Blue Devils trio is honored
Starkey named NJCAA
By Scott A. Kolb
The Riverland Blue Devils had their best season in decades this past spring, and postseason honors have come along with that success.
There were two Blue Devils chosen as NJCAA, Division III All-Americans. Kyle Starkey was selected to the first team and Brandon Huhn was named to the third team. Zach Vlietstra then received the Rawlings Gold Glove Award.
Starkey was chosen as an All-American outfielder and put up the statistics to prove he was worthy of the honor. He had a .471 batting average, .610 slugging percentage, and a .592 on base ratio.
Starkey had 136 at-bats this past spring season with 48 singles, 24 doubles, one triple, and one home run. He also scored 48 runs, posted 43 RBIs, 27 walks, and had only 13 strikeouts.
"Kyle has a beautiful inside-out swing and he did a tremendous job for us," Riverland coach Scott Koenigs said. "I’m happy for him and he got a scholarship to Dakota State, an NAIA school. They gave him a full ride, so he can continue to play ball and finish his education."
Huhn was chosen to the third-team as a pitcher. He finished with a 5-2 record as a starter in 452⁄3 innings pitched. Huhn faced a total of 192 batters, allowed 14 earned runs, 34 hits, 15 walks, 55 strikeouts, and had a 1.83 ERA.
"Opponents hit just .198 off Brandon and he was an absolute stopper for us," Koenigs said. "His offensive statistics were also impressive on the season."
Huhn finished as the all-time home run hitter at Riverland with 15 round-trippers in his two years with the Blue Devils. He hit .372 for his sophomore season, had 113 at-bats, 22 singles, 14 doubles, six homers, 27 runs scored, 37 RBIs, eight walks, and only nine strikeouts. Huhn compiled a .655 slugging percentage and signed a scholarship to play at St. Cloud State next season.
"This was big to get two guys named as All-Americans," Koenigs concluded. "It’s good for them and great publicity for our program. Then, we got the announcement of one more award. It was a great way to cap off the season."
Vlietstra won Rawlings Gold Glove Award it was announced on Friday. Only nine guys in each division of the NJCAA get this award.