CANTON, Mo. -- Culver-Stockton College third baseman/pitcher Steve Rinaudo was named the Heart of America Athletic Conference Baseball Player of the Year for his play during the 2009 season. He is the third Wildcat to be named conference player of the year, joining Jason Kaiser in 1996 and Steve Zimmerman in 1997 and 1998.
Rinaudo, a senior from Orangevale, Calif. (Casa Roble HS/University of Nevada-Las Vegas), was named to the league’s first team as a third baseman, and to the second team as a starting pitcher. Offensively, Rinaudo led the Wildcats in batting average (.389), hits (72), runs scored (64), doubles (17), triples (5), total bases (114) and slugging percentage (.616). In addition, Rinaudo had a team-best 25 multiple hit games and eight multiple RBI games. In conference games, Rinaudo hit .408 with 14 doubles, four triples and five home runs. He garnered 24 runs batted in and had a slugging percentage of .669.
On the mound, Rinaudo was 4-1 with 4.02 earned run average in eight starts for the Wildcats. He pitched 40.1 innings, recording 46 strikeouts and walking 16 batters. In conference play, Rinaudo was 3-0 with a 3.58 ERA in 32.2 innings pitched. He struck out 35 and walked 11.
Joining Rinaudo on the first team were second baseman Chris Rinaudo, outfielder Jack Mikel and designated hitter Sal Rivera. Named to the second team were first baseman Lucas Cramsey, relief pitcher Sean McGinnis and outfielder Kurt Kessler. Catcher Adam Enloe was an honorable mention selection.
Chris Rinaudo, a senior from Orangevale, Calif. (Casa Roble HS/American River College), batted .377 in 48 regular season games. He netted 60 hits, scored 36 runs and totaled 14 doubles, two triples, five home runs and 41 RBI. He had 19 multiple hit games and 11 multiple RBI games. In conference games, Rinaudo batted .415 with 14 doubles, two triples, five home runs and 37 RBI.
Mikel, a senior from Bloomington, Ill. (Tri-Valley HS/LakeLand College), appeared in 48 games and recorded a .327 batting average. He accumulated 12 doubles, two triples, five home runs and 25 RBI during the regular season. In addition to his offense, Mikel was the Gold Glove winner in right field where he led all outfielders with six assists and had a fielding percentage of 1.000 on 74 chances. In conference play, Mikel batted .321 with 11 doubles, two triples, four home runs and 21 RBI.
Rivera, a senior from Sacramento, Calif. (Sheldon HS/Chico State University), hit .382 in 50 games this season. He led the Wildcats with seven home runs and 15 stolen bases. He also scored 46 runs, recorded 11 doubles and had 35 RBI. In conference play, Rivera batted .409 with 10 doubles, six home runs and 30 RBI.
Cramsey, a senior from Quincy, Ill. (Notre Dame HS), appeared in all 52 regular season games for the Wildcats, recording a .325 batting average with nine doubles, a triple, two home runs and a team-best 42 RBI. In HAAC play, Cramsey garnered 45 hits, including seven doubles, a triple and two home runs, and had 32 RBI.
McGinnis, a junior from Woodland, Calif. (Woodland HS/Solana College), appeared in 19 games, all as a relief pitcher, for the Wildcats. He sported a 6-1 overall record with a 2.27 earned run average in 39.2 innings of work. He struck out 34, walked 12 and recorded a save. In conference play, McGinnis was 5-1 with a 2.67 ERA in 27 innings and 13 appearances.
Kessler, a junior from Dupo, Ill. (Dupo HS), batted .355 with 49 hits in 50 games this season. He added seven doubles, a home run, 19 RBI and 11 stolen bases. In 38 conference games, Kessler batted .349 with five doubles, a home run and 16 RBI.
Enloe, a senior from Littleton, Colo. (Thomas Jefferson HS/Cochise College), hit .258 with eight doubles, a triple, and two home runs. He drove in 25 runs and walked 17 times. In conference play, Enloe batted .243 with 24 RBI.
The Wildcats (33-21) are currently playing in the HAAC Tournament in Fayette, Mo., and face William Jewell College (Mo.) in an elimination on Monday, May 4, at 3 p.m. If the Wildcats win, they will play the loser of the Lindenwood/Avila contest at 6 p.m. on Monday for the right to advance to the championship game on Tuesday, May 5.