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Seven Baseball Players, Zeifert Honored by AD3I

The Illinois Tech baseball team was well-represented on the 2017 All-Independent teams (photo credit: Stephen Bates, WCS Photography).
The Illinois Tech baseball team was well-represented on the 2017 All-Independent teams (photo credit: Stephen Bates, WCS Photography).

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – The Illinois Tech baseball team is well-represented on this year's All-Independent Teams. Seven different players, as well as Head Coach Ed Zeifert, were recognized by the Association of Division III Independents on Friday. In total, the Scarlet Hawks received the Pitcher and Coach of the Year Awards, three All-Independent First Team players, and four All-Independent Second Team players.

Kyle Bumpass (Third-year / Crete, Ill.) was named the AD3I Pitcher of the Year and to the All-Independent First Team. Bumpass led the Scarlet Hawks in innings pitched (69.2), wins (four), complete games (three), and strikeouts (56). His innings, wins, and strikeout totals also ranked first in AD3I, while his three complete games ranked him third. Bumpass enjoyed a stretch this season from April 7 through April 22 where he allowed just two runs in 25 innings over five appearances (a 0.72 ERA). The impressive span included a seven inning no-hitter against Maranatha Baptist on April 7.

Christian Lopez (Third-year / Milwaukee, Wis.) was also named to the AD3I First Team as an outfielder. The junior transfer led the Scarlet Hawks in on-base percentage (.423) while ranking second in batting average (.319), doubles (seven), home runs (2), slugging percentage (.429), and hits (38). His hit and home run totals ranked in the Top 10 of the AD3I as well. The everyday left fielder had nine multi-hit games, stole four bases, and drove in 15 runs this season.

DJ Rybski (Third-year / Chicago, Ill.) earned All-Independent First Team honors at second base. Spending the majority of his time at the top of the order for Tech, Rybski hit for a .303 batting average, tallying 36 hits, three doubles, one triple, one home run, and 13 RBI. He also sported a .359 on-base percentage and had 11 multi-hit games.

Orlando Cardenas-Juan (First-year, Salida, Calif.) earned All-Independent Second Team honors at third base. The USCAA All-American Honorable mention led the Scarlet Hawks with a .346 batting average, ranking him seventh in AD3I. He also led Tech in steals (8-for-8) and was one of three players in AD3I to not get caught stealing with at least five stolen bases. Playing all over the diamond this season, the freshman also was second on the Scarlet Hawks in RBI (19) while tallying 37 hits (tied for eighth in AD3I), four doubles, one triple, a .397 on-base percentage, and a .402 slugging percentage. He also struck out just six time in 107 at-bats and had 10 multi-hit games.

Zachary Dickey (First-year, El Paso, Tex.) is one of two Scarlet Hawk catchers to be named to the All-Independent Second Team. Bouncing the season between catcher and outfield, Dickey is the only Scarlet Hawk ranked in the Top 10 in AD3I in slugging percentage (.444). He led the team in home runs in four, which ranks fourth in AD3I. One of his home runs was a walk-off at home against Maranatha Baptist on April 8. He tallied 24 runs (Top 10 AD3I), a .282 batting average and a .419 on-base percentage, thanks to his 18 walks. He also totaled 33 hits, five doubles, a triple, 16 RBI, and nine multi-hit games.

Jonathon Wilcox (First-year, Mesa, Ariz.) also garnered AD3I Second Team honors at catcher. The freshman led the Scarlet Hawks in RBI (25), triples (two), and walks (22), both of which ranked in the Top 10 in AD3I. He tallied 34 hits, five doubles, a .286 batting average, seven steals, and a .406 on base percentage. Behind the plate, he threw out seven would-be base stealers.

Tyler Tucker (First-year, Beverly Hills, Mich.) is AD3I's Second Team shortstop. The freshman led the Scarlet Hawks in hits with 41, ranking fifth in the Association. He also tallied 24 runs scored (Top 10 AD3I), nine doubles, six steals, 14 RBI, a .422 on-base percentage and 19 walks. He also tallied 11 multi-hit games.

Ed Zeifert was named the Association of Division III Independents Coach of the Year. Taking over a program on a year hiatus, Zeifert guided the Scarlet Hawks to 11 wins, the most of any AD3I school in 2017. The season included two separate four-game win streaks and winning nine out of 12 games from April 7 through April 22. The Scarlet Hawks accomplished this with just four players with college baseball experience prior to the start of the season.