Cullen, Shepard lead Jimmies GPAC All-Conference, Gold Glove honors
The Jimmies have had a player selected to the conference first team for six years in a row.
JAMESTOWN — The Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) has announced the 2022 Baseball All-Conference teams and Gold Glove award winners with 10 players from the 2022 GPAC runners-up, the University of Jamestown, finding their way onto the teams.
The Jimmies’ (29-23) had two first team representatives in senior outfielder Tayler Cullen and senior infielder Tanner Shepard. Cullen led the Jimmies with a .397 batting average with 15 home runs and 61 RBIs. Defensively, Cullen had 77 putouts and six assists. Shepard hit .376, good for second on the Jimmies, with a .479 OBP, a .535 slugging percentage, four home runs, 34 RBIs and three stolen bases.
“It does mean a lot,” Cullen said. “I would honestly say winning a championship would’ve meant more but every single person on this team laid every single thing they had out on the line for us and we did every single thing we could … I worked very, very hard and it’s a very cool thing to see your name mentioned in that kind of light.”
The Jimmies also only had one player named to the second team as freshman catcher Triston Madison got the honor after hitting .304, with three home runs, 22 RBIs and 11 doubles.
Cullen and Shepard are the third consecutive Jimmies to be selected to the first team after senior relief pitcher Aaron Pugh made it in 2021 and senior first baseman Drake Pilat, senior third baseman Jaden Yackley and sophomore Tanner Roundy making it in 2019.
The Jimmies honorable mention selections are junior infielder Xander Orejudos, junior starter Payson Mills, freshman outfielder Isaiah Roebuck, senior designated hitter Luke Shekeryk, freshman outfielder Quade Peters, sophomore starter Trei Hough and junior relief pitcher Hayden Brown.
The Jimmies named to the Gold Glove team are Shepard, Madison and Peters. Shepard was second on the team for putouts with 275 and only recorded three errors. Behind the dish, Madison had 293 putouts, 44 assists and caught 22 attempted base stealers. Peters had 100 putouts, with three assists. Peters and Shepard both had a fielding percentage of .990.
“This is actually my first year of playing a full first base," Shepard said. "I was actually a catcher when I got here so to be able to transition and win that in my first full season of playing there is good. I was actually surprised, I didn’t even realize I got it until somebody told me. I didn’t realize they did that for first basemen but it meant a lot.”
Jimmies head coach Tom Hager highlighted his entire team’s accomplishments while praising his players that were honored by the conference.
“Postseason honors are special I think because they recognize the talent and type of player you have on your roster,” Hager said. “We had quite a few of them this year. I’m really proud of the entire team and I’m proud of how we were able to put some numbers up and be recognized by opposing coaches.”