Valparaiso University’s Bryce Shafer (Wabash, Ind./Northfield H.S.) has been named the Horizon League’s Pitcher of the Year as well as to the league’s First Team while Kyle Gaedele (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows H.S.) garnered Second Team All-Horizon League honors the conference has announced. In addition, Robbie Robinson (Brea, Calif./Olinda H.S.) was named to the Horizon League’s All-Newcomer Team.
Shafer finished the regular season with a 6-4 record overall and a 4.25 earned run average for the Crusaders. Throughout the season the junior right-hander ranked among the top-10 in the nation in strikeouts, racking up 112 in just 97.1 innings of work. Shafer was even more dominant in Horizon League action this season, posting a 3-1 record with 66 strikeouts in 51.1 innings. Conference foes hit just .242 against him and he tallied a 3.33 ERA.
Gaedele, a sophomore outfielder, batted .365 with seven homeruns and 59 runs batted in this season. His 59 RBIs are a new single season school record, and he has also tied Valpo’s single season mark with seven triples this year. A speedster on the base paths, Gaedele is a perfect 14-of-14 stealing bases as well.
Robinson, a junior who has caught, played first base, and served as the team’s designated hitter, finished the year batting .330 with two homers and 42 RBIs. He also drew a team-leading 25 walks on the year, posting a .424 on base percentage. Robinson excelled during Horizon League play, hitting .444 with 32 hits while driving in 18 runs.
Valparaiso (22-30, 9-10 Horizon) will begin Horizon League Championship play on Wednesday morning as the Crusaders face Butler. First pitch is set for 11 a.m. at U. S. Steel Yard in Gary, Ind. All of the action can be seen live online through the Horizon League Network or heard via WVUR (95.1-FM, Valparaiso).