MOUNT PLEASANT - Senior battery mates Zach Cooper and William Arnold were named the Central Michigan baseball team's Most Valuable Players of 2012 at the program's annual awards dinner Tuesday evening.
Cooper led the Chippewas' starting pitchers in ERA (2.82), wins (7), complete games (3), shutouts (2), innings pitched (108.1), strikeouts (98) and batting average against (.207) en route to being named a first-team All-Mid-American Conference selection. He was dominant during conference play, sporting a 7-2 record and 1.62 ERA in nine starts as the Maroon and Gold's Friday starter.
Arnold managed Cooper and the Chippewas' pitching staff that finished second in team ERA during conference only play and fourth overall. The senior catcher led the Chippewas in RBI (52), walks (40) and on-base percentage (.441) and was a second-team All-MAC selection. Arnold was instrumental in the Chippewas' run to the MAC Championship game, earning MAC All-Tournament Team honors after leading the tournament with nine RBI and three doubles.
Senior Sam Russell and Arnold were named the recipients of the Captain's Award, while Russell also earned the Chippewa Award, which is presented the player who best represents the program's mission statement. Russell has started every game for each of the last two seasons and finished 2012 with 14 doubles and 41 RBI. His 39 career two-base hits ranks 10th all-time in program history.
Redshirt-freshman Tyler Huntey was given the Most Improved Player Award. Huntey started 26 games behind the dish for the Chippewas in his first season of competition, batting .271 with eight doubles, two home runs and 16 RBI. He started in each of the Chippewas' final two games of the MAC Tournament, going 3-for-8 with a run scored and a perfect fielding percentage in 13 chances.
Junior pitcher Dietrich Enns was named the second recipient of the Kevin J. Young Memorial Endowment Fund Award. Enns was 4-2 with a 2.34 ERA in 17 appearances and four starts and was named MAC West Pitcher of the Week in consecutive weeks in which he threw 17.0 straight scoreless innings versus Northern Illinois and Ball State.
The Chippewas finished 34-29 and 17-9 in the MAC, their seventh 30-win campaign in Steve Jaksa's 10 seasons as the head coach.