Kevin Ruechel marked a pair of personal-bests as the UW-Stout men’s track and field team closed out the regular season by competing at three separate meets Thursday.
Ruechel highlighted the Blue Devils’ performances at Augustana, setting personal best marks in the shot put and the discus to improve his national standing. Ruechel was second in the shot put with a mark of 56-feet, 3-inches and was third in the discus with a mark of 169-3. Ruechel is currently fifth in the shot put and 11th in the discus.
Jacob Bugella finished 14th in the hammer throw (154-7) and 25th in the discus (129-4).
Joe Van Grinsven competed in the 3000-meter steeplechase at the North Central College Gregory Final Qualifier, finishing eighth in a time of 9-minutes, 39.6-seconds.
At the UW-La Crosse Final Qualifier, Tyler Odom finished second in the javelin (167-3). Cody Lohrenz was fifth in the 400m (48.90), Parker Rongstad was sixth in the 400-hurdles (56.91), Josh Freyholtz was sixth in the pole vault (15-2.25) and 13th in the long jump (21-6.25). Alex Grulkowski was 18th in the long jump (20-7).
Freyholtz was looking to improve his national marks. He is currently 22nd in the pole vault and 20th in the long jump.
Iliopoulos, Diedrich repeat as all-region softball selections
UW-Stout’s Mary Iliopoulos and Kyncaide Diedrich were selected as National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Great Lake Region for the second consecutive year. Iliolpoulos was a first team pick, while Diedrich was a second team selection. Both Iliopoulos and Diedrich were All-WIAC first team selections earlier this month.
For Iliopoulos, the team’s center fielder, it’s her second consecutive first team softball selection after earning the honors last year as a sophomore. Iliopoulos was fourth in the WIAC in stolen bases with 15. Iliopoulos is fifth in the league in batting average at .387 (46-119) and was second in runs scored with 33. With 46 total hits, Iliopoulos is fourth in the WIAC. The lead-off hitter, Iliopoulos drew 13 walks and drove in 11 runs. She finished with a double and two triples. Her on-base percentage of .451 was fifth in the league.
Diedrich, the Blue Devils’ shortstop, led the WIAC in stolen bases, nabbing 27 in 28 attempts to bring her career totals to 70, third on the UW-Stout all-time stolen base list. This was her second consecutive second team all-region selection. She hit at a .385 clip (45-117), sixth in the WIAC and was fifth in total hits. Diedrich drove in 30 runs, third in the WIAC, scored 31 runs, had a league-leading five triples and was fourth in home runs with five. Diedrich had 75 total bases, third in the league, and produced a slugging percentage of .641, second in the WIAC. Combined with an on-base percentage of .415, Diedrich produced an OPS of 1.056.
Four earn All-WIAC baseball honors
Four members of the UW-Stout baseball team earned 2019 All-Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) honors, with three earned first team selection.
Junior first baseman Kasey Bass (Jr, Sun Prairie), senior outfielder Jordan Wilson (Sr, Eau Claire/Memorial) and senior pitcher Casey Ryan (Sr, Green Lake/Markesan) earned first team honors and senior pitcher Brad Rindfleisch (Sr, West Bend/West) earned honorable mention honors.
Bass led the team in batting average, runs batted in, doubles, slugging percentage and on-base percentage. In his first nod to the all-conference team, Bass hit at a .376 clip (50-133), with 15 doubles—tied for fifth on Stout’s all-time single season list—31 RBI, three home runs with a slugging percentage of .556. Drawing 13 walks and a team-best eight hit-by-pitch, Bass had an on-base percentage of .455. The 6-foot-3 first baseman had a fielding percentage of .985, committing only four errors in 260 chances. Bass ranked seventh in the WIAC in average, sixth in on-base percentage, ninth in slugging percentage and tied for third in doubles.
Wilson, the Blue Devils’ lead-off hitter, earned his second consecutive first-team all-conference selection. The Blue Devils’ center fielder led the team in hits, runs scored, home runs and stolen bases. Wilson hit .348 (54-155), with 37 runs scored, four home runs stole 13 bases. Wilson and Bass were the only two Blue Devils to see action in all 37 games. Wilson was 15th in the WIAC in batting average, was eighth in runs scored, tied for ninth in hits, tied for 10th in home runs, fifth in stolen bases and was seventh in doubles with 12.
For his career, Wilson finished third on UW-Stout’s all-time career list for at-bats (520), ninth for total hits (162), and sixth for doubles (33). He finished with a career batting average of .312.
Ryan did not start a game for the Blue Devils throughout his career until the middle of the 2019 season, then rolled off four consecutive wins in four starts, the first three against WIAC opponents. Ryan picked up his first collegiate win in an eight inning start over UW-La Crosse, then pitched two complete game wins over UW-Oshkosh and UW-Stevens Point, notching a career-best eight strike outs against the Pointers in a 5-0 shutout. Ryan threw five innings in a non-conference win over St. Thomas. Ryan finished the season at 4-0, posting an ERA of 2.92—fifth-best in the WIAC—striking out 26 batters over 40.0 innings pitched.
Rindfleisch led the Blue Devils in strikeouts, notching 59 to finish his career with 101 strikeouts, a mark that puts him 15th on the UW-Stout all-time strikeout list. Rindfleisch, who ranked 10th in the WIAC in strikeouts, started nine games for the Blue Devils, posting a 4-4 record with an ERA of. 3.64, ninth in the WIAC. Rindfleisch was selected all-WIAC honorable mention for the second consecutive year.
Joe Halling was named to the WIAC All-Sportsmanship team.
The Blue Devils finished the season at 20-17 overall, 12-12 in the WIAC. Stout made their first appearance in the WIAC Championship tournament for the first time since the 2014 season. They also hit 20 wins for the first time since 2014 and posted above a .500 record for the first time since 2007. Stout won twice as many games overall as last year and their 12 conference wins are the most since the 2007 season.