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Hanover Baseball Head Coach Bellak named Coach of the Year; Girard earned Pitcher of the Year accolades

Hanover won first Conference Title under Bellak

                                              hanover college

CARMEL, Ind. – The Hanover Panthers dominated the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference in 2024 earning top honors for their efforts. In total, 10 Panthers were recognized.
Head Coach Grant Bellak and his staff earned Coach of the Year honors while sophomore John Girard (Richmond, Ky.) was named the HCAC Pitcher of the Year.
At the helm, Bellak helped guide the Panthers to their first HCAC regular season championship and 30 win season since 2001. He also helped the Blue and Red secure the program's first HCAC Tournament title and NCAA Regional berth. Under his guidance, the Panther pitching staff ranks among the best in the league surrendering the fewest amount of hits (393). At the plate, they lead the conference in RBI (336), doubles (114), runs (377), and total at-bats (1,607).
Girard claims Pitcher of the Year honors after an impressive season. The sophomore leads the HCAC in ERA (2.98), shutouts (1), strikeouts (89), and strikeouts looking (31). For his efforts, he was also named to the HCAC All-Tournament team.
Five Panthers earned First Team honors in senior Matthew Alter (Indianapolis, Ind.), senior Alex Christie (Greenwood, Ind.), junior Jake Danneman (Edgewood, Ky.), junior Reid Douglas (Rossville, Ind.), and John Girard.
Earning Second Team honors, sophomore Robert Carroll (Hendersonville, Tenn.), junior Chris Hautman (Lawrenceburg, Ind.), and senior Eric Roudebush (New Palestine, Ind.). Rounding out the awards was junior Andrew Oesterling (Batesville, Ind.) capturing Honorable Mention accolades.
Alter was the ace on the mound for much of the season throwing 12 games with a team and conference high eight wins. He posted a 4.35 ERA allowing just 34 earned runs on 67 hits.
Christie was a force not only on the corner bag but also at the plate for the Blue and Red. The senior posted a team-high .368 batting average starting all 45 games. He tallied 57 RBI with a conference and nation leading 27 doubles. He posted a team-high 10 home runs, 126 total bases, and a .692 slugging percentage.
Danneman has posted a .364 batting average starting all 45 games. He has tied a team-high 67 hits with a team-best four triples. Jake had compiled 27 RBI with 56 runs scored. Defensively, the shortstop has charted a .929 fielding percentage with 65 putouts.
Douglas started all 45 games behind the plate for the Panthers with 164 plate appearances. He tallied 50 hits with 47 runs scored and 31 RBI. The junior ranks among the top 20 in the NCAA in doubles (17).
Carroll started all 45 games for the Panthers in center field posting a .324 batting average with 188 plate appearances. He tallied 61 hits with 10 doubles. The sophomore added 26 RBI on 61 total hits.
Hautman posted a 4.22 ERA on 15 mound appearances with seven starts. He leads the team with three saves and six total wins.
Roudebush was a key part of the Panther success as the senior had 167 at-bats with 10 doubles and six home runs. He charted a .357 batting average with 38 RBI.
Oesterling dominated in left field making 73 putouts for a .975 fielding percentage. The junior also had success at the dish batting .304 on the year with 148 at-bats and 45 hits. He recorded 43 RBI with 15 doubles and 32 runs.
Hanover returns to action on Friday, May 17 when they compete as part of the NCAA Division III Regional at Denison. First pitch is slated for 11:00 AM.

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