Mills earns NAIA Player of the Year honor
Junior third baseman Beau Mills has become the second Lewis-Clark State College baseball player to be named the NAIA Player of the Year, which was announced by the organization on Thursday.
Mills had a phenomenal year in his first season in a Warrior uniform. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound transfer from Fresno State University set the NAIA single-season home run record with 38 and led the Warriors to the national championship by hitting three home runs in a 9-2 win over Spring Arbor in the title game on Thursday night.
Mills, the NAIA’s Region I Player of the Year, leads the NAIA in five statistical categories and was second in another category in helping the defending-champion Warriors to their 58-5 record and the program’s 15th national title.
Mills, who is from Visalia, Calif., leads the NAIA in per game averages for home runs, runs scored, RBI, and total bases. He also leads in slugging percentage and is second in hits per game. Mills is hitting .453 (107-for-236) and has 22 doubles, one triple, and 123 RBI. He scored 100 runs, has 248 total bases and has a slugging percentage of a remarkable 1.033.
Mills also has drawn 43 walks this season and been hit by 17 pitches. He’s also six-for-six in stolen base attempts.
During the season, Mills had three three-home run games. He broke the single-season LCSC home run record of 30 set by Jim O’Dell in the 1983 season. O’Dell, who also drove in a school-record 136 RBI that season, was the NAIA Player of the Year in 1983 and the first Warrior to earn that honor.
Mills was named the NAIA’s National Player of the Week once and the Region I Player of the Week twice during the regular season.
He is projected to be a first-round pick in next week’s Major League Baseball draft, and some scouting services have him ranked as high as being the 10th overall pick.
Mills is the son of former major leaguer Brad Mills, who is the bench coach for the Boston Red Sox.