Underwood, Maffie, Olivet Nazarene Headline Baseball Honor Roll

CHICAGO — Led by returning Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year Ethan Underwood (Woodstock, Ga.), regular-season and tournament champion Olivet Nazarene University claimed a league-high 14 awards when the conference office announced its 2022 baseball postseason honors on Monday morning.

Underwood repeated as the CCAC’s top pitcher by gaining no less than a share of the top spot in five statistical categories, while ranking among the top six players in three other areas. The junior hurler finished first in wins (10) against just one loss, complete games (6), shutouts (2), innings pitched (81) and earned run average (1.67). His earned run average also ranks eighth lowest in the nation.

His 12 starts, .168 opponents’ batting average and 63 strikeouts also placed him third, fifth and sixth, respectively, among league leaders.

That was not the only area where Underwood repeated. He was also one of four players named to the 17-member all-conference first team joining Trinity International University’s Blake Lazaris (Colgate, Wis.), Trinity Christian College’s Michael Moralez (Portage, Mich.) and Saint Xavier University’s Evan Orzech (Shorewood, Ill.).

Also repeating was Underwood’s head coach, Jeff Mullikin, who gained his second CCAC Coach of the Year award after leading the Tigers to their third straight tournament title and second league crown in a row. ONU went 27-3 in league play, including 24 straight wins at one point, and is 38-15 overall heading into NAIA National Tournament Opening Round play.

Capturing CCAC Player of the Year honors was University of St. Francis’ Eric Maffie (Coal Valley, Ill.). The junior first baseman was among the top ten performers in no fewer than eight statistical areas topped by his leading the league with 21 doubles. He also tied for second with the most hits (73), was fourth in batting average (.384), scored the sixth-most runs (48) and ranked tied for seventh with his four triples.

Other high-rated numbers were his 41 runs batted in, .459 on-base percentage and .616 slugging percentage, all of which placed him eighth in the conference.

The final top individual award went to Saint Xavier rookie pitcher Logan McCleery (Patterson, Calif.), who was named the CCAC Freshman of the Year. The right-hander went 8-3 with a 4.26 earned run average. His 12 starts and eight victories both ranked third best in the league, while his 56 strikeouts were tenth and his ERA 11th.

On the Gold Glove front, all nine recipients of the award – one per position – were made up of representatives from either Olivet Nazarene (five) or St. Francis (four) with the latter claiming all three outfield spots.

Besides boasting the most overall awards with 14 among the 48 presented on Monday, the Tiger program also gained a league-best five first team picks out of their seven total all-league choices. Overall, 34 players in the league were named all-conference, split evenly between the first and second teams.

Saint Xavier gained the most all-conference selections with eight total followed by ONU with seven and St. Ambrose University and St. Francis with five each. Also represented were three players from Trinity Christian, two from both Indiana University South Bend and Calumet College of St. Joseph and one each from Trinity International and Judson University.

Judson also claimed the league’s Champions of Character Team award.

In terms of overall awards received, St. Francis finished second behind ONU with ten total awards followed by Saint Xavier with nine.

Player of the Year
Eric Maffie – St. Francis (Ill.)
Pitcher of the Year
Ethan Underwood – Olivet Nazarene
Freshman of the Year
Logan McCleery – Saint Xavier
Coach of the Year
Jeff Mullikin – Olivet Nazarene
Champions of Character Team
Judson University
Gold Glove Team
1B Gunnar Pullins Sr. Olivet Nazarene Valparaiso, Ind.
2B Ryan Russmann Jr. Olivet Nazarene Wheaton, Ill.
SS Kai Hudson Jr. Olivet Nazarene St. Petersburg, Fla.
3B Alex Martinez Fr. St. Francis (Ill.) Lockport, Ill.
LF Jake Vera Jr. St. Francis (Ill.) Chicago, Ill.
CF Luke Ketchum Jr. St. Francis (Ill.) Springfield, Ill.
RF Sam Tumilty Fr, St. Francis (Ill.) Villa Park, Ill.
P Ethan Underwood Jr. Olivet Nazarene Woodstock, Ga.
C Tyler Wheeler Sr. Olivet Nazarene Graham, Wash.
First Team All-Conference
OF Nick Anderson Sr. Trinity Christian New Lenox, Ill.
P Michael Dudek Jr. St. Ambrose Burbank, Ill.
P Aren Gustafson Sr. Olivet Nazarene Rockton, Ill.
RP Nick Hernandez Jr. St. Ambrose Des Plaines, Ill.
SS Kai Hudson Jr. Olivet Nazarene St. Petersburg, Fla.
OF Robert Jackman Jr. Olivet Nazarene New Lenox, Ill.
OF Luke Ketchum Jr. St. Francis (Ill.) Springfield, Ill.
3B Blake Lazaris Jr. Trinity International Colgate, Wis.
1B Eric Maffie Jr. St. Francis (Ill.) Coal Valley, Ill.
DH Michael Moralez Jr. Trinity Christian Portage, Mich.
C Evan Orzech So. Saint Xavier Shorewood, Ill.
UT Jimmy Smyth Sr. Saint Xavier Evergreen Park, Ill.
P Ethan Underwood Jr. Olivet Nazarene Woodstock, Ga.
2B Jake Vanderwoude Sr. Indiana South Bend Frankfort, Ill.
P Julian Vargas So. Saint Xavier Tinley Park, Ill.
C Tyler Wheeler Sr. Olivet Nazarene Graham, Wash.
OF Adrian Zietara Jr. St. Ambrose Chicago, Ill.
Second Team All-Conference
OF Jacob Bulthuis Sr. Olivet Nazarene Tinley Park, Ill.
3B Brenden Butler Sr. St. Ambrose Oak Lawn, Ill.
P Brandon Callender Jr. Judson Plainfield, Ill.
UT Oliver Carmody So. Trinity Christian Stevensville, Mich.
DH Bubba Davenport Jr. Calumet St. Joseph Griffith, Ind.
1B Patrick Doran Jr. Saint Xavier Evergreen Park, Ill.
P Tommy Dougherty Fr. Saint Xavier Alsip, Ill.
OF Drew Hunniford Sr. Saint Xavier Frankfort, Ill.
C Jake LaSota Jr. St. Francis (Ill.) Marengo, Ill.
C Kole Miller Jr. Indiana South Bend Howe, Ind.
RP Zack Millsap Fr. Saint Xavier Crete, Ill.
P Conor O’Hara Sr. St. Ambrose Midlothian, Ill.
OF Gabriel Quinones Sr. Calumet St. Joseph Corozal, Puerto Rico
2B Ryan Russmann Jr. Olivet Nazarene Wheaton, Ill.
SS Declan Smyth Jr. Saint Xavier Evergreen Park, Ill.
OF Jake Vera Jr. St. Francis (Ill.) Chicago, Ill.
P Nick Villasenor Sr. St. Francis (Ill.) Addison, Ill