WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Sophomore catcher Adam Zaitz tops a trio of three Whitman College baseball players who earned All-Northwest Conference honors for the recently completed season.
Zaitz, who hit .290 on the season with a team-high 25 RBI in 39 games, received first-team honors. Two of his teammates, sophomore pitcher Ryan Toivola and junior third baseman/designated hitter Bobby Jones, earned honorable mention recognition.
Zaitz rapped eight doubles, four home runs and one triple during the season, finishing third on the team in total bases with 60. He also hit .290 during his freshman season.
"Adam had a very solid year, not flashy but very good," Whitman baseball coach Travis Feezell said. "He is one of the best defensive catchers in the conference and he got hot with the bat toward the end of the season. It's nice that he is only a sophomore."
Zaitz, a graduate of Inglemoor High School in Bothell, Wash., garnered "Hitter of the Week" honors in the Northwest Conference during the first week of May. In five games and 19 at-bats during the week, he stroked nine hits, including four doubles and a home run, while knocking in seven runs and scoring five more.
Jones, who played prep ball at Seattle's Eastside Catholic, led the Whitman regulars in hitting this season, collecting a team-high 50 base hits in 38 games and 137 plate appearances for a .365 batting average. Jones led the conference in doubles with 17. He added one triple and one home run to lead the Missionaries in total bases with 72. He also collected 24 RBI and scored 21 runs.
"Bobby started swinging the bat from the first game this season and then never stopped," Feezell said. "His improvement this year was his ability to hit with power and get extra-base hits."
Toivola, a 6-foot-3 lefthander, started a dozen games on the mound for Whitman and hurled seven complete games. He won five of nine decisions and had the seventh-best earned run average (3.27) in the the conference.
"Had we scored a few more runs for Ryan this season, his won-loss record could have been much better," Feezell said. "His other numbers -- his ERA and his ratio of strikeouts to walks -- were fantastic. Our league was dominated by senior pitchers this spring, but Ryan will come back next year as one of the most polished pitchers in the conference."
Toivola, a high school teammate of Zaitz at Inglemoor, earned "Pitcher of the Week" honors for the second week of April. The honor followed his four-hit 2-0 victory over Willamette. Earlier in the season he shut out Whitworth on three hits.
Toivola, who also plays first base for the Missionaries, had a solid year at the plate, hitting .321 in 84 at-bats.