INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Following an historic career with the Walsh Cavaliers baseball program, first baseman Andrew Czech was awarded the 2020-21 Male Collegiate Achievement Award by the Great Midwest Athletic Conference on Thursday (July 1).
The Collegiate Achievement Award is awarded to an individual based off of the athletic accomplishments, academic successes, and contributions to their specific sport(s) and the institution's overall athletic program over the student-athletes' collegiate career at their respective institution. The award was voted on by a combination of athletic directors, faculty athletic representatives and sports information directors.
For the Great Midwest era (141 games over three seasons), Czech compiled a .388 batting average with 163 runs, 185 hits, 45 doubles, 49 home runs, 162 RBI and 131 walks. In the field, he finished with a .922 fielding percentage at first base. He holds the top spot in career on-base percentage (.529), slugging percentage (.795) and walks within the G-MAC. His batting average is fifth best all-time and second with players that have three full playing seasons under their belt. His 49 home runs are second most in conference history.
Head coach Tim Mead spoke about Czech winning the award, "This award caps off a brilliant season and an outstanding career for Andrew! He has been an All-American person with a tremendous work ethic and has deserved every honor that has come his way. He is certainly one of the best student-athletes I have ever coached."
Czech completed a six year career this past May, cumulating in a number of achievements on and off the field. Overall, Czech hit .382 in 156 games (187-489) with 166 runs scored, 45 doubles, one triple, 49 home runs, 164 RBI, 135 walks, a .525 on-base percentage and a .795 slugging %. He is the program leader in home runs, RBI and runs scored.
His laundry list of accolades include six All-American awards from various outlets, six First Team All-Region awards, two G-MAC Player of the Years and three All-Conference nods.
The left-handed first baseman joined the program as a freshman in 2015 as he redshirted the 2016 season. Czech appeared in 15 games with 12 at-bats in the 2017 season, tallying two hits, three runs and four walks during the final season of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
When Walsh became a member of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference for the 2017-18 school year, Czech earned Second Team All-Conference honors in the 2018 season. The Twinsburg, Ohio native led the team with a .368 batting average which was fifth in the G-MAC. He blasted 15 home runs, which tied him for second in the conference. He ranked third in slugging percentage (.737), on-base percentage (.493), runs scored (55), doubles (18), and total bases (131). He was fifth in runs batted in (52) and fourth in walks (36).
The 2019 season was out of this world for Andrew. He swept the board with three First Team All-American awards from the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and D2 Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA). The ABCA named Czech the Midwest Region Player of the Year along with Czech being named the Great Midwest Player of the Year. He also took home three All-Region First Team awards from the ABCA, NCBWA and D2CCA with a First Team All-Conference award.
He ranked in the top four in ten categories in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. The G-MAC Player of the Year led the conference in five different categories: runs batted in (63), total bases (144), walks (44), on base percentage (.538) and slugging percentage (.823). He ended the season with the second-most home runs (17), setting a new school single season mark. His .417 batting average led the Cavaliers and was second-highest in the G-MAC. Czech was tied for third with 73 hits and 58 runs scored. He also was tied for fourth in doubles with 18.
Czech missed the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season due to a knee injury but he worked his way back to the Cavaliers and returned to the slugging form of years past.
In a return to his true form, Czech became the first repeat G-MAC Player of the Year for the 2021 season. The now two-time Great Midwest Player of the Year hit .374 in 41 games with 49 hits, 50 runs, nine doubles, 17 home runs, 47 RBI and 51 walks. He had a .559 on base % and a .832 slugging % for the season. Czech led the G-MAC in home runs (17), walks (51), runs (50), SLG (.832), OBP (.559) while sitting 4th in RBI (47) and 7th in average (.374). He also led all D2 players with 51 walks and was 7th in OBP. During the season, Czech became the program's leader in career home runs, RBI and runs scored. In 41 games this past season, he had 13 multi-hit games and 14 multi-RBI contests (tied for the team lead). He reached base in all 41 games, including a team-high 18-game hitting streak from March 12th to April 10th.
Following the season, Czech was named Third Team All-American from the ABCA and Rawlings as well as the NCBWA, while being selected as an All-American Honorable Mention for the D2CCA. He claimed three All-Region First Team honors similar to 2019 and a First Team All-Conference accolade.
For the first time in the Division II era, a Cavaliers fielder was awarded an ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove. Czech had a perfect 1.000% fielding percentage at first base for the 2021 season, completing all 325 chances in the field. He had 314 putouts, 11 assists and 26 double plays over 41 games.
He signed with the Washington Wild Things of the Frontier League, a MLB Partner League shortly after the 2021 season.
Just like on the field, Czech excelled in the classroom for the Cavaliers. As an Adolescent to Young Adult Integrated Social Studies/History major, he graduated in Spring of 2020 with a 3.59 GPA. He is currently in the Masters of Education program at Walsh with a 3.81 GPA through the first year. As an undergrad, he was on the Great Midwest Academic All-Conference three times. He was a 2020 President's List Award winner and earned a spot on the Dean's List in five of the last six semesters and eight total times.
He was a three-year member of Walsh's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and spent five years with the Second and Seven Foundation Reading Program. As a part of the reading program, Czech read with students at Louisville Elementary for an hour throughout the school year.
Czech is planning on teaching 7th through 12th grade history after completion of his graduate studies next year.
Czech becomes the third Walsh senior and first male athlete to receive the Collegiate Achievement Award in the four year history of Walsh competing in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. Sarah Berger won the award in 2017-18 and Andra Lehotay was the 2019-20 winner, both coming from the women's cross country and track & field programs at Walsh.