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Denison lands six on All-NCAC team

(L-R) Jack Blanchard, Zack Huarte, Tanner Johnson, Perley Provost, Phil Papaioannou and Noah Hahn | Photos by Jace Delgado and Jason Miller
(L-R) Jack Blanchard, Zack Huarte, Tanner Johnson, Perley Provost, Phil Papaioannou and Noah Hahn | Photos by Jace Delgado and Jason Miller

GRANVILLE, Ohio -- The Big Red baseball team had six players named to the 2017 All-North Coast Athletic Conference team, highlighted by a trio of athletes landing on the all-conference first team.

Junior Zack Huarte made his third-straight appearance on the All-NCAC first team after going 6-2 with a 3.25 ERA in 74.2 inning pitched. The Villa Park, Calif. native struck out 52 batters while holding opposing hitters to a .254 average. In a non-conference game against Oberlin, Huarte fanned a season-high nine batters en route to a 4-2 victory.

Joining Huarte on the first team were fellow juniors Tanner Johnson and Jack Blanchard. A second-team selection last season, Johnson received first-team honors after hitting .383 on the year with 17 doubles, three triples and two home runs. The 2017 NCAC All-Tournament team selection swiped a team-high 21 bases and drew 25 free passes. Johnson was the team-leader with 38 runs batted in and was second with 46 runs scored. The Jefferson, Wis. native lead the team with 20 multi-hit performances and was the co-leader with 10 multiple-RBI games.

Coming off back-to-back honorable mention laurels, Blanchard elevated to the first team after hitting .366 and driving in 33 runs. The Evanston, Ill. native made 38 starts at shortstop with 14 extra-base hits and a team-high 47 runs scored. Blanchard finished second on the team with 15 multi-hit games, highlighted by two four-hit outings. He also posted one of only two five RBI performance this season for the Big Red in a 22-10 victory at OWU.

Junior pitcher Perley Provost also moved up one team from a year ago, garnering second-team honors in 2017. Provost started 12 of his 14 appearances which included two complete-game performances. He went 4-4 with a 4.26 ERA and 50 strikeouts over the course of 80.1 innings. The South Bend, Ind. native held opposing batters to a .283 average. On April 1 against Wabash, Provost fired his first-career complete-game shutout after scattering three hits while striking out a career-high 10 batters.

Rounding out DU's honorees were senior Phil Papaioannou and junior Noah Hahn who both earned honorable mention recognition. Papaioannou earns his first all-league honor following a strong performance as a designated hitter. The Morton Grove, Ill. native hit .333 on the year with 10 extra-base hits, 28 RBIs and 37 run scored. When serving as a catcher, Papioannou threw out four would be base stealers. His 14 multi-hit games were tied for third most on the team, while he also tied for the second-most multiple-RBI performances (7). In the season-opening win over Manchester, the senior knocked in four runs via 2-for-2 outing at the dish.

Hahn made 31 starts at third base while also posting a .328 batting average with nine doubles, 28 RBIs and 21 runs. The junior recorded 13 multi-hit and six multiple-RBI performances in those 31 contests. Hahn finished the year with two four-RBI outings, both of which came against conference opponents. On April 14, he knocked in four on the strength of two hits at DePauw. The following weekend, he went 3-for-4 with four RBIs in a 20-7 victory over Wittenberg.