Verlander Named All-CAA & Three Freshmen Named All-Rookie

May 21, 2013
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

May 21, 2013

HARRISONBURG, Va. (May 21, 2013) - Old Dominion's junior outfielder Ben Verlander (Maidens, VA.) has been selected first team All-CAA and freshmen Tommy Alexander (Forty Fort, PA.), P.J. Higgins (Wallingford, CT.), and Connor Myers (Middletown, MD.) were named to the All-Rookie Team as chosen by the league's head coaches.

Verlander, who was named CAA Player of the Week three times ranked eighth in the CAA in hitting at .367, was third in homers with 11 and led ODU in runs scored with 46, four triples and 13 stolen bases. The rightfielder also knocked in 37 runs.

Three Monarch freshmen were selected to the 10-person All-Rookie team. Centerfielder Connor Myers hit .300 with nine doubles, four triples, two homers and 17 RBI. He hit .333 in 27 CAA games, and committed no errors in 52 games in centerfield. Infielder P.J. Higgins was second on the team in hitting at .336, starting 28 games at second base. righthander Tommy Alexander compiled a 3-3 record with a 4.98 ERA. Alexander was 3-0 with a 1.59 earned run average in CAA games.

The Monarchs completed the season with a 30-24 record and 15-12 CAA mark to finish in a tie for third with Delaware. ODU would be the third seed if allowed to play in the tournament as the Monarchs beat UD in two of three games.

Delaware junior first baseman Jimmy Yezzo (Cherry Hill, N.J.) was selected as the 2013 CAA baseball Player of the Year and UNCW junior left-hander Mat Batts (Winston-Salem, N.C.) was chosen as the 2013 CAA Pitcher of the Year.

Other top honors went to Towson senior catcher Andrew Parker (Sykesville, Md.) as the CAA Defensive Player of the Year and Georgia State freshman outfielder Josh Merrigan (Marietta, Ga.) as the CAA Rookie of the Year. William & Mary's Jamie Pinzino and UNCW's Mark Scalf were named the CAA Co-Coaches of the Year.

Yezzo turned in one of the top offensive seasons in the nation in 2013. The junior leads the CAA and ranks among the top 10 in Division I in batting (.406/6th), hits (91/2nd), doubles (27/1st), RBI's (63/10th), total bases (161/2nd) and slugging percentage (.719/4th), and is second in the league with 13 home runs.

Batts posted a 9-3 record and ranked sixth in the CAA with a 2.59 ERA. He leads the CAA and is ninth in Division I with 106 strikeouts in 100.2 innings of work and has fanned seven or more batters in nine consecutive starts. The junior southpaw threw a league-best six complete games.

Parker enhanced his reputation as an outstanding defensive catcher with an impressive senior season. He silenced opponents' running games by throwing out 26 of 49 attempted base stealers. Parker had a stellar .994 fielding percentage with just two errors in 307 chances.

Merrigan led all CAA freshmen in batting (.353), hits (84), runs scored (52), RBI's (36), total bases (121) and stolen bases (12) this season. Among all freshmen in the nation, the Panthers' outfielder ranked second in hits and runs and was fourth in batting average.

In his first season as head coach at William & Mary, Pinzino led the Tribe to one of the best years in school history. W&M recorded a best-ever second-place finish and its 17 CAA victories were a school record. Scalf received CAA Coach of the Year honors for the sixth time after guiding UNCW to its second straight regular-season conference title with an 18-8 mark. The Seahawks went 37-19 overall and were ranked as high as 21st in the nation this season. UNCW upset #1 North Carolina in Chapel Hill on April 23, which was the Tar Heels' only non-conference loss of the year.

The awards were presented on Tuesday evening in Harrisonburg, Va. on the eve of the 2013 CAA Baseball Championship, which gets underway Wednesday at Veterans Memorial Park.

(selected by CAA Head Baseball Coaches)

FIRST TEAM Player, School Pos. Cl. 2013 Stats Matt Reistetter, Hofstra# C Jr. .326, 2 HR, 34 RBI Jimmy Yezzo, Delaware% 1B Jr. .406, 13 HR, 63 RBI Michael Bass, UNCW# 2B Sr. .381, 35 RBI, 57 R, 24 SB Chad Prain, Georgia State SS Jr. .394, 4 HR, 48 RBI Ryan LaGrange, UNCW 3B Jr. .374, 5 HR, 46 RBI Chad Carroll, James Madison OF So. .393, 3 HR, 54 RBI Nick Ferdinand, Delaware OF Sr. .353, 14 HR, 59 RBI Ben Verlander, Old Dominion OF Jr. .367, 11 HR, 37 RBI Anthony Montefusco, Mason UT Jr. 5-5, 4.14 ERA/.238, 17 RBI Kurt Wertz, Towson DH Jr. .335, 11 HR, 57 RBI Mat Batts, UNCW% SP Jr. 9-3, 2.59 ERA, 106 K's John Farrell, W&M SP Sr. 10-2, 2.42 ERA, 81 K's Kelly Secrest, UNCW RP Jr. 3-1, 7 svs., 3.40 ERA

2013 CAA PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jimmy Yezzo, 1B, Delaware 2013 CAA PITCHER OF THE YEAR: Mat Batts, LHP, UNCW 2013 CAA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Andrew Parker, C, Towson 2013 CAA ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Josh Merrigan, OF, Georgia State 2013 CAA CO-COACHES OF THE YEAR:Jamie Pinzino, W&M and Mark Scalf, UNCW

CAA ALL-ROOKIE TEAM Player, School Pos. Cl. 2013 Stats Tommy Alexander, Old Dominion P Fr. 3-3, 4.98 ERA, 38 K's Terence Connelly, UNCW SS Fr. .287, 21 RBI, 35 R Michael Foster, Northeastern 2B/P Fr. .277, 34 RBI/1-1, 2.84 ERA PJ Higgins, Old Dominion 2B Fr. 336, 14 RBI Ryan Hissey, William & Mary C Fr. .277, 29 RBI, 31 R Josh Merrigan, Georgia State OF Fr. .353, 4 HR, 36 RBI James Mulry, Northeastern P Fr. 2-3, 4.54 ERA, 39 K's Connor Myers, Old Dominion OF Fr. .300, 17 RBI, 33 R Joey Roach, Georgia State C Fr. .296, 4 HR, 24 RBI Matt Rose, Georgia State IF/P Fr. .283, 32 RBI/3-2, 2.55 ERA