Braun and Kalis earn All-Central Region First Team laurels
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Braun and Kalis earn All-Central Region First Team laurels

ST. PAUL, Minn. ­— For the third time this week, Bemidji State University sophomore catcher Zach Braun (C, Lakeville, Minn.) earned All-Central Region First Team honors, as Daktronics doled out its yearly region awards. Braun was named a Daktronics All-Central Region First Team catcher, while junior Logan Kalis (RHP/1B/OF, Little Falls, Minn.) was also named to the top team as a Daktronics All-Central Region First Team designated hitter.

The Daktronics All-Central Region team was voted upon by sports information directors throughout the central region. Each of the 15 All-
Central Region First Team selections will now be listed on the Daktronics Division II Baseball All-America ballot, with the announcement of those All-American teams expected Friday, May 27.

In addition to the Daktronics honor, Braun has earned first team awards from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and Rawlings/American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) this week. Kalis earned honorable mention status from the NCBWA and a second team award from the ABCA. The two are the first student-athletes under head coach Tim Bellew to earn all-region honors in his seven seasons at BSU.

A 2012 ABCA All-Central Region First Team, NCBWA All-Central Region First Team and All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference First Team catcher, Braun took the Beavers’ batting title in just his second season in the green and white. His .391 batting average placed him fifth in the NSIC. His .578 slugging percentage tied with Kalis for the team-lead and ranked 13th in the league, while his .477 on-base percentage was fifth in the conference. In 128 at-bats he recorded 50 hits, 32 RBIs, 28 runs scored, nine doubles, five home runs and 74 total bases. His 1.35 hits per game ranked sixth in the NSIC. Braun recorded 12 multi-hit games and seven multi-RBI games, including two five-plus RBI contests and a five hit game. He drew 16 walks and was 3-for-4 on stolen base attempts on the season. He was named NSIC Player of the Week May 1.  

In 24 starts he recorded 143 putouts behind the dish with six assists and six errors for a .961 fielding percentage. He caught four runners stealing.

Kalis has earned 2012 ABCA All-Central Region Second Team, NCBWA All-Central Region Honorable Mention and All-NSIC First Team designated hitter honors this season. Bellew inserted Kalis into the batting line-up as the designated hitter, in the outfield, at first base and when he was the starting pitcher. The junior batted .323 in 2012 and led the team in home runs (10), RBIs (43), runs scored (38), total bases (93) and triples (3). His home run total finished tied for third in the NSIC and 39th in the nation at the conclusion of the regular season. His three triples ranked tied for fifth and the 43 RBIs placed him tied for eighth in the league. He posted a .578 slugging percentage that tied for first on the team and added 52 hits to rank third with the fourth most at-bats (161). He finished the season with the most multi-RBI games on the team with 12 and posted the second most multi-hit games with 17. Kalis drew 12 walks, posted a .380 on-base percentage and was successful in all three stolen base attempts.

Kalis’ arm got stronger as the year went on, as the right-hander won his final two starts to finish 4-6 with a 6.34 ERA. He started 10 times, threw three complete games, appeared in 13 contests and posted one save. In 59.2 innings pitched he allowed 56 runs (42 earned) on 78 hits with 44 strikeouts and 26 walks. He faced 245 batters and allowed a .318 opposing batting average.  

In the field he recorded 88 putouts and 16 assists with five errors to post a .954 fielding percentage. He started at designated hitter more than any other Beaver with 22 games, while finding a starting spot in left field nine times, first in eight games and right field three times.

The Central Region consists of 21 baseball teams from the Northern Sun (13 teams) and Rocky Mountain (8 teams) Conferences. In all, 13 teams were represented (7 NSIC, 6 RMAC). The teams are headlined by Daktronics Central Region Player of the Year Bryan Lippincott of Concordia University, St. Paul and Daktronics Central Region Pitcher of the Year Jared Christensen of Colorado Mesa University.

The Beavers finished the season 23-27 to tie for third most wins in a season in the 61-year program history. BSU posted a 16-20 mark in league play for eighth in the final NSIC standings. BSU graduated just four seniors and will return 10 key position players and all but one pitcher from its staff in 2013.

Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).