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May 20, 2010

Record-Breaking Season Ends Without Postseason Bid

NATIONAL RANKINGS: Pacific Lutheran, 30-10 during the regular season, ranks 22nd in the May 16 d3baseball.com Top 25 poll. The Lutes also rank 28th in the final 2010 American Baseball Coaches Association/Collegiate Baseball NCAA Division III poll.

NATIONALLY RANKED NO BID: PLU is the only ranked team from both polls not to be included in the national tournament field. In the d3baseball.com Top 25, the six teams playing in the West Region tournament are all ranked among the top 17. This is the only regional that has all participants ranked in the Top 25, let alone the top 17. Every other regional has at least one participant that doesn't even get "others receiving votes" recognition. In the New York Regional, the second through eighth seeded teams didn't receive d3baseball.com votes, and three of the teams are pool C additions; four from the Mid-Atlantic (one pool C) and South Regions (one pool C, one pool B). This is the second consecutive year that the Lutes did not receive a bid in spite of being ranked in the national Top 25.

ABOUT THE LUTES: Pacific Lutheran finished the season atop the Northwest Conference team batting ranks (.362 team average). The Lutes' 4.40 team earned run average ranked third in the conference. PLU also ranked third in the league in team fielding percentage (.968). The Lutes boasted six hitters among the NWC's top 14 in batting average: Ryan Aratani (7th, .398), Corey Moore (8th, .395), Brock Gates (9th, .391), Ryan Frost (11th, .385), Dan Johansen (13th, .382) and Josh Takayoshi (14th, .380). Brock Gates led the team with eight home runs and 109 total bases, and Ben Shively led the team in runs batted in (49). Trey Watt and Scott Wall ranked first and fifth in the league in earned run average at 2.81 and 3.97.

NWC HONORS - FIRST TEAM: Five Lutes earned first team All-NWC honors - senior pitcher Trey Watt (third time on the first team), senior outfielder Josh Takayoshi (second), junior outfielder Ryan Aratani (second), sophomore second baseman Corey Moore (first) and sophomore relief pitcher Ryan Frost (first).

NWC HONORS - SECOND TEAM: Five Lutes earned second team All-NWC honors - sophomore first baseman Brock Gates, junior shortstop Sammy Davis, junior outfielder Dan Johansen, junior pitcher Scott Wall and senior pitcher Robert Bleecker.

NWC HONORS - HONORABLE MENTION: Four Lutes were named to the All-NWC honorable mention list - sophomore catcher Ethan Ottemiller, senior pitcher Paul DiPietro, sophomore designated hitter Jaron Iwakami and senior third baseman Ben Shively.

ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT HONORS: Sammy Davis was named to the 2010 ESPN The Magazine CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII College Division baseball team. Davis maintains a 3.75 grade point average while majoring in economics, and compiled a .337 batting average with 45 runs scored and 33 runs batted in during the 2010 season.

REWRITING THE RECORD BOOKS - OFFENSE: Over the past several years, the Lutes have begun an entire rewrite of the PLU baseball record books. That continued this season, as three players took their place in the pantheon of great PLU baseball careers. Seniors Ben Shively and Josh Takayoshi sealed their positions in several offensive categories, while junior Ryan Aratani should have a chance to break at least six offensive records for the Lutes when he concludes his PLU career next season. Shively's .396 (146-for-369) career batting average ranks as the best in school history, followed closely by Aratani's .391 (173-for-442). Takayoshi comes in fifth with an also-astounding .381 career mark (175-for-459). Shively's 115 career runs batted in are tied for second most in PLU history, two behind Jordan Post for the top spot. Takayoshi is tied for seventh with 104 RBI, with Aratani ranking eighth with 100. Takayoshi's 140 runs scored are second-most, two behind first-place Jay Chennault, while Aratani ranks fifth in that category with 121 career runs. Takayoshi's 175 career hits are tied for fourth-most in school history, with Aratani two hit behind in seventh. Aratani's 31 doubles ranks ninth, with Takayoshi one behind in 10th. Takayoshi's 40 stolen bases are tied for seventh.

REWRITING THE RECORD BOOKS - PITCHING: While a trifecta of Lutes rewrote the career offensive records, the PLU co-ace tandem of Trey Watt and Robert Bleecker made their mark on the mound. Both Watt and Bleecker finished their PLU careers 22 career wins, tied for fourth-most in school history. Watt ranks in the all-time top-10 lists in innings pitched (seventh, 231.1), strikeouts (third, 212) and earned run average (seventh, 3.54). Meanwhile, Bleecker also ranks among the university's best in strikeouts (tied-seventh, 162) and innings pitched (10th, 214).

NEW SEASON RECORDS - INDIVIDUAL: Several Lutes have broken or approached PLU single season records this season. Dan Johansen's 65th hit of the season broke Josh Takayoshi's team record of 64 set last season. However, a late push by Brock Gates gave him the single-season title with 68 hits. Johansen is only two hits behind with 66, while Josh Takayoshi is three behind with 65 and Ryan Aratani finished the regular season with 64. Takayoshi and Aratani each scored 49 runs this season, one shy of the team record of 50 that Takayoshi tied last season. Gates' 174 at bats is tied for second-most in a single season, behind only Ryan Thorne's 179 at bats in 2007. Trey Watt's nine wins are tied for second-most in school history, two behind Joe DiPietro's record total of 11, set in 2007. Finally, Ben Shively (49) and Brock Gates (48) finished second and third in single-season runs batted in, behind Shively's team record of 51 set last year.

NEW SEASON RECORDS - TEAM: The PLU offense broke several offensive records this season, most notably setting a new school record for team batting average (.362, previous record .357 in 2009). The Lutes' 554 hits are the most in school history, breaking the previous record of 504 set last season. PLU's 110 doubles are nine more than last season's former record. The Lutes' 373 runs batted in broke the previous record of 367 and PLU's 771 total bases are 39 more than the previous record, both set in 2009. The PLU offense fell one run shy of last year's team record of 404 runs scored total bases. The pitching staff set an ominous record with 49 wild pitches, nine more than the previous school record set in 1996.

THREE TIMES 30: The Lutes' 30 wins this season are the third-most in school history, behind last year's 31 and 2007's record of 35.

SENIOR SUCCESS: The 2010 four-year senior class will go down as the most successful four-year class in PLU history, with an overall record of 120-42-2 and an average of 30 wins per season. The Lutes won two Northwest Conference championships during the four-year stretch, finishing in second this season and third in 2008.

COACHING SUCCESS: Geoff Loomis concluded his eighth season as PLU head coach with a career record of 203-115-2. He has the second-most wins in PLU history, behind only Larry Marshall's 317 victories during a 19-year coaching career. Loomis' .638 winning percentage is the highest among PLU coaches with at least 50 games coached.

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