Mitch Knippenberg, a 2012 graduate of St. Agnes High School, was named a third team ABCA/Rawlings All-American. The announcement was made at the opening ceremonies for the NCAA III College World Series in Appleton, Wisconsin that was held Thursday, May 26.
With this honor, Knippenberg becomes the second Luther player to be named an All-American in baseball. The first was pitcher Jay Kamin in 1985.
This past season, Knippenberg started all 48 games behind the plate. He led the team in batting average (.390), slugging percentage (.623), hits (62), doubles (23), home runs (4), RBI (48) an total bases (99). Defensively, he was credited with 236 putouts, 21 assists and five errors for a fielding percentage of .981. His 23 doubles was a single season school record.
Yesterday’s announcement comes on the heels of Knippenberg being named first team all-Iowa Conference, first team D3baseball.com All-Central Region and first team ABCA/Rawlings All-Central Region. He was also named to the 11-player all-tournament team at the NCAA III National Baseball Tournament Midwest Region.
Knippenberg completed his career batting .326 (154/472) and posted a slugging percentage of .460. He ranks second all-time for career doubles (44), sixth for hits (154), seventh for runs scored (105) and ninth for RBI (86). Defensively he had a fielding percentage of .984. His 632 career putouts ranks fifth all-time. He was also credited with 88 assists and 11 errors.
During the 2016 campaign, Knippenberg helped lead Luther to its first appearance in the NCAA III National Baseball tournament since 2007 and fifth in school history. The Norse finished with a school record 34 wins against 14 losses. Luther is led by Bryan Nikkel who just completed his second year and has tallied a record of 54-37.
Knippenberg is the son of Tim and Diane Knippenberg of Lakeville, Minn.