With the conclusion of the 2017 baseball regular season, the NCCAA North Central Region has released the 2017 All-Region Team, and among those honored were Bethel seniors Heath Brooksher and Austin Branock. Brooksher and Branock landed on the 14-member team comprised of six infielders, four outfielders, one utility player and four pitchers.
This season, the senior duo led the team to an overall record of 22-22 and an appearance in the final four of the Crossroads League Tournament. Individually, Branock led the Pilots with a batting average of .387, recording 58 hits and 46 runs scored. Of his 58 hits, 17 were extra-base hits, including three homers. Overall, the senior brought home 32 runs and finished the season with a slugging percentage of .573 and an on-base percentage of .500. From his post as the Pilots' shortstop, Branock helped facilitate 14 of the Pilots' 28 double plays and finished the season with 60 putouts and 99 assists.
Brooksher, the Pilots' second baseman, finished second on the squad with a batting average of .360. He also finished third on the team with 50 hits, despite missing a pair of contests during the regular season. Brooksher led the team with 40 RBIs and recorded a team-high five triples and four dingers. His season's slugging percentage of .604 was the best on the squad as was his eight stolen bases on 12 attempts. From his post as the Pilots' second baseman, Brooksher helped facilitate 18 of the Pilots' 28 double plays and finished the season with 87 putouts and 81 assists.
This season's 22 wins was the most for the Bethel baseball program since 2011 and marks the second consecutive 20-win campaign for BC. With graduation, the Pilots bid farewell to Branock and Brooksher along with classmates Zackary Foster, Jared Laurent, Morgan Erla, Cam Gallaway, Caleb MacPherson and Marvin Montgomery.
The Bethel College Pilots compete in 17 intercollegiate sports for men and women. While accumulating 3 NAIA National Championships and 32 NCCAA National Championships by 10 different athletic teams, Bethel has also produced 143 NAIA All-American honors and 309 NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors over the past decade. Bethel College is an accredited Christian college offering associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees in more than 70 areas of study. Connect with Bethel Athletics online at BethelCollegePilots.com or via Facebook, Twitter (@Bethel_Sports) and Instagram (@BethelPilots).