The Liberty League announced its baseball year end awards on Tuesday and the University of Rochester was handsomely rewarded after a strong season in which the Yellowjackets earned the regular season conference title.
Overall, Rochester had 10 honorees, three on the 1st Team, two on the 2nd Team and five Honorable Mention selections. Head Coach Joe Reina along with assistant coaches Jake Shattuck and Dan Paolini were also named the conference Coaching Staff of the Year.
Rochester's first team selections were catcher David Rieth, 1st baseman Aiden Finch and outfielder Steve Pickering. On the second team, pitcher Luke Meyerson and outfielder Kyle Trombley represented the Yellowjackets. Earning honorable mention status was pitcher Will Conroy, 2nd baseman Aaron Craig, shortstop Tyler Schmidt, 3rd baseman Jack Herman and outfielder Drew Bankovich. UR's entire starting nine, plus an additional pitcher made up the Yellowjacket honorees.
The 10 selections for UR were tied for most in the league this season with RIT. League champion Union was next with nine selections and RPI had seven. No other league team had more than five players on the all-conference squad.
COACHING STAFF OF THE YEAR:
Joe Reina, Jake Shattuck and Dan Paolini: Fifth Coaching Staff of the Year award (2004, 2007-09); Guided Rochester to its first Liberty League regular season title since 2010 with a 16-5 mark in Liberty League play. Overall, UR finished 19-17 and reached the Liberty League tournament championship round, falling in a winner-take-all game against Union, despite being picked fourth in the Liberty League preseason poll. Rochester as a team batted .314 as a squad and was second in the Liberty League with 239 runs scored.
David Rieth (SO, C, Tierra Verde, FL/St. Petersburg): 2nd All-LL award (2017 H.M.); Hit .313 (42-134) in 35 games for the Yellowjackets as a sophomore…Scored 19 runs, had 13 RBI and tallied five extra base hits...Was 4-6 in stolen base attempts, drew 17 walks and was hit by a pitch six times…Had a .411 on-base percentage…Reached base safely in 33 straight games, a streak that ran through the end of the season and will carry over into 2019…Threw out eight potential base stealers, including three in the Liberty League Tournament…Ranked 6th in the Liberty League in runners caught stealing, 8th in total fielding chances and 9th in putouts, also seeing some time at 1st base…Top-15 in the conference in hits, walks and HBP…Finished with 14 multi-hit games on the season.
Aiden Finch (JR, 1B Los Gatos, CA/Los Gatos): 2nd All-LL award (2016 H.M.); Started all 36 games for the Yellowjackets, manning 1st base while also handling some catching duties…Was tops on the Yellowjackets in average, slugging, on-base percentage, runs, doubles, triples, total bases and HBP…Hit .392 (51-130) with 33 runs, 34 RBI, a school-record 18 doubles, 4 triples and 2 home runs…Slugged at a .638 clip and drew 20 walks and nine HBP for a .491 OBP…Ranked 11th nationally in doubles and 23rd in doubles per game…Top-5 in the Liberty League in nine eight major offensive categories, including leading the league in doubles and triples while finishing third in OBP and slugging…Had a team-best 13-game hitting streak during the year…Added 14 multi-hit games and nine multi-RBI contests…Earned Liberty League Performer of the Week honors on March 19th.
Steve Pickering (FY, OF, Wilbraham, MA/Minnechaug Regional): 1st All-LL award; Started every game in his rookie year with the Yellowjackets…Finished second on the team with a .389 average (56-144)…Scored 32 runs, had nine extra base hits and drove in 17 runs…Added 11 stolen bases in 13 tries, slugged .479 and had an on-base percentage of .443…Led team in hits and sacrifice bunts (6)…Ranked 2nd in the Liberty League in sacrifices, 3rd in hits, 6th in average and stolen bases and 7th in runs scored…Had 15 multi-hit games, most on the team, including a 4-5 game with two stolen bases against Brockport on Apr. 10…Named Liberty League Rookie of the Week three times on the year.
Luke Meyerson (SR, P, Rye, NY/Rye): 1st All-LL award; Had his best season in a Yellowjacket uniform as a senior, setting career bests in ERA (3.45), wins (4), complete games (4), innings (57.1), strikeouts (46) and batting average against (.266)…Finished 4-3 overall and gave up just 22 earned runs in 57.1 innings…Threw first career shutout against Bard on Apr. 22, striking out a career-high nine…Matched nine-strikeout performance in Liberty League Tournament against Union, throwing a career-high nine innings…Conference Pitcher of the Week on Apr. 23.
Kyle Trombley (SO, OF, Wilbraham, MA/Minnechaug Regional): 1st All-LL award; As a sophomore, hit .275 (28-102) in 32 games played, utilizing his speed to help the team in multiple ways…Was 25-27 on stolen base attempts, ranking in the top-20 nationally in stolen bases per game and also leading the Liberty League…Stolen base total was also the fifth most in a single season in UR history…Added 29 runs scored, seven extra base hits and 13 RBI on the season while manning centerfield for the Yellowjackets…Recorded 4-RBI performance in key victory over RIT on May 5…Had four stolen bases against St. Lawrence on Apr. 8, the second most by a UR player in a single game.
Will Conroy (GR, P, Burlington, VT/Rice): 1st All-LL award; Transitioned to the pitchers mound for his final season with the Yellowjackets and excelled, finishing 4-0 with a team-low 2.72 ERA in 43.0 innings…Made six starts and ten total appearances, adding two complete games, one shutout and one save…Struck out 36 batters, gave up just ten extra base hits and held opponents to a .224 average against…Ranked 6th in the Liberty League in wins, 9th in average against, 10th in ERA and 14th in strikeouts…Tossed 3-hit shutout with six K's at Skidmore on Apr. 28, helping UR to a 2-0 win.
Aaron Craig (SO, 2B, Pelham, NY/Pelham): 1st All-LL award; Had a great second season with UR, appearing in all 36 games for the Yellowjackes…Ended up hitting .325, fourth on the team, going 38-117 at the plate…Scored 28 runs, added six doubles and 23 RBI…Was 4-5 on stolen base attempts, had six sacrifice flies and four sac bunts…Defensively was in on 24 on UR's 36 double plays…Ranked 1st in the Liberty League in sacrifice flies and 22nd nationally in that category…Was 6th in double plays, 7th in defensive assists (94) and sacrifice hits, 14th in runs and 15th in RBI…Had a monster game at Bard on Apr. 21, when he went 4-5 with two runs and six RBI.
Tyler Schmidt (SR, SS, Venetia, PA/Peters Township): 3rd All-LL award (2nd Team 2017, H.M. 2015); Steady senior season culminated in his third all-conference award of his career…Finished batted .318 (47-148) while starting all 36 games at shortstop…Scored 28 runs, had nine doubles, one triple and two home runs to go with 27 RBI…Had a .432 slugging and .380 on-base percentage and was 5-6 on stolen base attempts…Named to the Liberty League All-Tournament Team for his 10-hit performance at the conference tournament at UR in May…Set new career highs for runs, hits, doubles and RBI…Ranked 1st in the Liberty League in defensive assists (129), 2nd in double plays turned (28), 4th in at-bats, 7th in hits, 11th in RBI and 12th in runs scored…Recorded 14 multi-hit games and 10 multi-RBI games.
Jack Herman (JR, 3B, Gansevoort, NY/Saratoga Springs): 1st All-LL award; Provided excellent pop for UR in the middle of the batting order, finishing with a .336 average (45-134), 33 runs, 11 doubles, 3 triples, 3 home runs and 38 RBI…Slugged .530 and had a .426 on-base percentage after 22 walks and two HBP…Led Rochester in runs scored, RBI and home runs…Was named to the Liberty League All-Tournament team after leading the tournament in hits, runs, doubles and RBI while also providing the game-winning walk-off hit in game one of the championship round against Union, forcing a winner-take-all final game…Ranked 2nd in the Liberty League in RBI, 3rd in walks and sacrifice flies (4), 5th in runs, 6th in triples, 7th in total bases (71), 8th in hits and home runs…Team best 12 multiple-RBI games and also had 10 multi-hit games, including two with four hits.
Drew Bankovich (FY, OF, DuBois, PA/DuBois Area): 1st All-LL award; Became a starter in his first season with UR, appearing in 31 games, making 27 starts…Hit .290 (29-100) with 15 runs, 3 doubles, 2 triples, 2 home runs and 16 RBI…Added 11 walks and 4 HBP for a .379 on-base percentage in addition to his .420 slugging percentage…Had nine-multi hit games and four multi-RBI affairs…Had his best game of the season on the road at nationally-ranked Oswego State when he went 3-5 with two home runs, two runs and five RBI, backing that performance up with a 2-3 day with 3 RBI and two runs against Vassar a week later…Had two 7-game hit streaks during the year.
2018 All-Liberty League Baseball Awards
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Colin Kelly, Union
CO-PITCHER OF THE Year: Will Coleman, Clarkson
CO-PITCHER OF THE Year: Jake Vesling, Union
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Jack Koch, Union
COACHING STAFF OF THE YEAR: Rochester
ALL-LIBERTY LEAGUE FIRST TEAM:
P- Evan Richardson, Bard
P- Will Coleman, Clarkson
P- Jake Vesling, Union
P- Brendan McNerney, RPI
RP- Brett Bouchard, RIT
C- Matt Lasky, Bard
C- David Rieth, Rochester
1B- Aiden Finch, Rochester
2B- Bobby Kinne, Vassar
SS- Colin Kelly, Union
3B- Jack Koch, Union
OF- Steve Pickering, Rochester
OF- Andy Labeck, Union
OF- Patrick Mylott, RIT
DH- Noah Normyle, RPI
UT- Jake Vesling, Union
ALL-LIBERTY LEAGUE SECOND TEAM:
P- Luke Meyerson, Rochester
P- Christopher Palmiero, RPI
P- Brian Reed, RIT
P- Andrew Smith, Clarkson
P- Daniel Zeglen, RIT
P- Spencer Anderson, Skidmore
RP- Andrew Aikins, Skidmore
C- Anthony Butler, St. Lawrence
C- Patrick Geiger, Skidmore
1B- Sean Cullen, Union
2B- Sam Kirschenbaum, Union
SS- Ethann Meister, RPI
3B- Jason Schulz, RIT
OF- Brendon Frank, St. Lawrence
OF- Brad Pearson, Clarkson
OF- Kyle Trombley, Rochester
OF- Joey Mylott, RIT
DH- Jeff Goldrosen, Bard
UT- Daniel Zeglen, RIT
HONORABLE MENTION ALL-LIBERTY LEAGUE: Will Conroy, Rochester, Stevie Branche, RIT, Erick Zecha, RPI, Mark Connor, Clarkson, Charlie Hoover, Union, Dalton Murray, RIT, Aaron Craig, Rochester, Tyler Schmidt, Rochester, Daniel Capra, RIT, Jack Herman, Rochester, Will Potter, Skidmore, J.T. Sawyer, RPI, Harrison Glatt, Union, Tanner Blough, Vassar, Michael Arboleda, RPI, Drew Bankovich, Rochester, Matt Schwartz, Vassar, Dan Pariso, Clarkson, Bryan Rubin, Vassar