Rowan is Chosen Preseason All-America by

Returns to Action after Missing Most of 2011 Due to Injury

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University junior right fielder Mitch Rowan (Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS) has been named Honorable Mention Preseason All-America by Rowan missed all but seven games last season due to a hand injury, but hit .403 in 2010 and was a First Team Preseason All-America selection in 2011.

Rowan owns a .362 career batting average, which ranks him fourth on Willamette's all-time list. He is tied for sixth with 17 career home runs. In addition, he has achieved 105 hits, scored 69 runs, belted 12 doubles and driven in 83 runs during his career. He is 16 of 18 on stolen bases.

In limited action last year, he batted .393 with 11 hits in 28 at bats for the Bearcats. He hit two doubles and two triples.

This past summer, Rowan played for the Willmar Stingers (Minn.) in the Northwoods League. He tied for the team lead with 64 games played and ranked second on the team with a .333 batting average. He recorded 75 hits, pounded out 19 doubles, scored 41 runs, walked 32 times and drove in 21 runs.

He helped Willmar finished 39-31 in the Northwest League (3rd place, North Division), including 22-16 (2nd place, North) during the second half of the season.

The Northwoods League is a high-level collegiate summer baseball league with teams in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin. Teams are split into a North Division and a South Division. During the 2011 season, there were 16 teams, with eight in each division.

"I want to congratulate Mitch on receiving this special honor," said Willamette Head Coach Aaron Swick. "He had an outstanding summer and recently completed a great fall season in football (36.7 yards per punt for the Bearcats; 15 of 47 punts inside the 20).

"Mitch showed that he could compete against some of the top players in the country over the summer," Swick added. "We are looking forward to great things from him this season."

At Willamette in 2010, Rowan was named First Team All-West Region by the American Baseball Coaches Association and was chosen First Team All-Northwest Conference as a designated hitter. His .403 batting average led the team. He also ranked first for the Bearcats in hits (62), at bats (154), runs (41), home runs (12) and slugging percentage (.721). He blasted 13 doubles, was 13 of 13 on stolen bases and earned a .466 on-base percentage.

Rowan is a senior academically. He plans to graduate from Willamette this spring with a major in Exercise Science. He will complete his college playing career in 2012-13 at the University of San Francisco, where he will compete on the baseball team while working on a master's degree.

Willamette concluded the 2011 season with a 22-17-1 overall record, including 12-12 in the NWC. The Bearcats enter 2012 with eight returning starters, including five of eight fielding positions, plus designated hitter and two of three pitchers in the starting rotation.

Preseason All-American Team
Mitch Rowan owns a .362 career batting average for the Bearcats.

Mitch Rowan owns a .362 career batting average for the Bearcats.