Shepherd’s Minnich named National Player of the Year

Shepherd senior first baseman Nathan Minnich has been the NCAA Division II National Player of the Year for the 2012 season.

Minnich batted .500 and hit 21 home runs during Shepherd’s 46-game regular season.

Minnich actually led the country in homers per game (0.46), on-base percentage, and slugging percentage (1.037).

His .500 batting average was second-best in the nation.

There were four other offensive categories where Minnich finished in the top five in the country. Those four categories were total bases, runs scored, RBIs, and walks received.

With Shepherd winning the WVIAC postseason tournament and with it an automatic berth in this weekend’s Atlantic Region tournament, Minnich will have the opportunity to add to his offensive statistics.

Shepherd went 3-1 in the WVIAC tournament and defeated Alderson-Broaddus, 10-5, in the event’s championship game.

In the six-team Atlantic Regional that will be played in West Lawn, Pa. at the home field of Kutzstown University, Shepherd will be the No. 5 seed.

Shepherd opens play on Thursday against second-seeded West Chester (Pa.), the 2012 champion of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

The other four teams in the tournament are Kutztown, Mercyhurst, Seton Hill, and Winston-Salem State (NC). The two other first-round games have Seton Hill vs. Winston-Salem State and Kutztown vs. Mercyhurst.

The winner of the double elimination event will qualify for the eight-team Division II College World Series in Cary, NC which is hosted by Mount Olive (NC).

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