May 15, 2019
HADLEY, Mass. – Williams senior infielder Doug Schaffer (New Haven, Conn.) is the NESCAC Player of the Year as voted by the league’s coaches. Schaffer is the fifth Eph to garner the award and the first since 2010, joining Mark Scialabba (2002), Jabe Bergeron (2004), Chris Kenney (2006), and Al Mathews (2010). Schaffer led the NESCAC with a .412 batting average and 47 RBIs, while slugging .595 for the season. Schaffer helped the Ephs qualify for the NESCAC Baseball Championship for the first time since 2012 and earn the top seed in the NESCAC West Division.
Tufts senior R.J. Hall (Marietta, Ga.) was named the NESCAC Pitcher of the Year and earned a spot on the First Team for the second year in a row. He is the fourth Jumbo in six years to earn the award and the fifth player overall, joining John Lee (2001 & 2003), Ed Bernstein (2011), Kyle Slinger (2014), and Speros Varinos (2016 & 2017). Hall pitched a five-hit shutout against Middlebury in Tufts’ NESCAC Tournament opener to help the Jumbos capture their sixth NESCAC title. He owns a league-best 1.31 ERA with 45 strikeouts and is 7-0 on the mound as Tufts heads into the NCAA Tournament.
Junior Jack Arend (Newfields, N.H.) of Bates and senior Kellen Hatheway (Armonk, N.Y.) of Williams share the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year honor, and both players earned a spot on the all-conference First Team. Arend, a catcher, is the first Bates player to earn the honor since the award was introduced in 2009. He recorded a .992 fielding percentage behind the plate and caught 19 runners stealing to lead NESCAC catchers. Arend is the First Team catcher for the second consecutive season. Hatheway, an infielder, is the only Williams player to garner the award. He was also named Defensive Player of the Year in 2017 as a sophomore and is the second player to earn the honor twice (Connor McDavitt, Tufts – 2014 & 2015). Hatheway, the NESCAC Rookie of the Year in 2016 and a First Team selection in 2017, posted a .957 fielding percentage and committed only four errors in 92 chances this season. He helped Williams win its opening game of the NESCAC Championship with a pair of home runs in a victory over Bates.
Jumbo infielder Peter DeMaria (Chatham, N.J.) is the NESCAC Rookie of the Year. He is the fourth Tufts player to earn the award and the third player since 2014 joining Chase Rose (2008), Tim Superko (2014), Tommy O’Hara (2015). DeMaria, who also earned a spot on the First Team, is tied for the team lead in RBIs (33), ranks fourth among the Jumbos in hitting (.346) with a team-high 17 doubles, and is third among on the team in runs scored (33) and hits (44).
Bates head coach Jon Martin was selected as the NESCAC Coach of the Year by his peers. It is the first time he has been honored in his three years at the helm of the Bobcats. He led Bates to its best NESCAC East record in program history (9-3) and the Bobcats’ third straight NESCAC Tournament appearance.
Junior Nolan Collins (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) and sophomore Christian Beal (Flossmoor, Ill.) round out the Bates players on the First Team. Collins, a pitcher, led the NESCAC in strikeouts (64) and posted a 3.10 ERA over 66.2 innings. He finished the year with a 7-2 mark on the mound for the Bobcats. Beal, an outfielder, ranked fourth in the league in hitting with a .370 average and scored 32 runs, while swiping 15 bases.
Tufts junior Elias Varinos (Middleton, Mass.) and Williams sophomore Eric Pappas (Providence, R.I.) round out the First Team infield. Varinos, one of three Jumbos named to the First Team, hit .361 with 52 hits and 25 RBIs for the NCAA-bound Jumbos. Pappas teamed with Schaffer to give the Ephs a potent 1-2 punch at the plate this season. Pappas hit .410 to rank second among the league leaders. His 57 hits paced the NESCAC hitters and he registered a .482 on-base percentage.
Middlebury sophomore Henry Strmecki (Wilton, Conn.) is a First Team outfielder. Strmecki ranked second on the Middlebury squad with a .341 batting average. He ranked second in the NESCAC with six home runs and his 39 runs scored were third in the league. He also stole 23 bases, the third-best mark in the conference. Strmecki recorded 28 RBIs, while owning 11 multiple-hit games, and boasted a perfect fielding percentage in 68 chances.
Trinity junior Matt Koperniak (Adams, Mass.) earns back-to-back First Team honors as an outfielder. He is the third-leading hitter in the NESCAC with a .380 average. He has knocked out 52 hits, including four home runs, scored 30 runs, and driven in 26 runs for the Bantams. He also boasts a .989 fielding percentage in 95 chances. Trinity earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, its first appearance since 2012, and will host regional round action.
Baseball All-Conference Teams
Player of the Year: Doug Schaffer, Williams
Pitcher of the Year: R.J. Hall, Tufts
Co-Defensive Players of the Year: Jack Arend, Bates & Kellen Hatheway, Williams
Rookie of the Year: Peter DeMaria, Tufts
Coach of the Year: Jon Martin, Bates