ANNVILLE, Pa. - Hood College head coach Michael Impellittiere was named the Middle Atlantic Conference Commonwealth Coach of the Year and six Blazers were named to the All-MAC Commonwealth team in voting by the conference coaches.
Cam Esposito was named to the first team for the third straight year, while Nate Luscombe, Jake Franke, Nathan Kessler and Brad Sawyer made the second team. Joe Kroeger earned honorable mention status.
Impellittiere is in his first year as the head coach at Hood and has guided the Blazers to a 29-win season and the third seed in the MAC Commonwealth tournament. Hood won its first 14 games of the season, the fastest start in the program's four-year existence. The Blazers are currently third in Division III with 128 stolen bases. They also rank seventh in the nation in walks with 207 and 13th in on-base percentage (.407). The pitching staff leads the MAC Commonwealth allowing just 8.95 hits per nine innings.
Esposito, a senior center fielder, leads the conference in at-bats (155); ranks second in hits (62), RBIs (41) and triples (5); is tied for third in doubles (14); is fourth in average (.403); and fifth in stolen bases (21). He also has a .460 on-base percentage and has stuck out only eight times all season. His school record 62 hits this year are fueled by 19 multi-hit games, including two four-hit games and nine three-hit efforts.
Luscombe, a junior pitcher, leads the conference in complete games and ranked fourth in strikeouts (55) and second in wins (7). He struck out 10 batters in a five-hit shutout against Messiah and also had complete games against Alvernia, Stevenson and CCNY. In addition to those four wins, he picked up victories against Messiah, Albright and Lebanon Valley. It is his first career all-conference honor.
Franke earns his first All-MAC Commonwealth nod as a senior reliever. He appeared in eight games, making two starts. In 19 innings, he struck out 19 and had a 3.79 earned run. He made six appearances against conference opponents covering 11.1 innings. He held the MAC Commonwealth to just six hits and struck out 11 batters.
Kessler, a junior second baseman, is batting .339 with a .447 on-base percentage. He has 29 RBIs, 28 runs, 40 hits, eight doubles, two home runs and 15 stolen bases. Kessler has struck out only seven times all season. He has 11 multi-hit games, including six three-hit games and a four-hit game. It is his second career All-MAC selection.
Sawyer, a sophomore, makes his first All-MAC Commonwealth appearance as a utility player. As a hitter, he leads the MAC Commonwealth with a .472 batting average, .540 on-base percentage and .660 slugging. His four triples rank third fourth in the league. He had four hits against both Northwestern (Minn.) and Arcadia. As a pitcher, he has appeared in 10 games, starting nine, with four wins, 37 strikeouts and a 3.47 earned run average in 49.1 innings. He tossed a complete game victory against Arcadia.
Kroeger emerged as the starting catcher several weeks into the season and earned an All-MAC Commonwealth honor as a sophomore. He batted .345 in 55 at-bats with three doubles, a triple and nine RBIs. Nearly all of his at-bats came in conference play where he hit .362. Kroeger had five multi-hit games, including a four-hit game against Arcadia, and he scored four times in a win over Catholic.
Hood takes on Arcadia in the opening round of the MAC Commonwealth Championships on May 3 at 7 p.m. at PEOPLEsBank Park in York, Pa.
Below is the 2018 All-MAC Commonwealth Baseball Team.
|2018 All-MAC Commonwealth Baseball Team|
|Player of the Year: Bryan Gillen (Jr.), Arcadia|
|Pitcher of the Year: James Wiercinski (Jr.), Stevenson|
|Rookie of the Year: Sean Esch (Fr.), Alvernia|
|Coach of the Year: Michael Impellittiere, Hood|
|Relief Pitcher||Mike Boulanger||Arcadia||Senior|
|First Base||Billy Small||Stevenson||Senior|
|Second Base||Josh Hayner||Messiah||Junior|
|Third Base||Colin Fry||Messiah||Senior|
|Designated Hitter||Nick Cardace||Arcadia||Senior|
|Relief Pitcher||Jake Franke||Hood||Senior|
|First Base||Matt Briner||Alvernia||Junior|
|Second Base||Nathan Kessler||Hood||Junior|
|Second Base||Nick Ponente||Arcadia||Junior|
|Shortstop||Trevor Bertsch||Lebanon Valley||Sophomore|
|Third Base||John D'Aquanno||Stevenson||Senior|
|Third Base||Dillon Dunne||Alvernia||Senior|
|Designated Hitter||Logan Adams||Albright||Sophomore|
|First Base||Josh Marcelli||Lebanon Valley||Junior|
|Third Base||Greg Elfreth||Widener||Freshman|
|Relief Pitcher||Michael Griffin||Alvernia||Sophomore|