Tahlequah Daily Press

College Sports

May 9, 2014

Helsley honored as MIAA Freshman of the Year

The Northeastern State baseball team had five student-athletes named to All-MIAA teams, the league announced Thursday morning.

Senior outfielder Cody Robinson and true freshman pitcher Ryan Helsley led the way for NSU’s all-conference selections. Robinson was named to the All-MIAA First Team for the second-straight year, while Helsley was honored as the MIAA Freshman of the Year and also landed on the All-MIAA Second Team.

Senior utility player David Weber was named to the All-MIAA Third Team, while senior first baseman Ryan Staggs and sophomore shortstop Andrew Walker were both named All-MIAA Honorable Mention.

Helsley becomes the third NSU baseball player since Northeastern State joined NCAA Division II (1997) to earn a specialty award. Brian Murphy (2002) and Donnie Webb (2005) were both honored as the Lone Star Conference Freshman of the Year. Helsley is the only underclassmen pitcher (freshman or sophomore) to be named to any of the three all-conference teams, and he is also one of just two freshmen to be named at any position to the first or second All-MIAA teams.

He is 7-3 on the mound this season with a 3.72 earned-run average. His seven wins are tied for second in the MIAA and are the most by an NSU pitcher since 2009. He is 7-1 in his last eight outings and is 5-0 in his last eight starts, while averaging 5.5 strikeouts per game during that stretch. He is fifth in the MIAA in opposing batting average (.229) and 11th in ERA. Helsley has twice been named the MIAA Pitcher of the Week, and he has only allowed 11 extra-base hits all season.

Robinson is now just the fourth RiverHawk/Redman since 1997 to be named to an all-conference first team twice. He joins Chris Stilwell (1999-00), Josh King (1999, 2001) and Nick Zodrow (2002-03).

He is currently second in the country in both home runs (17) and home runs per game (0.35). He is batting .355 this season and has started 48 games. The NCBWA preseason All-American leads the MIAA in slugging percentage (.765) and home runs, and he is second in doubles (18). He has twice been named the NCBWA Central Region Hitter of the Week, and he also has 44 runs batted in and 35 runs scored. He has not committed an error all season.

Weber becomes a two-time all-conference performer, as he was named All-MIAA Honorable Mention a season ago. He is currently batting .300 this season with 32 runs scored, 31 RBI, nine doubles, two triples, and one home run. He has registered 11 multi-hit games and nine multi-RBI games. He had a stretch earlier this season where he reached base safely in 22 consecutive games. He is the only member of the team to appear in all 52 games, and he has started at six different positions, including catcher (21), right field (12), left field (11), center field (3), second base (2), and designated hitter (1).

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