May 7, 2014
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Lafayette junior Cory Spera was named the Patriot Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year and earned one of 12 spots on the sport's Academic All-Patriot League Team, it was announced on Wednesday. The awards are voted on by the Patriot League's baseball sports information directors.
The Academic All-Patriot League team also includes Army junior Daniel Cortes and senior Connor Love, Bucknell seniors Dan Weigel and Tom Hrabchak, junior Tucker Rekucki and sophomore Joe Ogren, Holy Cross junior Jack St. Clair and sophomore Sean Gustin, Lafayette junior Tim Lazor and Lehigh junior Tim McKay and sophomore Mike Garzillo. The Baseball Academic All-Patriot League Team has 12 spots to equal the size of the sport's All-Patriot League first team.
Spera had a strong junior season that also netted the relief pitcher a first-team All-Patriot League nod. He went 3-1 with a 1.52 ERA in 14 appearances for the season, striking out 16 while giving up only 20 hits and four walks in 23.2 innings pitched. Spera recorded a 1.32 ERA in 13.2 innings pitched during Patriot League action, striking out nine in the process.
Spera carries a 3.89 cumulative grade-point average as a Biology major at Lafayette and has made the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll in each of his first two seasons. He has numerous off the field activities including volunteering as a peer mentor and Gateway ambassador to help first-year students become acclimated at Lafayette, serving as a student representative on the Alcohol and Other Drugs Standing Committee, presenting for Lafayette's Leadership Education Committee seminar on The C's of Champion and membership in the school's Oaks Leadership Academy.
Spera is Lafayette's fourth Patriot League Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year honoree, and first since James Conrad in 2007.
The Academic All-Patriot League Team features five student-athletes who also made the All-Patriot League squad, with Bucknell's Weigel and Ogren and Lehigh's Garzillo joining Spera on the first team. Lehigh's McKay was a second-team All-Patriot League honoree on Tuesday.
Each of the 12 honorees also excels in the classroom. Cortes carries a 3.519 cumulative GPA as an Economics major and Love holds a 3.857 mark while majoring in management at Army. For Bucknell, Weigel has a 3.28 GPA while majoring in Religion and Philosophy, Rekucki is at 3.51 as an Accounting & Financial Management major, Hrabchak comes in at 3.42 as a Computer Science major and Ogren is at 3.27 while majoring in Chemical Engineering. Holy Cross' St. Clair has a 3.47 GPA as a Mathematics & Economics major and was selected to the Capital One Academic All-District Team last week, while Gustin holds a 3.60 mark as an Economics major at the school. Lafayette's Lazor has a 3.89 GPA as a Mathematics & Economics major, while McKay is at 3.44 while majoring in Accounting and Garzillo comes in at 3.22 as a Business major at Lehigh.
To be eligible for the Scholar-Athlete of the Year award and the Academic All-Patriot League Team, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.20 cumulative grade point average and be a starter or key player in his/her sport. Freshmen or students in their first academic year at their school are not eligible for the honor.
The Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year for each individual sport comprises the pool of nominees for the Patriot League Male and Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards given out over the summer. One male and one female are selected for this honor.
Patriot League Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Cory Spera, Lafayette (Jr.)
Baseball Academic All-Patriot League Team
Daniel Cortes, Army (Jr.)
Connor Love, Army (Sr.)
Dan Weigel, Bucknell (Sr.)
Tucker Rekucki, Bucknell (Jr.)
Tom Hrabchak, Bucknell (Sr.)
Joe Ogren, Bucknell (So.)
Jack St. Clair, Holy Cross (Jr.)
Sean Gustin, Holy Cross (So.)
Cory Spera, Lafayette (Jr.)
Tim Lazor, Lafayette (Jr.)
Tim McKay, Lehigh (Jr.)
Mike Garzillo, Lehigh (So.)