Express catcher Varsho named Horizon League Player of the Year

Indianapolis, Ind. – Following a regular season that saw him rank in the top-five in nearly every offensive category, Milwaukee and Eau Claire Express sophomore catcher Daulton Varsho was named Horizon League Baseball Player of the Year in voting of the League’s head coaches, the League office announced Tuesday.

Milwaukee also was honored with Pitcher of the Year as senior right-hander Brian Keller won the award following a stellar senior season.

The League champions, Wright State, picked up two specialty awards in Caleb Sampen (Freshman of the Year) and Greg Lovelady (Coach of the Year).

UIC’s Trevor Lane was voted as the League’s Relief Pitcher of the Year.

Varsho led the Horizon League in batting average (.374), slugging percentage (.594) triples (6) and total bases (130), while also ranking in the top-five in on-base percentage (4th; .440), RBI (3rd; 44), doubles (5th; 15).

Varsho is slated the return to Eau Claire for his second season with the Express. Last season he ranked third on the team with a .296 batting average and led the team in doubles (11), triples (7), stolen bases (21) and RBI's (32). 

The Chili, Wis., native upped his batting average to a League-best .425 in HL only games and also had a League-best .496 on-base percentage in 28 Horizon League contests.

Varsho’s teammate Brian Keller was dominant in Horizon League play to claim Pitcher of the Year honors. The Germantown, Wis., native went 7-0 in nine Horizon League starts and recorded three complete game shutouts during HL play. He struck out 68 batters in 68.1 innings pitched during HL play, both League-bests.

UIC’s Trevor Lane was voted Relief Pitcher of the Year after leading the HL with five saves during HL play. The North Bend, Wash., native had a League-best 1.49 ERA in 36.1 innings pitched during the HL season.

Wright State’s Caleb Sampen captured Freshman of the Year honors. The Brownsburg, Ind., native ranked second in the HL in his rookie campaign with a 2.62 ERA in 79.0 innings pitched. He also ranked third in the season in opponents batting average, holding batters to a .209 average.

Lovelady picked up Coach of the Year honors after guiding the Raiders to their second consecutive 40-plus win season and fourth Horizon League regular season title in the last seven seasons. It’s the second Coach of the Year honor for Lovelady in his third year at the helm of the program.

The First-Team All-League consisted of Keller, Varsho and UWM team Luke Meeteer (outfielder). Valparaiso led the team with four honorees in Dalton Lundeen (pitcher), Shea Molitor (third base), Nolan Lodden (outfielder) and Daniel Delaney (designated hitter). UIC had three selection in Lane, Ricardo Ramirez (first base) and David Cronin (second base). Regular season champion Wright State was represented on the first team by Jesse Scholtens (pitcher) and Ryan Fucci (outfielder). Oakland’s Mike Brosseau (third base) and Ian Yetsko (utility) rounded out the first team.

The Horizon League Baseball Championship begins on Wednesday, May 25, at Wright State’s Nischwitz Stadium in Fairborn, Ohio. All championship games can be seen live on ESPN3.

Baseball All-League Awards
Player of the Year: Daulton Varsho, Milwaukee (So., C)
Pitcher of the Year: Brian Keller, Milwaukee (Sr., RHP)
Relief Pitcher of the Year: Trevor Lane, UIC (Sr., LHP)
Freshman of the Year: Caleb Sampen, Wright State (RHP)
Coach of the Year: Greg Lovelady, Wright State

First Team-All-League
P – Brian Keller, Milwaukee (Sr., RHP)
P – Dalton Lundeen, Valparaiso (Sr., LHP)
P – Jesse Scholtens, Wright State (Sr., RHP)
RP – Trevor Lane, UIC (Sr., LHP)
C – Daulton Varsho, Milwaukee (So.)
1B – Ricardo Ramirez, UIC (Jr.)
2B – David Cronin, UIC (So.)
SS – Mike Brosseau, Oakland (Sr.)
3B – Shea Molitor, Valparaiso (Sr.)
OF – Ryan Fucci, Wright State (Sr.)
OF – Nolan Lodden, Valparaiso (Sr.)
OF – Luke Meeteer, Milwaukee (Sr.)
DH – Daniel Delaney, Valparaiso (Sr.)
UT – Ian Yetsko, Oakland (Sr.)

Second-Team All-League (Ties are not broken)
P – Trevor Haas, Valparaiso (Sr., RHP)
P – Caleb Sampen, Wright State (Fr., RHP)
P – Trevor Swaney, Wright State (Jr., RHP)
RP – Nate Green, Oakland (So., RHP)
C – Sean Murphy, Wright State (Jr.)
C – Logan Spurlin, Northern Kentucky (Sr.)
1B – Nate Palace, Valparaiso (Jr.)
2B – Billy Quirke, Milwaukee (Jr.)
SS – Mitch Roman, Wright State (Jr.)
3B – Ben Hart, Oakland (So.)
OF – Peyton Burdick, Wright State (Fr.)
OF – Josh Clark, Valparaiso (So.)
OF – Quint Heady, Northern Kentucky (Sr.)
DH – Alex Dee, UIC (Fr.)
UT – Trey Ganns, Northern Kentucky (So.)

All-League Freshman Team 
Elijah Goodman, Milwaukee (RHP)
Caleb Sampen, Wright State (RHP)
Kyle Benyo, Youngstown State (OF)
Peyton Burdick, Wright State (OF)
Chase Dawson, Valparaiso (OF/IF)
Alex Dee, UIC (INF)
Ryan Fitzgerald, Oakland (OF)
Will Haueter, Northern Kentucky (C)
Wyatt Mascarella, UIC (C)
JD Orr, Wright State (OF)
Scott Ota, UIC (INF/OF)
Sam Shaikin, Valparaiso (IF)