Four Missouri Valley Conference baseball players have been named to the 2010 ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team, as announced Thursday. Student-athletes from four MVC schools earned academic all-district honors, including Creighton’s T.J. Roemmich, Evansville’s Alex Acheson, Southern Illinois’ Nathan Forer and Wichita State’s Jordan Cooper.
To be nominated, a student-athlete must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.30 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) at his current institution. Nominees must also have participated in at least 50 percent of the team’s games at the position listed on the nomination form and have completed one full calendar year at the nominating institution to be eligible.
With four selections to the first team, all four Valley student-athletes are now eligible for the inclusion on the Academic All-America® team selected by CoSIDA. The voting period for the national ballot begins next week.
T.J. Roemmich, Creighton
Senior outfielder T.J. Roemmich has started all 39 games for Creighton and is second on the team in hitting with a .306 mark. He is Creighton's active home run leader with 19 and has posted a career-best nine triples this season. Roemmich has also played well when it matters most, as he leads the team in Valley hitting, posting a .343 mark in MVC play.
His performance in the classroom has been just as impressive, as he has a 3.86 GPA as an economics major. He has been named to the Dean's List and President's List several times and has earned two MVC Scholar-Athlete honorable mentions in the last two seasons.
Alex Acheson, Evansville
University of Evansville senior baseball player Alex Acheson currently carries a 3.49 cumulative grade point average in accounting at UE in the classroom. On the field, Acheson has started all 44 games for the Purple Aces this year in the outfield, while hitting .313 with 11 doubles, a triple, 19 RBI and 41 runs scored. Acheson has been a key part of UE’s surge over the last month offensively, as he has hit .388 (26-for-67) with eight of his 11 doubles, 14 of his 19 RBI and 21 of his 41 runs scored since April 1. He has scored at least one run in 16 of UE’s 19 games since April 1.
Acheson also ranks fourth on the team in on-base percentage at .425, while leading the team and ranking among the nation’s leaders with 19 HBPs this spring. He is currently tied for the school’s career record with 37 HBPs over the last four years, and needs just one more pitch to hit him to own the school record. Acheson has also been one of UE’s top defensive outfielders this spring, as he has committed just one error in 92 defensive chances, while posting a .989 fielding percentage.
Acheson is the first UE baseball player to earn first team Academic All-District honors since Adam Rogers in 2005.
Nathan Forer, Southern Illinois
Southern Illinois senior pitcher Nathan Forer becomes the sixth Saluki since 2003 to be named to the Academic All-District team and the first since Grant Gerrard and Kevin Koski in 2006. With his first team selection, Forer becomes eligible for consideration for the honor of Academic All-American, which will be announced on Tuesday, May 25.
Forer has been one of the top pitchers in both the Missouri Valley Conference and the nation this season. His current earned run average of 1.75 is the 12th lowest in the nation, as he has only allowed just 45 hits and 10 earned runs in 51.1 innings pitched.
The right-hander from Brampton, Ontario, Canada has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of his seven starts and he has 30 strikeouts against 17 walks.
Opposing batters are only hitting .233 off him, which is the fourth lowest opposing batting average in the conference. He has a 2-2 record on the year and exited four of his seven starts with the lead while he left another game in a tie.
He was the MVC Pitcher of the Week on April 5 and named the Prairie Farms/Missouri Valley Conference Scholar Athlete of the Week on April 7.
Jordan Cooper, Wichita State
Wichita State baseball student-athlete Jordan Cooper, a sophomore right-handed pitcher from Berryton, Kan., has a 3.65 GPA in criminal justice. This season, he is 6-2 with a 1.96 ERA in 73.1 innings.