Berge and Berggren earn first-team nods
GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Northern Colorado senior second baseman T.J. Berge and junior outfielder Jarod Berggren were named to the Great West All-Conference team for the second-straight season, while juniors Adam Hilker and Ben Packard and senior Joe Sawicki were named to the second team .
Berge and Berggren were two of the four repeat selections on the First Team, joining Houston Baptist’s Robbie Buller (DH) and Utah Valley’s Chris Benson (OF). Sawicki also earned all-conference honors for the second-straight year, getting one of three starting pitcher nods.
Berge is one of the best hitters in the history of Northern Colorado. The senior from Littleton, Colo., and Dakota Ridge High School hit .320 against conference opponents in 2011. He ranks fourth all-time in school history in hits, second in doubles and ninth in RBI and triples as well as sixth in walks. Against all opponents, Berge is third on the team with a .340 batting average and tied for the team lead with 17 doubles.
Berggren, a junior from Broomfield, reached base in all 26 conference games and hit a team-best .451 with an amazing .843 slugging percentage. A total of 23 of his 46 hits against league foes were for extra bases and he has already shattered the school career record for triples with 17. He leads the team with 114 total bases and 56 RBI.
Hilker, from Westminster, returned to the lineup in 2011 with a vengeance. He has a team-best 71 hits and has been hit by a pitch 15 times. Against Great West Conference opponents, he hit .347 and was second on the team with 16 walks drawn.
Packard, a junior from Niwot, leads the team in batting average at .383, has a .599 slugging percentage and is second with 16 doubles and 100 total bases. In Great West play, Packard hit .423 with 15 hits going for extra bases. He was second on the club with a .660 slugging percentage and had a team-best four sacrifice flies.
Sawicki, a senior right-handed pitcher from Superior and Monarch HS posted a perfect 11-0 record in his Great West Conference career. He was 4-0 in 2011 with a 3.46 ERA with two complete games. He walked just eight with 26 strikeouts and he combined with two others for the lone shutout of the season.
Utah Valley’s Jeremy Gendlek was named both the league’s Pitcher and Newcomer of the Year, while NYIT’s Effrey Valdez was named the Player of the Year.
Northern Colorado begins play in the Great West Conference Tournament on Tuesday at 7:00 pm (CT) against host North Dakota.