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Minnesota Crookston's Jake Hjelle named NSIC Player of the Year in baseball

Hjelle, an East Grand Forks native, is hitting .403 and has a school-record 22 home runs.

crookston augustana 6.jpg
University of Minnesota Crookston third baseman Jake Hjelle throws to first during the Golden Eagles' game against Augustana in 2022 in Crookston.
Korrie Wenzel / Grand Forks Herald

CROOKSTON, Minn. โ€” For the second time in six years, a Hjelle from East Grand Forks has won the NSIC Player of the Year honor in baseball.

Minnesota Crookston's Jake Hjelle, a junior from East Grand Forks, was named the NSIC Player of the Year on Tuesday. His brother Reed Hjelle won the same honor in 2018.

Jake hit .447 in NSIC play and finished the regular season with a .403 average. Hjelle has a school-record and NSIC-best 22 home runs and NSIC-leading 77 RBI.

Nationally, Hjelle ranks third in NCAA Division II in home runs, sixth in slugging percentage and second in RBI.

Three other UMC players earned specialty honors from the NSIC. Senior Alex Koep, of Parkers Prairie, Minn., was Pitcher of the Year, junior Mike Hallquist, of Fargo, was Newcomer of the Year and freshman Josh Dykhoff, of Wadena, Minn., was Freshman of the Year.

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In addition to the specialty awards, Hjelle, Hallquist, Jake Dykhoff and Koep were all named NSIC First Team. Brody Sorenson, a junior from Grand Forks Red River, and Josh Dykhoff were named to the Second Team.

Sorenson posted a 4.2 mark and a 1.74 earned-run average. He struck out 28 in 41.1 innings and batters hit just .237 against him.

UMC, coached by former East Grand Forks coach Steve Gust, begins NSIC tournament play on Wednesday at 6 p.m. against Minot State.

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019 and 2022.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, tmiller@gfherald.com or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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