Kusz, Spitznagel, Stewart and Wantz Named Baseball Captains
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Head Coach Link Jarrett announced the captains of the 2017 UNCG Baseball team Wednesay afternoon. Seniors Jake Kusz (Durham, N.C./Riverside), Ben Spitznagel (Cincinnati, Ohio/Wabash Valley CC) and Dillon Stewart (Dunn, N.C./Brunswick CC), along with junior Andrew Wantz (Holly Springs, N.C./Holly Springs) have been elected captains by their teammates.
“These four players represent our program so well in every area. They are productive and consistent on the field, in the classroom and in the locker room.” Jarrett said, “They are true leaders in every sense. Being selected captain by your peers is a tremendous honor and they are extremely deserving.”
This is the second season that Kusz has been named captain of the UNCG baseball team, after serving as a captain in the 2016 season. Kusz started every game behind the plate last season, catching all but 20 innings. He is a .277 career hitter, and is the active career leader in games played, hits, RBI, runs scored, and doubles.
Spitznagel enters his second season as a Spartan after transferring to UNCG from Wabash Valley CC. Last season, Spitznagel started every game at second base, and led the team with 95 hits. He hit for a .385 average and swiped 21 bases. He was an American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)//Rawlings first team All-Region, and third team All-American. During the summer, Spitznagel was named the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League Player of the Year, leading the Hamilton Joes to its first GLSCL championship.
Stewart will be in his third season in the Blue and Gold. Stewart started at UNCG as a freshman before transferring to play his sophomore season at Brunswick CC. In his return UNCG, Stewart led the team with a .665 slugging percentage, going for extra bases 37 times. He led the team with 14 home runs, was named second team All-Southern Conference, and was an ABCA/Rawlings second team All-Region selection. During the summer, he was named a Coastal Plain League All-Star.
Wantz was the SoCon’s Co-Pitcher of the Year last season in the league’s media poll, appearing in a team-high 34 games. He was a first team All-SoCon selection in the media and coaches poll. He earned the SoCon’s Pitcher of the Week award and was named National Pitcher of the Week by Collegiate Baseball and the National College Baseball Writer’s Association on April 3rd. He Logged 78.2 innings, striking out at team-high 97 batters. In summer ball, he pitched for the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod Baseball League. He appeared in 11 games, earning a 2.16 ERA and earning All-Star honors.
UNCG opens the 2017 season against the fifth-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks Friday, Feb. 17 at 4:00 p.m. at Founders Park.