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June 13, 2006

Sample Selected to Association of Division III
Independents Baseball Second Team

player picLINCOLN UNIVERSITY, PA. - Lincoln University senior pitcher Matt Sample (West Grove, PA./Avon Grove) was selected to the Association of Division III Independents second team.

Sample leads five Lions, who earned postseason recognition from the Association of Division III Independents. Earning all-Independent honorable mention honors for the Lions were pitcher Josh Graber (Baltimore, MD/Archbishop Curley), third baseman Peter Fisher (Stamford, CT/Stamford), shortstop Joe Kruemmer (Bear, DE/Hodgson Vo-Tech) and designated hitter Vince Curtis (Philadelphia, PA/Overbrook).

Together they helped the Lions win the most games in 36 years and finish the 2006 season with a 14-14 record. As a team, Lincoln led the nation in strikeouts per nine innings (9.1) and was second in stolen bases per game (4.36).

Sample was the Lions leader throughout the season. Sample compiled an 8-4 record with a 3.16 earned run average. Sample also led the Lions with eight complete games, four shutouts and 99 strikeouts, which helped him finish second nationally in strikeouts per nine innings. Sample also tossed a no-hitter during a 4-0 victory over Gallaudet on March 10.

Sample also became the first Lincoln baseball player to be honored with the distinguished National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Player of the Week award on April 7. Sample struck out 10 or more batters five times including a season-high 13 twice in wins against Lancaster Bible College and Gallaudet. Sample also finished as the Lions’ second leading hitter (.387 average) and the team leader in doubles with eight.

Graber was 3-4 with a 5.03 earned run average. He compiled 51 strikeouts. Graber fanned 13 batters in his first start of the year in a 9-0 win over Saint Paul’s. In his third start of the year, Graber registered a career best 14 strikeouts in a 9-5 nine-inning triumph over Gallaudet. Graber’s best hitting game was a 3-for-4 effort with three runs batted in during an 18-8 victory over Eastern.

Fisher was one of seven Lions to bat over .300 during the season. Fisher finished the season with a .325 average and tied for the team lead in home runs with three. In addition to going 17-for-17 in stolen bases, Fisher had seven multi-hit games. Fisher made his final game of the regular season memorable by pacing the Lions with three hits in the 13-0 victory. Fisher also contributed seven doubles and a triple during the year.

Enjoying a solid freshman year, Kruemmer finished with a .321 batting average. Kruemmer knocked in 21 runs and reached base in eight of Lincoln’s final 10 games. Kruemmer had a pair of three-hit games during the season. Kruemmer was a consistent contributor for Lincoln batting out of the No. 2 hole.

Curtis, who batted a team high .415 with runners on base, paced Lincoln with 27 runs batted in. Curtis had his biggest blast during a 19-10 road defeat at Washington College. With Lincoln trailing, 4-0, Curtis slugged a grand slam that traveled over 400 feet and hit the roof of a residence hall beyond the left centerfield fence. Curtis also drove in six runs during Lincoln’s final doubleheader of the season against Christendom.

Ray Stokes of California State University, East Bay, and Devin Drag of  Chapman University, hauled in top honors on the 2006 All-Independent Baseball teams. Baseball coaches at member institutions of the Association of Division III Independents selected the players. Overall, 39 student-athletes were named to one of the three all-Independent teams.

The Association of Division III Independents consists of 19 Division III independent institutions that have joined together to recognize student-athletes at independent institutions, and to provide exempted postseason championship competition in seven sports in 2005-06.  The Association recognizes outstanding athletic achievements of its student-athletes on a weekly, monthly and annual basis.  For the first time, the Association provides statistical services for its members in seven sports.  In addition, it has announced all-Independent teams at the conclusion of eight other sports this year.  

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