Al Stanton Named NE-10 Baseball Rookie of the Year, Four Other Penmen Honored
SOUTH EASTON, Mass. – Southern New Hampshire University freshman outfielder Al Stanton (Sandwich, Mass.) has been named the Northeast-10 Conference baseball Rookie of the Year, it was announced by the conference office on Tuesday afternoon.
In addition, a total of five Penmen players were honored on the league's All-Conference teams. Sophomore Matt Boulter (Wrentham, Mass.) was a First Team selection, while graduate student Chris O'Neil (Chelmsford, Mass.) was named to the Second Team. Stanton and sophomore Tim Flight (Portsmouth, R.I.) were Third Team selections by the conference's head coaches, while Stanton and classmate Junior Mendez (Patchogue, N.Y.) were named to the league's All-Rookie Team.
Stanton played in and started 42 games for Southern New Hampshire and was third on the team in batting, hitting .317 with four home runs and 20 runs batted in. His .510 slugging percentage ranked second on the squad while his .444 on-base percentage was tops on the team. Stanton's 13 multi-hit games were third for the Penmen, including 12 two-hit performances. He started his collegiate career by hitting safely in his first seven games and the Sandwich HS product hit safely in 32 of his 42 appearances. In the field, Stanton led the Penmen with four outfield assists and had just one error in 46 chances for a .978 fielding percentage.
Boulter, an NE-10 All-Rookie Team selection last season, led Southern New Hampshire with his .338 average and was one of two players to start all 47 games. His .338 average placed him 11th in the Northeast-10, while on the season Boulter registered three home runs and 31 runs batted in, ranking second on the team in RBI. Boulter was second on the squad in multi-hit games with 15, including four three-hit and two four-hit performances. He also drove in six runs in a win over American International on March 17.
O'Neil played in and started all but two games and hit .324 with four home runs and a team-high 42 runs batted in. He led the Penmen in slugging percentage (.587), while his 105 total bases currently place him third in the NE-10. O'Neil is also tied for third in the league in runs batted in, while he leads all of Division II with 11 triples. He led the Penmen with 17 multi-hit games and closed out the season on a 16-game hit streak. O'Neil also committed just one error in 70 chances for a .986 fielding percentage.
Flight, in his first season at SNHU after transferring from Charleston Southern, led the Penmen rotation, going 6-3 with a 2.34 ERA in 11 starts. The southpaw struck out a team-high 89 batters on the season and struck out at least 10 batters four times, including 13 batters on two occasions. Flight limited opponents to a .192 batting average as he allowed 51 hits in 77 innings of work, including a .161 average against opposing left-handed batters.
Mendez, a graduate of Patchogue-Medford HS, recorded a 3.69 ERA and 2-2 record in 11 appearances (seven starts) on the season. His 51 strikeouts ranked third on the squad while he walked just 14 batters in 53.2 innings of work. Mendez hurled a pair of complete games, including a seven-inning shutout of Saint Michael's on April 8 in which he allowed just three hits and struck out 10 without walking a batter.
The Southern New Hampshire University baseball team finished the 2011 season 25-22 overall, setting a single-season school record for victories. The Penmen also finished above .500 for the first time since the 1997 season when they went 18-17.