BULLDOGS PLACE 10 ON 2008 ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS; TRIO NAMED TO NE-10 FIRST TEAM
May 11, 2008
BRYANT PLACES 10 ON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS; ALEXANDER, LOH, CAMPBELL NAMED FIRST TEAM SELECTIONS
|Senior Eric Loh (above) and|
sophomore Nick Campbell
(below) both join senior
Jason Alexander as NE-10
First Team selections in 2008.
RINDGE, NH -- Led by a trio of All-Conference First Teamers, the Bryant University baseball team was rewarded for a successful season as 10 Bulldogs earn All-Northeast-10 Conference honors as announced Sunday afternoon.
Three Bulldogs were named First Team selections, while three more earned Second Team honors and four garnered All-Conference Third Team nominations.
The trio of senior tri-captain Jason Alexander (Simsbury, Conn.), senior ace Eric Loh (Old Greenwich, Conn.) and sophomore phenom Nick Campbell (Raynham, Mass.) all garnered All-Conference First Team honors to lead the Bulldogs.
Alexander, a two-year captain and Bryant's starting third baseman, earns his second consecutive All-Conference nomination, after being named to the NE-10 Third Team as a junior in 2007. The senior leads the 2008 Bulldogs in the field and at the plate, posting a .315 batting average, a number bested by only fellow First Teamer Campbell.
Alexander boasts 70 hits on the year, also second only to Campbell, while starting all 58 games for Bryant. The captain has 11 doubles on the year with one home run -- a shot that came against Division I Brown University -- and a team-best 50 runs scored. Alexander adds 22 RBI with a team-high .438 on-base percentage and 11 steals.
In the field, Alexander posts a .943 fielding percentage and has appeared behind the plate in eight contests. His last start against Southern Connecticut in the Northeast-10 Conference semifinals Saturday night tied Alexander for No. 1 all-time in career appearances (204) and career starts (202).
Senior ace Eric Loh anchors the Bryant pitching staff again this season and has posted a 10-2 record and 2.22 ERA in the year following his Third Team All-American selection. The 2007 Conference and Region Pitcher of the Year repeats as an All-Conference First Teamer in 2008, and has pitched three complete games in 12 starts. Opponents hit just .206 against the senior who has let up 22 earned runs in 89.1 innings pitched.
Loh leads the league in wins and has fanned a team-best 58 batters.
Sophomore Nick Campbell rounds out Bryant's First Team selections, as the centerfielder has been hot at the plate all season. Ranked the 15th hardest batter to strikeout in all of Division II, Campbell hits .357 with team highs in hits (87), at bats (244) and steals (17) with just 12 strikeouts on the season.
Campbell is No. 2 on the team in total bases (109), doubles (16), triples (3), runs (46), RBI (40) and on-base percentage (.408) and has made just one error in 58 centerfield starts. The sophomore also repeats as an all-conference selection, earning NE-10 Third Team honors as a freshman in 2007.
Rookie standout David O'Brien (Whitman, Mass.), junior tri-captain Pat McKenna (Orange, Conn.) and junior slugger Pat O'Connor (Mattapoisett, Mass.) make up the Bulldogs' Second Team selections.
O'Brien is 6-1 in a surprise year on the hill for Bryant. His 2.04 ERA leads all starters and he has 38 strikeouts in 66.1 innings of work. Although he began the season in the bullpen, the rookie's last nine appearances have all been starts as O'Brien has become a solid No. 2 starter behind Loh for the Bulldogs. O'Brien has thrown one complete game while opponents are hitting just .178 against him.
Shortstop Pat McKenna earns his second-straight NE-10 Second Team honor in his second year as team captain. The junior hits .290 in 58 games with 14 doubles, four home runs and a team-high four triples. McKenna has 33 RBI with 40 runs scored and 60 hits.
O'Connor, a Division III transfer this season, made his mark on the 2008 Bulldog squad immediately upon his arrival in Smithfield, RI. The junior leftfielder is batting .290 in 58 games with team highs in home runs (8) and doubles (20). O'Connor has a team-best 41 RBI and is tied for team-best in runs with 50. He has recorded 60 hits and has yet to make an error on the year.
O'Connor also leads Bryant in total bases (110) and slugging percentage (.531), and has 11 steals on the year.
Four more Bulldogs, sophomore closer Eric Polvani (Wallingford, Conn.), sophomore catcher Jeff Vigurs (South Windor, Conn.), sophomore rightfielder Taylor Ferguson (Charlton, Mass.) and senior designated hitter Mark Dondero (Medfield, Mass.) were also honored, garnering All-Conference Third Team honors.
Polvani leads the conference in saves, also tying a single-season Bryant record, with 12 on the year. Ferguson is No. 2 in hits (64) with four homers and team-high 18 steals.
Behind the plate, Vigurs posts a .992 fielding percentage while hitting .266 with the Bulldogs' longest hitting streak of the season, registering hits in 16-consecutive contests from April 8 to April 26.
Dondero, the designated hitter in 2008, is hitting .294 in 44 games and his 42 hits and 26 RBI. A Northeast-10 Conference All-Academic selection in 2008, Dondero recorded the 10th-inning hit against Pace in Game Two on May 3 that clinched the outright regular-season title for the Bulldogs for the first time since 1998.
Southern Connecticut took three of four major awards, with Karl Derbacher earning Player of the Year accolades, Jim Fuller being named Co-Pitcher of the Year with Franklin Pierce's Mike Adams and head coach Tim Shea getting the Bob Bellizzi Coach of the Year nod. Bentley's James Roche was named the 2008 Freshman of the Year.
Bryant is 39-19 on the year and won the Northeast-10 Conference regular season with a record of 25-5. The No. 12/28 Bulldogs now await word on the NCAA Tournament field, to be announced Sunday night.
Below is the complete list of all three All-Conference teams.