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Former WNCC baseball player named Conference Player of the Year for UNK

Former WNCC baseball player named Conference Player of the Year for UNK
(Photo courtesy of WNCC)

Former Western Nebraska Community College baseball player Alex Achtermann had an outstanding season for the University of Nebraska Kearney this past season.

Even though it was learned that UNK was dropping its baseball program after this season, Achtermann still went out and had an outstanding season, earning the MIAA Baseball Player of the Year Award and being named a first team utility player.

“For me, being Player of the Year is the most humbling and honoring awards I’ve ever received,” Achtermann said. “Obviously, I won the award, but without the success of my teammates/coaches and the want to make myself and everybody else better, there’s no way this would be possible. Just so thankful for every one that is a part of the Loper family”

Achtermann was truly a utility player this season for the Lopers, who finished the season at 28-24, just like he was at WNCC where he was named an Omaha World Herald All-JUCO utility player his sophomore season.  Achtermann started games at pitcher, third base, first base, right field and designated hitter for the Lopes.

On the mound, Achtermann finished the season at 6-1 with an earned run average of 4.46. He struck out 55 and walked just 22 in 62.2 innings of work.

When he wasn’t pitching, he was swinging a mean bat. He hit .413 with 57 RBIs and 56 runs scored. He had 13 doubles, two triples, 15 home runs.

Achtermann couldn’t have asked for a better season.

“As far as the season goes, this was easily my best performance,” he said. “I finished the season leading the conference in average, slugging and tied for homeruns. I think the biggest factor for me was playing with such amazing teammates, especially offensively. With guys like Dallas Schramm, Ty Roseberry, Brandon Hernandez, Brett Young and way more players. It took pressure off me batting in the three hole because I knew the guys in front of me and behind would pick me up.”

Achtermann biggest decision now is what to do for his senior season after UNK cut the baseball program. The Denver, Colorado, native said he has plenty of options. The UNK baseball team end its history 1,205 wins in his modern history (1961-2018).

Achtermann was the starting pitcher in what was the team’s final game on the field, a 6-4 loss to Central Oklahoma in the MIAA Conference tournament on March 11. Achtermann threw five scoreless innings while allowing four runs and scattering eight hits. He was also 1-of-4 at the plate with a run scored.

“For next year, I have a couple options ranging from Division II to Division I,” he said. “A couple are in the MIAA, and the D1 options are in the Ohio Valley Conference. But as far as a final decision, I have not decided yet, hopefully within the next week or so I will have a decision.”

Achtermann’s success at UNK was because of the two years he spent at WNCC as well as even at UNK. Achtermann said WNCC coach Mike Jones was a big help in helping him find another school to transfer to next year.

“WNCC has helped me big time in my growth both as a baseball player and an overall person,” he said. “I keep in touch with Coach Jones regularly, especially on the decision for my school choice for next year. With the baseball program getting cut, he has been very helpful on giving his thoughts towards schools.”

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