May 10, 2006
Lehigh led the way on the 2006 Baseball All-Patriot League teams with six selections, with Bucknell and Lafayette following with five a piece. Army, Holy Cross and Navy each placed three student-athletes on the All-League squads. Lehigh junior catcher Matt McBride (Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty) was honored as the Patriot League Player of the Year. Navy sophomore Mitch Harris (Mt. Holly, N.C./South Point) was named Patriot League Pitcher of the Year, while Holy Cross freshman third baseman Tyler Stampone (Meadowbrook, Pa./Germantown Academy) was tabbed the Patriot League Rookie of the Year. Patriot League Coach of the Year honors went to Lehigh's Sean Leary.
McBride dominated the Patriot League in virtually all offensive categories this season, hitting a League-best .425. McBride completes his lead in all three of the triple crown categories with 10 home runs and 51 RBI, while scoring 49 runs. The three-time All-League selection is just three hits away from breaking the Patriot League single-season record. McBride's defense has also been stellar this season, with a .990 fielding percentage and having thrown out 15 bases stealers.
Harris leads the Patriot League in all three pitching triple crown categories with nine wins, 101 strikeouts and 1.90 ERA. With one game remaining on Navy's schedule, Harris needs just one more victory to tie the Patriot League single-season mark. With five more strikeouts Harris could own the League's single-season record in that category. Harris recorded five complete games this year and allowed batters to hit just .204.
Stampone hit .285 for Holy Cross this year with 16 runs and 16 RBI, while collecting five doubles, one triple and one home run. In his rookie campaign, Stampone saw action in 35 games, starting 32.
Leary guided the Mountain Hawks to their second-ever share of the Patriot League regular season title, doing so with Navy in 2002 and with Bucknell this year. The team's No. 1 seed in the upcoming Patriot League Tournament is a school first. Leary'steam tied for its most Patriot League wins with the 2002 Mountain Hawk squad that also went 13-7 during the regular season. Leary produced the 2006 Patriot League Player of the Year and five other All-League selections this season, on his way to becoming the first-ever coach from Lehigh to be named Patriot League Coach of the Year.
Army's three All-League selections were junior Nick Hill (Bluff City, Tenn./Sullivan East), sophomore Cole White (Midland, Texas/Midland) and junior Milan Dinga (Tampa, Fla./Robinson). Hill is making his third-straight First-Team appearance, after compiling a 6-4 record with a 3.34 ERA. Hill pitched three complete games, including two shutouts. With 65 strikeouts this season, Hill became the Patriot League's all-time leader with 236 in his career. White and Dinga were honored on the First-Team in the first base and outfield positions, respectively, and on the Second- Team as pitchers - White as a starter and Dinga as a reliever. White hit .320 this season with 26 runs and 33 RBI, while collecting 13 doubles, one triple and six home runs. On the mound, White went 5-4 with the third-lowest ERA in the League (2.48). Dinga led the Black Knights with a .385 batting average and set a school record by posting a 25-game hitting streak earlier this season. Dinga became the Patriot League's all-time leader in saves with 10 this season, bringing his career total to 21.
Bucknell placed four on the All-Patriot League First-Team including sophomore Jason Buursma (Seattle, Wash./Lakeside School), senior Matt Capece (Bowie, Md./De Matha Catholic), senior Kyle Walter (Mifflinburg, Pa./Mifflinburg Area) and sophomore Chris Pieper (Port Washington, N.Y./Schreiber). Buursma was named to the First-Team as a relief pitcher and to the Second-Team as a first baseman, adding to his All-League mention a year ago as a designated hitter. Buursma recorded nine saves with a 0.93 ERA in 29 innings of work. The sophomore Bison also hit .276 with 25 runs and 22 RBI. Capece was named to the First-Team as a short stop, batting a League-best .447 in Patriot League contests and stealing a team-high 17 bases. Walter surpassed the 200 career hits milestone earlier this season and is one of 10 Patriot League student-athlete's to ever reach that mark. The veteran outfielder was fifth in the League with a .348 batting average and first in doubles with 17. Pieper batted .407 in 33 games with a .508 on-base percentage as Bucknell's designated hitter.
Lafayette placed four players on the All-Patriot League First-Team, with three earning all-star mention for the first time in their careers. Junior Matt Kamine (Oldwick, N.J./Voorhees), a first-time honoree, earned a spot as a starting pitcher after going 4-3 overall and owning the second-lowest ERA in Patriot League games at 1.19. Senior short stop Ian Law (Lindwood, N.J./Mainland Regional) hit .346 this year and scored a League-high 54 runs. Law, a two-time All-League selection, collected 15 doubles and five home runs. Sophomore Tom Hayes (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West) was named to the First-Team as an outfielder, while junior Kevin Leasure (Ellicott City, Md./Mt. St. Joseph's) made his way on the list as a designated hitter. Hayes came up big in Patriot League play with the third-best average (.393) and committed just one error all season long. Leasure was a .303 hitter during the regular season, knocking in 34 runs and drilling four round trippers.
Lehigh senior second baseman Mike Sandonato (Trumbull, Conn./Trumbull) and senior third baseman Matt Geiger (Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty) joined McBride on the First-Team. Sandonato owned a .963 fielding percentage on the season with a .301 average and 20 runs and 20 RBI. Geiger hit .308 this year, scoring 23 runs and batting in 21. Both Sandonato and Geiger are first-time All-Patriot League honorees.
The Bison placed junior outfielder Ryan Gryskevicz (Dallas, Pa./Dallas) on the All-Patriot League Second-Team, having hit .343 in League contests. Thirteen of his hits went for extra bases with 11 doubles and two triples.
Stampone was a Second-Team selection along side Holy Cross teammates, senior second baseman Tucker Frawley (New Haven, Conn./Hopkins School) and freshman short stop Jake Gorman (Norfolk, Mass./Xaverian Brothers). Frawley recently became Holy Cross' all-time hit leader with 190. Frawley's .380 batting average was second-best in the Patriot League, while sporting a .974 fielding percentage. Gorman took the field in 24 games this season for the Crusaders and batted .297.
After being honored as an All-Patriot League player a year ago in the designated hitter role, James Conrad (Columbia, Md./Atholon) is now being noted for his performance in the outfield. Conrad boasted a .439 batting average in League play, which ranks him second in the Patriot League. Conrad has just one error to his name this season.
Lehigh's three All-Patriot League Second-Team members are sophomore Joe Matteo (Fort Washington, Pa./Germantown Academy), senior first baseman Andrew Smith (Palo Alto, Calif./Choate Rosemary Hall) and sophomore short stop Liam O'Connor (Brodheadsville, Pa./Pleasant Valley). Matteo won a team-high six games and struck out 44 batters. Smith was one of two Mountain Hawks to start every game this season, committing just two errors along the way. Smith was handed 34 free passes this season, the second-highest total in the Patriot League. O'Connor was Lehigh's second-best hitter in Patriot League play with a .338 average.
Senior catcher Jonathan Johnston (Hamilton, N.J./The Peddie School) and senior outfielder Ryan McGinn (Arvada, Colo./J.K. Mullen) join Harris as Navy's All-Patriot League selections, each earning Second-Team status. Johnston broke Navy's single-season stolen base record with 35 this season, tying for third on the Patriot League list. Johnston gunned down 17 runners attempting to steal on him this year. McGinn was Navy's top hitter at a .326 clip, batting in 38 runs and collecting 14 doubles, four triples and two home runs.
2006 All-Patriot League Teams
|Nick Hill, Army||Jr.||SP|
|Matt Kamine, Lafayette||Jr.||SP|
|Mitch Harris, Navy||So.||SP|
|Jason Buursma, Bucknell||So.||RP|
|Matt McBride, Lehigh||Jr.||C|
|Cole White, Army||So.||1B|
|Mike Sandonato, Lehigh||Sr.||2B|
|Matt Capece, Bucknell||Sr.||SS|
|Ian Law, Lafayette||Sr.||SS|
|Matt Geiger, Lehigh||So.||3B|
|Milan Dinga, Army||Jr.||OF|
|Kyle Walter, Bucknell||Sr.||OF|
|Tom Hayes, Lafayette||So.||OF|
|Chris Pieper, Bucknell||So.||DH|
|Kevin Leasure, Lafayette||Jr.||DH|
Player of the Year:
|Cole White, Army||So.||SP|
|Joe Matteo, Lehigh||So.||SP|
|Milan Dinga, Army ||Jr.||RP|
|Jonathan Johnston, Navy||Sr.||C|
|Jason Buursma, Bucknell||So.||1B|
|Andrew Smith, Lehigh||Sr.||1B|
|Tucker Frawley, Holy Cross ||Sr.||2B|
|Jake Gorman, Holy Cross||Fr.||SS|
|Liam O'Connor, Lehigh||So.||SS|
|Tyler Stampone, Holy Cross||Fr.||3B|
|Ryan Gryskevicz, Bucknell||Jr.||OF|
|James Conrad, Lafayette||Jr.||OF|
|Ryan McGinn, Navy||Sr.||OF|
Matt McBride, Lehigh, Junior, Catcher
Pitcher of the Year:
Mitch Harris, Navy, Sophomore
Rookie of the Year:
Tyler Stampone, Holy Cross, Third Base
Coach of the Year:
Sean Leary, Lehigh
NOTE: Due to ties in voting there are three starting pitchers, two short stops and two designated hitters on the First-Team and two first baseman and two short stops on the Second-Team. There is no Second-Team designated hitter.