Baseball Places Three on All-NAC Teams
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Posted by: Regents Sports Information
ROCKFORD, Ill. – The Rockford College baseball team had three players receive postseason recognition from the Northern Athletics Conference late Tuesday morning. For the second consecutive year shortstop Jimmy Dercks (Kaukauna, Wis./Kaukauna) received 1st Team All-NAC honors. Utility player Jake Nicholson (Stillman Valley, Ill./Stillman Valley) was named 2nd Team All-NAC and second baseman Ryne Billesbach (Belvidere, Ill./North) was named to the All-Sportsmanship Team. The baseball team has now had at least three student-athletes receive All-Conference awards every year since the formation of the Northern Athletics Conference for the 2007 season.
Dercks had the best year of his four-year career at Rockford College and one of the best years of anyone in the Northern Athletics Conference this season and was named the 1st Team All-NAC shortstop. The senior led the NAC with a .513 on-base percentage, was second with a .430 batting average, finished third with 18 doubles and a .608 slugging percentage, was fourth in runs scored with 49 and hits with 68, was sixth in walks with 23 and was seventh in the NAC getting hit by 8 pitches. As the team’s leadoff hitter, Dercks had over a 3-1 walk to strikeout ratio striking out just 7 times during his 195 plate appearances. Dercks finished his career as the all-time assist leader at Rockford College with 457 assists; as well as, the all-time hits leader with 228. His 228 hits also gives him the second most hits in a career in the Northern Athletics Conference just 2 hits behind the all-time hits leader despite having 34 fewer at bats. Dercks concluded his collegiate career having received post season recognition from the NAC in three of his four years. He started out his career being named to the NAC All-Freshman Team as well as being named NAC Freshman of the Year, and ended his career with back-to-back 1st Team All-NAC selections at shortstop.
Nicholson was equally important to the Regents on the mound as well as at the plate this season and was rewarded for his stellar performance at both as the 2nd Team All-NAC utility player. The senior was the definition of a work horse on the mound for Rockford this spring. He led the NAC in complete games with 6 and complete game shutouts with 3. He threw 72.1 innings, third most in the conference, and finished the 2012 campaign with a 3.48 earned run average. Nicholson stuck out 55 batters during the season ranking him third in the NAC and just 5 strikeouts behind the conference leader. At the plate, Nicholson was fourteenth in the conference in runs batted in with 32 and doubles with 12, eighth in home runs with 3, eighteenth in walks with 18 and nineteenth in total bases with 73. His .360 batting average, .422 on-base percentage and .525 slugging percentage were all single season bests for him and ranked sixteenth, twenty-first, and thirteenth in the NAC respectively.
Billesbach received All-Sportsmanship Team honors from the NAC this season. Billesbach changed positions this season going from being an outfielder last year to second base this year. He hit .289 with 39 hits including 8 doubles, 1 triple and 2 home runs. Billesbach scored 26 runs for the Regents with a .371 on-base percentage and a .407 slugging percentage. The senior was also a perfect 4-4 in stolen base attempts.