OREM -- A banner year for Utah Valley University baseball in 2012 continues to produce accolades and national recognition. On Wednesday, seniors Goose Kallunki and Austin Heaps were named All-Americans by the American Baseball Coaches Association.
Already named a First Team All-American by the National College Baseball Writers Association on June 13, and a First Team All-American by Louisville Slugger on May 31, Kallunki earned his third All-America distinction with First Team All-America honors from the ABCA. He is the first Wolverine in the program's history to receive first team accolades.
Kallunki batted .419 with 18 home runs and a nation-leading 86 RBIs on his way to becoming a finalist for the Dick Howser Trophy, a Golden Spikes Award semifinalist and Great West Conference Player of the Year. He has since begun his professional career as a member of the Eugene Emeralds after being drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 27th round of the MLB draft.
Austin Heaps, who hit .351 with eight home runs and 58 RBIs from the designated hitter spot in 2012, also earned All-America honors. Heaps became the fourth UVU All-American in the last three seasons who was named a Third Team All-American by the ABCA.
Along with the All-America awards, Kallunki and Heaps each earned All-Midwest Region First Team honors, while outfielder and fellow senior Billy Burgess joined them on the Second Team All-Midwest Region list.
Burgess, who posted a .396 batting average with seven home runs and 56 RBIs to go along with some spectacular defensive plays in the outfield, earned his second postseason award on the year. Burgess became the first Wolverine to earn Capital One Academic All-America® when he was nominated to the Third Team by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) on June 1.
The three UVU seniors join former standout Chris Benson, who earned Second Team All-Midwest Region honors in both 2011 and 2010, as the only Wolverines to be named to the All-Midwest Region teams.
The trio of Kallunki, Heaps and Burgess were the heart of a UVU batting lineup that led the country in batting average (.350), on base percentage (.436), and slugging (.523).
UVU finished the 2012 season with an outstanding 47-12 record that included a 32-game win streak and the program's third consecutive GWC regular season and tournament titles.
Kellen Hiser is sports information assistant at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.
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