BURNSVILLE, Minn. – Bemidji State University sophomore shortstop Tyler Nelson (Hayfield, Minn.) was named All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Second Team today, as the league announced its annual regular season awards. Nelson became the 16th member of the BSU baseball team to earn all-conference honors under ninth-year head coach Tim Bellew.
After playing in seven games as a freshman and redshirting in 2013, Nelson made the best of his opportunities as a sophomore this season and guided the Beavers in batting with a .366 average (16th in NSIC). He played and started in 40 games and compiled 142 at-bats. His 52 hits and 32 runs scored each served as team-bests, while Nelson added nine RBIs. He totaled 64 bases and posted .451 slugging and .401 on-base percentages. The sophomore only struck out five times, which placed him 12th in NCAA Division II in the toughest to strikeout category (28.4 at-bats per strikeout) at the end of the regular season.
In NSIC games only (30 games), Nelson ranked first in strikeouts per game (0.10), 14th in hits per game (1.3), 15th in batting average (.375) and 20th in assists (69).
Nelson led the Beavers with 15 multi-hit games, which included six contests with three or more hits (two games with four hits). He posted hitting streaks of four, six and eight during the year. In the eight-game hitting streak, which was second best on the team in 2014, he went 16-for-29 (.552) with 12 runs and two RBIs. During that run, Nelson went 4-for-4 with five runs versus Concordia University, St. Paul. The five runs tied for an NSIC-best in 2014.
In the field, Nelson started the season at third base, where he played seven games before moving over to short. He finished the season with a .914 fielding percentage with 94 assists, 55 putouts and helped turn 12 double plays.
Tony Viger of Augustana College was named NSIC Player of the Year, while Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Jason Hoppe was honored as NSIC Pitcher of the Year. The 2014 NSIC Freshman of the Year was Eric Peterson from Minnesota State, while Patrick Rients of Southwest Minnesota State University was listed as the NSIC Newcomer of the Year. Dean Berry of Northern State University was named the NSIC Coach of the Year.
Nelson was one of just six sophomores to earn All-NSIC honors on the first or second teams.
Last season, BSU had four student-athletes earn All-NSIC recognition, while one was named to the Gold Glove team. Bellew was named the league’s coach of the year in 2013.
With a 21-22 overall record (15-15 NSIC), BSU reached the 20-win plateau for the third consecutive season, which stands as the first time in program history. The Beavers just missed out on the NSIC Tournament, as BSU finished ninth in the final NSIC standings behind Wayne State College (18-15 NSIC). Bemidji State graduates just four seniors from its 2014 squad.
For more information on the Bemidji State baseball program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Mulitmedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).