May 11, 2010
Center Valley, Pa. - The four teams that advanced to the Patriot League Baseball Tournament beginning this weekend also received the individual honors from the League's coaches on Tuesday, as Bucknell, Army, Holy Cross and Lehigh each garnered one of the four major awards.
2010 All-Patriot League Baseball Team and Major Awards
Bucknell senior outfielder Andrew Brouse earned Player of the Year honors, while Army senior pitcher Matt Fouch was named the League's Pitcher of the Year. Holy Cross freshman catcher Stephen Wadsworth is the Patriot League Rookie of the Year, with Lehigh Head Coach Sean Leary as the Coach of the Year.
Bucknell and Holy Cross led all schools with six players on the All-Patriot League Team, while Army, Lehigh and Navy each notched four selections. The Black Knights and Bison, who will square off in a semifinal series this weekend, shared League honors with four players as First-Team picks. Voting for major awards and All-Patriot League honors was conducted by the League's baseball head coaches, who were not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes or themselves.
Brouse had an outstanding season from start to finish for the Bison. He has tied the Patriot League single-season record with 14 home runs, and also carries a .360 batting average with 50 runs and 48 RBIs. Brouse is among the Patriot League leaders in nearly every offensive category, holding the top spot in home runs, runs scored and total bases (120) while placing in the top three in RBIs, stolen bases (16), walks (27), on-base percentage (.473) and slugging percentage (.674). In League action, he batted at a .386 clip with six home runs, 16 RBIs and 18 runs scored while posing second among all players in on-base percentage (.531) and slugging (.772). Brouse was also a unanimous First-Team All-Patriot League selection in the outfield, earning that spot for the second year in a row. He is Bucknell's fourth Player of the Year honoree, and second in the past three years after Jason Buursma was awarded in 2008.
Fouch put up a consistently strong effort to help Army to a 16-4 record and the top spot in the Patriot League standings. He was at his best in Patriot League action, going 4-1 with a League-best 1.59 earned run average in five starts. He allowed just six earned runs in 34.0 innings against Patriot League opponents, and gave up only 26 hits and seven walks in those frames. He tied for the lead in wins and innings pitched in Patriot League games, and led the way with a .210 opponent batting average. The success in Patriot League action was a reflection of Fouch's entire season, as he went 6-2 with 2.66 ERA in 61.0 innings pitched for the year. He tied for the overall lead in wins and shutouts (two), and also paced the way in overall opponent batting average at .222. Fouch was a unanimous selection as the Patriot League Pitcher of the Year and also a consensus pick for First-Team All-Patriot League honors on the mound, which he received for the second time in his career. Fouch is Army's second consecutive Pitcher of the Year winner after teammate Ben Koenigsfeld claimed the award last season, and makes it the fifth honor for the Black Knights in the past seven seasons and eighth overall.
Wadsworth emerged during Patriot League action to help the Crusaders to a third straight Tournament berth. The freshman catcher from Wayland, Mass. led all players with 22 RBIs in League games and finished second in batting average at .429. His on-base percentage of .453 and slugging mark of .586 were each sixth in League action. Wadsworth's overall line was nearly as impressive, as he finished .341 with 34 RBIs and 21 runs scored while playing 40 games in his inaugural campaign in Worcester. Wadsworth is Holy Cross' second Patriot League Rookie of the Year winner, and first since Tyler Stampone in 2006.
Leary guided the Mountain Hawks to a 22-25 overall mark and a 12-8 record in Patriot League action, earning second place in the standings after being picked to finish last in the preseason. Lehigh won three of its five Patriot League series. The Mountain Hawks swept rival Lafayette to build a 6-2 record in League play, and rebounded from a sweep at Army the next week to close out the season by taking three of four games from both Bucknell and Holy Cross. The Mountain Hawks needed to win the final regular-season series against the Crusaders to earn home field in a semifinal matchup, and took the first three games of the set to secure that advantage. Leary is honored as the Patriot League Coach of the Year for the second time after previously winning the honor in 2006 when he guided the Mountain Hawks to their only League crown.
Joining Fouch in the First-Team All-Patriot League pitching rotation are Lehigh senior starter Andrew Berger and Army junior reliever Kevin McKague. Berger has a 5-1 record for the season with a 3.76 ERA, and completed all five of his Patriot League starts with a 4-1 record and 2.65 ERA in 34 innings pitched. McKague was a unanimous selection as the First-Team relief pitcher, as the Army junior has set the Patriot League single-season record with 12 saves. He has a 1.42 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 19 innings pitched. His 20 career saves are second in the Patriot League record book. McKague has received an All-Patriot League selection in each of his first three seasons.
The First-Team All-Patriot League infield includes some of the top hitters in the League, with three of the players coming from Bucknell. Senior catcher B.J. LaRosa has a .366 batting average with 31 RBIs and 35 runs scored for the Bison, while junior first baseman Doug Shribman is batting .355 while placing second in the Patriot League with 13 home runs. Senior second baseman Ben Yoder, a unanimous First-Team selection, is among the League leaders with a .386 batting average while belting 10 home runs and driving in 41. Army junior Clint Moore is the First-Team shortstop for the third year in a row after hitting .319 with six home runs, 30 RBIs and 31 runs scored for the season. Holy Cross senior Matt Perry makes a repeat performance as the First-Team selection at third base, as the 2009 Patriot League Player of the Year led the way with a .486 batting average and .575 on-base percentage in Patriot League games. He was a unanimous First-Team All-League choice.
In addition to Moore and Perry, each of the Bucknell honorees has received All- Patriot League recognition in the past. Yoder earns his third All-Patriot League honor after receiving Second-Team nods in each of the past two years, while LaRosa and Shribman were awarded for the second straight season.
Due to ties in the voting, the First-Team All-Patriot League outfield consists of five players. Brouse is joined by Army junior Ben Koenigsfeld, Holy Cross junior Jack Laurendeau and Navy senior Michael Speciale and sophomore Alex Azor. Koenigsfeld, who also earned Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors on Tuesday, batted .341 with four home runs, 28 RBIs and 21 runs scored for the year. He receives All-Patriot League recognition for the third year and fourth selection overall after being named as a Second-Team starting pitcher in 2008 and First-Team pitcher and outfielder last year. Laurendeau has a .386 batting average with seven home runs, 23 RBIs, 44 runs scored and 17 steals for the season. Speciale batted .374 with eight home runs and 43 RBIs for the season, and will exit with a place in the Patriot League career top 10 in hits, RBIs home runs and doubles. He earns First-Team All-Patriot League honors for the second time. Azor has a .361 batting average for the season, and is among the national leaders with only six strikeouts.
Lafayette junior Matt Fenster completes the First-Team All-Patriot League squad as the designated hitter. He leads all players with a .410 batting average for the season with 22 RBIs and 20 runs scored.
The Second-Team All-Patriot League pitching staff consists of Holy Cross sophomore Nate Koneski, Navy freshman Ben Nelson and Bucknell junior Dylan Seeley as the starters, and Lehigh sophomore Cory Kent as the reliever. Koneski is 5-2 with a 3.84 ERA for the season, while Nelson holds a 4-3 mark with a League-leading 2.59 ERA and Seeley is 5-3 with a 3.47 ERA. Kent sparkled with eight saves after he was moved to the bullpen. He had six saves and a 1.46 ERA in League action.
On the Second-Team All-Patriot League infield are Wadsworth, Lehigh junior first baseman Kevin Mihalik, Navy senior second baseman Matthew Curley, Bucknell senior shortstop Ben Allen and Lehigh junior third baseman Jim McConlogue. Mihalik led all Lehigh players in overall (.333) and League only (.323) batting average. Curley hit at a .342 clip with 41 runs and 33 RBIs for the season. Allen, who earns his second All-Patriot League honor, leads the Patriot League with six triples while batting .329 with 45 runs scored. McConlogue has hit .294 with 26 RBIs and 20 runs scored for the year.
Holy Cross junior Nick Ciardiello took home the remaining All-Patriot League spot in the outfield after batting .388 with 10 home runs and a Patriot League-best 56 RBIs for the season. His teammate is the Second-Team All-Patriot League designated hitter, as Crusader sophomore Steve Tkowski has a .349 average with 39 RBIs and 35 runs scored. Each player is tied for second in Patriot League single-season history with 20 doubles.
With the selections for McKague, Moore, Koenigsfeld and Yoder, 37 players have now earned All-Patriot League honors in at least three different seasons. Next year, the Army trio will try to join a group of only five of those players that earned All-Patriot League honors in each of their four seasons.
The 2010 Patriot League Baseball Tournament begins with the semifinal round this weekend. In best-of-three series, No. 4 Bucknell visits No. 1 Army and No. 3 Holy Cross is at No. 2 Lehigh. Each series features a doubleheader on Saturday and decisive third game, if necessary, on Sunday. Every game in the Patriot League Baseball Tournament is scheduled for nine innings. The winners will move on to the Patriot League Baseball Championship series, scheduled for May 22-23 at the site of the highest remaining seed.
2010 All-Patriot League Baseball Team
Player of the Year: Andrew Brouse, Bucknell, Sr., OF
Pitcher of the Year: Matt Fouch, Army, Sr., SP
Rookie of the Year: Stephen Wadsworth, Holy Cross, Fr., C
Coach of the Year: Sean Leary, Lehigh
First-Team All-Patriot League*
SP Matt Fouch, Army (Sr.) (unanimous first team)
SP Andrew Berger, Lehigh (Sr.)
RP Kevin McKague, Army (Jr.) (unanimous first team)
C B.J. LaRosa, Bucknell (Sr.)
1B Doug Shribman, Bucknell (Jr.)
2B Ben Yoder, Bucknell (Sr.) (unanimous first team)
SS Clint Moore, Army (Jr.)
3B Matt Perry, Holy Cross (Sr.) (unanimous first team)
OF Alex Azor, Navy (So.)
OF Andrew Brouse, Bucknell (Sr.) (unanimous first team)
OF Ben Koenigsfeld, Army (Jr.)
OF Jack Laurendeau, Holy Cross (Jr.)
OF Michael Speciale, Navy (Sr.)
DH Matt Fenster, Lafayette (Jr.)
* - 14 players due to ties in voting
Second-Team All-Patriot League$
SP Nate Koneski, Holy Cross (So.)
SP Ben Nelson, Navy (Fr.)
SP Dylan Seeley, Bucknell (Jr.)
RP Cory Kent, Lehigh (So.)
C Stephen Wadsworth, Holy Cross (Fr.)
1B Kevin Mihalik, Lehigh (Jr.)
2B Matthew Curley, Navy (Sr.)
SS Ben Allen, Bucknell (Sr.)
3B Jim McConlogue, Lehigh (Jr.)
OF Nick Ciardiello, Holy Cross (Jr.)
DH Steve Tkowski, Holy Cross (So.)
$ - 11 players due to ties in voting