May 23, 2017

Matt Voelzke Earns All-West Region Rookie of the Year

A Winning Tradition

  • NCAA D-III National Champions (2004)
  • Eight NCAA D-III National Tournaments (2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009)
  • One NCAA Regional Championship (West 2004)
  • 10 Northwest Conference Championships (1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009)
  • 19 straight seasons .500 or better (1996-2014)
  • Nine Top 30 national rankings (2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014, 2018)
  • 23 All-Americans
  • One National Pitcher of the Year (Scott Hyde - 2004)
  • One All-West Region Rookie of the Year (Matt Voelzke - 2017)
  • 10 Academic All-Americans
  • One NCAA National Coach of the Year
  • One NCAA Region Coach of the Year
  • 10 Northwest Conference Coaches of the Year
  • Five NAIA District Tournaments (1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994)
  • Three NAIA Disctrict Championships (1991, 1992, 1993)
  • Five NAIA Regional Tournaments (1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1998)
  • Two NAIA Distrcit Coach of the Years
  • 22 players signed to professional contracts
  • Three Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year Finalists (Derrick Jones - 2005, Scott Hyde - 2004, Eric Bell - 2003)
  • One Slats Gill Coach of the Year Award (Pat Bailey - 2004 finalist)
  • One George Fox Pasero Team of the Year (2004)

NEWBERG, Ore. --- It was a season like no other for freshman Matt Voelzke, who became the first-ever Bruin to earn West Region Rookie of the Year, announced by Monday night.

Voelzke earned the award as a utility player after serving as the Bruins' shortstop and closer.

"It's difficult to play shortstop or be a closer as a freshman, let alone do both of them," said head coach Marty Hunter. "Matt did a great job of playing two pressure positions for us. Even though there were difficult times he continued to bounce back and improve in all phases of his game. It's exciting to see what the next few years will look like."

To go along with his Rookie of the Year award, he was also named third-team All-West Region. He also became the first freshman since 2006 to earn All-Northwest Conference first-team honors.

A Lake Oswego (Ore.) native, Voelzke had high expectations coming into the season.

"I wanted to have a great season and do the best that I could for this team," he said. "I'm honored to receive this recognition, but I'm really excited for the future of this program."

With his first year under his belt, Voelzke finished with a .288 batting average, an on-base percentage of .372 and a slugging percentage of .424. He led the team in games played (36) and doubles (9), as well as being second in hits (36) and RBIs (23).

When it came to pitching, he was a force on the mound. He averaged 11.08 strikeouts per nine innings with 32 strikeouts in 26 innings pitched. He led the pitching staff in appearances (16), ERA (2.77) and saves (5). His five saves are good enough for tied for fifth all-time in career saves and tied for fourth all-time in single-season saves in the George Fox record book.

Although he's coming off what could be described as the best rookie season at George Fox in recent years, he gives all the credit to his teammates.

"This team made me feel comfortable from the start," he added. "The seniors did an amazing job of having a great foundation for us to build on. I'm expecting big things in the next couple of years."

Voelzke will continue to work on his craft as he will play shortstop for the Kelowna Falcons located in British Columbia, Canada. He will spend the entire summer from June through August traveling all over the world playing baseball. His first game will start on June 2, with his last coming on August 10.

The Falcons are a part of the West Coast League, which features 11 different ball clubs.