Trinity’s Killeen Selected as Player of the Year
HADLEY, Mass. – Trinity senior catcher Sean Killeen (Greenfield, Mass.) has been named the 2009 NESCAC Player of the Year, as determined by the conference coaches. Killeen was part of a Bantams squad that went 12-0 in East Division play for the second-straight year and captured the 2009 NESCAC Baseball Championship this past weekend, the program’s third league title. He is the fourth Trinity player to receive the conference’s top honor this decade, joining Brian Powell (2000), Kurt Piantek (2003), and Jeff Natale (2005).
Killeen added All-Conference First Team honors to his Player of the Year award, making it three consecutive seasons that he has been chosen to the First Team. Starting all 34 games so far this spring, Killeen owns a team-leading .475 batting average with a league-leading .586 on-base percentage and .908 slugging mark. Killeen’s patience in the batter’s box has been evident, as he also paces the conference in walks (30), home runs (11), and total bases (109). Killeen set or tied four Bantam career records in the final two games of the 2009 NESCAC Baseball Championship with 538 career at-bats, 176 runs, and 213 hits while also tying for first with 155 RBI. He is already the Trinity all-time leader in triples (10) and walks (93) at Trinity. Killeen’s poise behind the plate has been equally impressive, allowing only four passed balls and committing only two errors on 252 chances, a fielding percentage of .992.
Joining Killeen on the First Team from Trinity were senior pitcher Jeremiah Bayer (Greenfield, Mass.), senior 2B Ryan Piacentini (Deering, Maine), and junior 1B Kent Graham (Longmeadow, Mass.), all of whom were recognized as All-NESCAC a year ago. A 2008 First Team member, Bayer also garnered Pitcher of the Year honors with a 10-0 record and one save over 11 appearances. Bayer currently ranks first among conference hurlers with a 0.49 ERA and 78 strikeouts through 73.2 IP, holding opposing batters to a .165 average. Graham earned All-Conference accolades for the third year in a row. The 2007 NESCAC Rookie of the Year is second only to Killeen on the Bantams’ roster in hitting with a .429 average while posting a .453 on-base percentage and .770 slugging figure. Graham was also tapped as the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year, as he has committed only three errors on 286 chances (.990). Piacentini moved up from last year’s Second Team, batting .366 with a .484 OBP and a .593 slugging mark. He has helped the Trinity defense turn 14 double-plays this season.
Williams senior pitcher Dan Benz (Cicero, N.Y.) was one of nine individuals on the 2009 First Team to collect All-Conference honors in some form in 2008. The 2006 Rookie of the Year and a First Team selection last spring, Benz went 5-2 with a 4.78 ERA in 10 appearances for the Ephs, recording 49 strikeouts and holding opponents to a .237 average. Along with Benz from Williams was junior OF Al Mathews (North Hampton, N.H.), a Second Team member a year ago. Mathews had a NESCAC-best 68 hits and 51 runs batted in this season, hitting at a team-leading .466 clip with a .524 on-base percentage and a .562 slugging percentage.
After being named to the Second Team in each of the last two years, Amherst senior 3B Brendan Powers (Walpole, Mass.) received First Team recognition for the first time during his final season with the Lord Jeffs. Powers was limited to 19 games this season due to his participation in the NCAA Tournament on the Jeffs’ men’s ice hockey team but still had a profound impact, batting .411 with four home runs. Also representing Amherst was freshman OF Kevin Heller (Brooklyn, N.Y.). Starting all 29 games, Heller averaged a team-leading .397 at the plate with a .451 OBP, 13 doubles, 13 walks, 36 RBI, and 16 stolen bases (16-for-17). In addition to his First Team honors, Heller was chosen by the coaches as the NESCAC Rookie of the Year.
The Middlebury tandem of senior 1B Mark Shimrock (Lansdale, Pa.) and junior OF Erich Enns (Lansdale, Pa.) garnered First Team All-NESCAC for the first time in their careers. Shimrock, who claimed Second Team honors in 2008, finished the season with a league-best .487 average that is second all-time at Middlebury. He also capped his tenure this season among the top five Panthers in eight separate statistical categories. Enns was second for Middlebury in hitting with a .439 average, as he had a .508 on-base percentage, 12 doubles, two triples, five home runs, 14 walks, and a team-leading 35 RBI. Enns caused plenty of problems for opponents on the base paths, swiping a program-record 18 stolen bases on 18 attempts to rank second among all conference players.
Wesleyan senior Drew Dominguez (Braintree, Mass.) found a spot on the 2009 First Team after being honored as a member of the 2008 Second Team. Dominguez filled multiple roles for the Cardinals this season, splitting his time between shortstop and the pitcher’s mound. At the plate, Dominguez led Wesleyan with a .387 batting average by recording a program single-season record 60 hits, as he finished his career second all-time for the Cardinals with 174 hits. On the mound, Dominguez went 5-2 over 10 appearances with five complete games and a 6.29 ERA through 54.1 IP. Dominguez was also dependable in the field with only seven errors on 155 chances (.955) while turning 17 double plays.
Rounding out the 2009 NESCAC All-Conference First Team was Hamilton junior pitcher Max Foster (Sherborn, Mass.). Foster (5-2) was among the conference’s best hurlers this season with a 3.53 ERA over 66.1 IP with 62 strikeouts, an average of 8.41 per nine innings, as he held opposing batters to a .237 average. He is the first Continental player to earn All-NESCAC since outfielder Steve Guillette placed on the Second Team in 1999.
Bill Decker of Trinity was selected for the second year in a row as Coach of the Year. Now in his 19th season with the Bantams, Decker has guided the defending NCAA Champions to a 12-0 East Division record and a second-straight NESCAC title so far this season. It is the fifth time this decade that Decker has received the league’s coaching honor (2000, 2003, 2005, 2008).
|2009 NESCAC Baseball All-Conference Team|
|P||Jeremiah Bayer||Trinity||Sr.||Greenfield, Mass.|
|P||Dan Benz||Williams||Sr.||Cicero, N.Y.|
|SS/P||Drew Dominguez||Wesleyan||Sr.||Braintree, Mass.|
|OF||Erich Enns||Middlebury||Jr.||Lansdale, Pa.|
|P||Max Foster||Hamilton||Jr.||Sherborn, Mass.|
|1B||Kent Graham||Trinity||Jr.||Longmeadow, Mass.|
|OF||Kevin Heller||Amherst||Fr.||Brooklyn, N.Y.|
|C||Sean Killeen||Trinity||Sr.||Greenfield, Mass.|
|OF||Al Mathews||Williams||Jr.||North Hampton, N.H.|
|2B||Ryan Piacentini||Trinity||Sr.||Deering, Maine|
|3B||Brendan Powers||Amherst||Sr.||Walpole, Mass.|
|1B||Mark Shimrock||Middlebury||Sr.||Lansdale, Pa.|
|C||Reid Auger||Bowdoin||Jr.||Billerica, Mass.|
|OF||Chris Burke||Bates||So.||Andover, Mass.|
|SS||Craig Cooper||Colby||Sr.||Trumbull, Conn.|
|3B||Brett Gorman||Bowdoin||So.||Bedford, N.Y.|
|SS||David LeResche||Tufts||So.||St. Louis, Mo.|
|3B||Donald McKillop||Middlebury||So.||Poway, Calif.|
|P||Dusty Mones||Wesleyan||Sr.||Trumbull, Conn.|
|P||Joe Pace||Bowdoin||Jr.||Newburyport, Mass.|
|3B||Julian Sonnenfeld||Wesleyan||So.||Aberdeen, N.J.|
|OF||Matthew Sullivan||Trinity||Jr.||North Reading, Mass.|
|OF/2B||Kevin Zikaras||Bowdoin||Jr.||Milford, Conn.|
|Player of the Year|
|Pitcher of the Year|
|Defensive Player of the Year|
|1B||Kent Graham||Trinity||Jr.||Longmeadow, Mass.|
|Rookie of the Year|
|Coach of the Year|