Jenner Steele, Newman University’s senior first basemen from Branson, Missouri, has been named a 2023 MIAA Baseball Co-Player of the Year, leading the list of postseason baseball awards of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA).
Steele is the first Jet in Newman history to earn MIAA Player of The Year for any sport and has also earned MIAA First Team honors. His play on the diamond helped Newman earn its first berth in the MIAA baseball tournament.
Steele is the first Jet to earn any “top player” honor since Tyler Bugner earned the Heartland Conference Player of the Year. Bugner was a draft pick of the Colorado Rockies following his final season at Newman.
Steele’s outstanding performances this season have put him at the top of the MIAA statistics in several categories, including average (.423), on-base + slugging percentage (1.308), hits (85), total bags (165) and slugging percentage (.821). He finished second in home runs (20) and on-base percentage (.487) and third in RBIs (65). He even broke the single-season home run record and currently holds the single-season RBI record. Steele’s 165 total bags are tied for second in the nation, and his 85 hits have him alone at sixth. His 20 home runs are fifth in DII.
Jake Angelico, a crucial part of the team’s success this season, earned Third Team All-MIAA honors. The New Braunfels, Texas, native was second on the team in average (.349), runs (53), hits (65), doubles (13), and RBIs (63). His 27 stolen bases this season were second in the MIAA, and he was only thrown out twice this season.
Jason Schneider, Jets’ third baseman from Austin, Texas, has also made the Third Team All-MIAA. Schneider was third on the team in average (.339) and hits (652). He came up big this season when the Jets needed him to at third base, making web gem after web gem.
Senior outfielder Zack Stewart also earned MIAA Honorable Mention, finishing regular season play second on the team in home runs with 15. He started 48 games during the regular season, hitting .271 with 49 hits and 50 RBIs.
Jets vs Lions – MIAA Quarterfinals
Although the awards have been announced, Newman baseball has more to accomplish, reaching the MIAA post-season tournament for the first time in program history. The team finished the regular season with a 22-28 overall record and 14-19 conference record, earning the seven seed in the tournament.
The Jets will head to Joplin, Missouri, to face the two-seed and nationally-ranked Missouri Southern Lions. The first pitch is set for 1 p.m. Friday, and 1 p.m. Saturday, with game three starting at 1 p.m. Sunday, if necessary. The Jets are eager to show their skills and continue to make Newman University proud.
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