The Journal’s pick for 'Male Newcomer of the Year' is junior baseball right fielder Alex…
Best Male Athlete of 2011-2012 — David Mueller
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David Mueller is having the type of career that will reverberate throughout the Webster University baseball record books for years to come. In his nearly three years of pitching for the Gorloks, the right-hander has 20 wins and 211 strikeouts (both school records), and a 2.41 ERA, which places him third all time.
This year has been the crowning jewel on Mueller’s masterful career. He has been the ace of a standout pitching staff that has led the Gorloks (26-10 overall, 18-2 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) to their sixth straight SLIAC regular-season championship.
Mueller has allowed only 10 earned runs and 40 hits in 66 innings pitched, as opposing hitters have batted .173 against him. He has started a team-high 10 games and has a 6-1 record. Mueller has struck out 84 batters while walking 17, a strikeout-to-walk ratio of almost 5-to-1.
Mueller’s 84 strikeouts are already a Webster single-season record. His 1.36 ERA is on pace to shatter the current record of 1.52.
Mueller attributes his success this season to the experience he’s gained during the last four years. He pitched his freshman season at the Florida Institute of Technology, an NCAA Division-II school, before transferring to Webster for his sophomore year.
“I expected to be successful, but I didn’t expect to be this successful,” Mueller said. “I mean, you never expect to put up these kinds of numbers. I would have been happy with just having a good year. It’s just worked out that I’ve had this kind of a year.”
After a so-so 2011 season, Mueller rededicated himself in the offseason. With help from Webster strength and conditioning coach Matt Saitz — who previously worked for the Atlanta Braves — Mueller entered the 2012 season ready to produce. He’ll try to continue his successful year in the SLIAC tournament and potentially the NCAA tournament.
“You don’t know that you’re going to go out and dominate,” Mueller said. “You go out there and you do your best. It’s just kind of worked out this year. I mean, it’s good that you go out there and you can show all the hard work you did in the offseason is paying off. But I’m just having fun out there really.”
Runner-up: Stefan Whittingham, men’s basketball