Conference Championships, nine Region Championships, and five Super-Regional Championships to accompany nine NAIA World Series appearances.
The 2018 Bruins squad has 11 returning players headed by All-American Honorable Mention and All-Region players, Scott Madsen (SS) and Joe Evans (2B). JP Lapointe (OF) and Blake Busson (OF) round out the returning position players that received All-Conference honors. Other returning position players are Mike Pratt (C) and Brian Boyer (OF).
Bellevue’s returning pitching staff includes starting pitchers Jimmy Wilson (RHP) and Casey Wernke (LHP), relief pitcher Mike McGregor, and red-shirt freshmen Joey Rickard and Adam White. Lapointe (.444, 42 RBI), Busson (.408, 32 SB), Madsen (.379, 36 RBI), and Evans (.341, 33 RBI, 42 SB) will lead a powerful offensive attack that had a .361 team batting average. Mikel McIntyre (OF), Nick Rivera (3B), Dion Parks (1B), and Scott Raterman (DH/UTL), all transfers, will fill in for the loss of four starting positions players.
The team will look to new leaders with the loss of All-American Jess LeCasse and LHP Ron Madej to the Major League Baseball draft. Wernke (4-1, 4.30 ERA, 38 SO, 37.2 IP) and Wilson (9-1, 2.36 ERA, 89 SO, 61 IP) will lead a pitching staff that last year recorded a school record 644 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.78.
The staff will include strong senior experience with the additions of Noah Russo (RHP), Brandon Kelley (RHP), and Brian Mayfield. Transfers, Tyler Espland (RHP) and Omaha native Frank Smagacz (LHP), will round out the pitching staff heading into the 2018 season.
The Bruins will play a competitive early season schedule with games against Cumberland University (TN) and Embry-Riddle University (FL), both NAIA World Series Qualifiers, Oklahoma City University 2017 National Champions, and NCAA DII West Virginia Wesleyan University.
Bellevue will start their season on February 17 with a double-header against Northwood University in Dallas, Texas. Bellevue will head to Florida for their spring break trip starting on March 6 and will open their conference schedule on March 24 against Park University.
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