College of the Ozarks made a splash at the Association of Independent Institutions' Conference Baseball Banquet on Friday night in Lawrenceville, Georgia, coming away with three awards. The A.I.I. has 15 member colleges who offer a baseball program.
C of O freshman designated hitter Dylan Heitz was named A.I.I. Freshman of the Year. In his inaugural season as a Bobcat, Heitz is batting .333 and has a slugging percentage of .587. He is leading the team in triples (7), home runs (6), and RBI (39), while also contributing 50 hits, 6 doubles, 11 stolen bases, and 33 runs. In his 50 games started, Heitz has proven himself to be versatile in the field as well, spending time at catcher and first base in addition to a DH role for the Cats. Alongside his Freshman of the Year accolade, Heitz also collected First Team All-Conference honors at the DH position.
The Cats' third award of the evening featured another freshman--third baseman Tad Mitchell, who was named 2nd Team All-Conference (3rd Base). Mitchell has played in 51 of the Bobcats' 52 games and posted a .313 batting average at the close of the regular season. He has tallied a team-leading 38 runs and has provided the club with clutch hits in big games. Mitchell's stats include 50 hits, 10 doubles, 1 triple, 1 homerun, 25 RBI, and 7 stolen bases.
The #5 seeded Bobcats will play their first game of the conference tournament on Saturday at 4 PM Eastern Time against #4 Mount Mercy (Iowa) at the Grizzly Baseball Complex on the campus of Georgia Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville,
Pictured: Mitchell (left) and Heitz (right)