Two Panthers Named All-American
YC Baseball Players Receive First Team Honors
Upon learning of the honors, Coach Nick Harlan had this to say, “I am very proud of both Justin and Bruce for their impact on the program, the college campus, and our coaching staff." Harlan, a 2004 YC grad, was recently honored as the MCAC Conference Coach of the Year after amassing a 45-9 record for the 2010 season.
Justin Lunday, a 6'4" senior from San Ramon, California, completed his final year with the Panthers batting .448 and had a slugging percentage of .896. Other highlights include 17 home runs, 18 doubles and 58 RBIs. Lunday was honored earlier this year as the Midland Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year.
"Justin has shown tremendous determination to reach his potential," Coach Harlan said about Lunday. He added, "His journey has not been easy. He battled through an injury his junior year not knowing if he was going to be an everyday player in 2010. His commitment to his team, displayed by his attitude and his work ethic, gave Justin the opportunity to play every day in left field, and the rest is history. This is a well deserved award for a talented player and a wonderful person."
Bruce Amende of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho completed his first year as a Panther with a perfect 12-0 record on the mound and also gave his team one save during the year. The junior transfer had 83 strikeouts in 81 innings pitched and a 1.67 ERA. Amende also received the Midland Collegiate Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year award.
When reflecting on Amende's selection, Coach Harlan commented, "This award is a credit to Bruce's passion and his will to be the best in everything he does. As a player, teammate, or friend, Bruce is always going to give you his best. He is a special kid that I am blessed to coach. It is great that I'll have him back for one more year."
YC Athletic Director, Jared Stark, summarized the 2010 baseball season by saying, "I am very proud of this program and their accomplishments. What is seen on the field is simply a product of what happens off the field. Most important is how faith and character are taught every day in practice and study halls and how the coaches live their own beliefs out passionately - that stuff rubs off on the players in a remarkable way."
Stark continued, "The victories on the field and records they broke this year speak to a program that’s growing and gaining respect nationally. I feel they will be able to compete on the national stage every year because of the way they conduct their business. Nothing they do now surprises me."
Lunday and Amende are the third and fourth All-Americans during the six years of the Coach Harlan era. Players are selected for All-American honors by the NAIA-Baseball Coaches Association All-America Selection Committee. To see the NAIA announcement and a complete roster for first and second teams go to the NAIA Press Release.