July 1, 2010 at 9:37 a.m.

Graff earns All-State HM for NB

Graff earns All-State HM for NB
Graff earns All-State HM for NB

With great struggles come great rewards, and North Branch senior Sean Graff earned one of those great awards last week.

Even though the Vikings baseball team tripped and stumbled their way through a tough 5-16 season (3-11 in the North Suburban Conference), utility infielder Sean Graff did enough to earn All-State Honorable Mention from the Pioneer Press.

In 19 games, Graff hit .403 with 25 hits in 62 at-bats. He had four homeruns, 21 RBIs and 16 runs hitting from the three-hole most of the season. He drew only four walks, but only struck out three times on the whole season. Graff also had six stolen bases on seven attempts. He had a .456 on-base percentage and a .629 slugging percentage.

For his performance, he also earned All-Conference in the NSC.

All-NSC Honorable Mention awards went out to junior leadoff hitter Tanner Danks, who was also voted the teams MVP, as well as sophomore pitcher/third baseman Thomas Kinsella.

Danks hit .400 on the season, going 24-for-60 with one homerun, 22 runs and 13 walks. He had a .514 on-base percentage, an astounding number for a leadoff hitter, and slugged .483. He was often the catalyst for North Branch rallies.

Kinsella hit .364 on the season, going 20-for-55. He had six doubles, 18 RBIs and 14 runs to go along with 12 walks. He had an OBP of .483.

Although Danks and Kinsella will be back next year, Graff graduated this summer, and along with him go Matt Lutgen, who hit .396 this year in 45 at-bats with 16 RBIs, Tyler Ball, who hit .292 with 18 runs, Travis Giem and Cody Schultz.

Ball and Lutgen also provided 67 innings pitched and earned three of the Vikes five wins.

"This is a good group of seniors that love to play baseball," Head Coach Steve Christensen said of his departing class. "I wish them the best of luck in their futures."

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