New England College sophomore Evan Delaney (Hadley, Mass.) has been selected as the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Baseball Player of the Year, while Castleton senior Michael LaBeau (Bellows Falls, Vt.) was tabbed Pitcher of the Year and Spartan teammate Davis Mikell (Williston, Vt.) earned Rookie of the Year honors. Castleton's Steven Jurkiewicz (Essex Jct., Vt.) was chosen as the Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year, Spartan head coach Ted Shipley and Lyndon head coach Tom White* were voted as the Coaches of the Year and seven baseball student-athletes were named to the Sportsmanship Team to headline the 2017 All-Conference announcement.
NAC All-Conference selections are determined by a vote of the conference coaches.
Delaney had an extraordinary season with the Pilgrims, topping the NAC in almost every offensive category. The sophomore is the league leader in runs scored (47), triples (6), RBI (41), walks (41), stolen bases (33), batting average (.391), on-base percentage (.545), slugging percentage (.752), and total bases (100). He also tied for the lead with nine home runs, while also posting 52 hits to rank second and hitting nine doubles to land in the top-10. Delany hit safely in 33 out of 44 games, while recording 13 multi-hit games, scoring at least one run in 29 games, and earning at least one RBI in 22 games. The sophomore was perfect in the field on 67 total chances. In all of Division III, he ranks in the top-34 in 10 statistical categories, while being ranked top-15 in six categories. Delaney is currently third in the nation in walks, fifth in stolen bases, 10th in on-base percentage, 11th in triples, and 14th in both walks per game (0.93) and slugging percentage.
LaBeau has posted an impressive 1.74 ERA in 57 innings of work, while compiling a 5-3 record to go along with one save. Overall, he made 10 appearances with six complete games, while striking out 53 batters (8.37/game), scattering 50 hits and only giving up 11 earned runs. In conference play, he accumulated a league-best 5-0 mark and a minuscule 0.75 ERA in 36 innings to tie for second in NAC action. The senior finished the NAC regular season ranked third with 30 strikeouts, averaging 7.50 per game. He gave up just 26 hits and allowed only eight batters to reach base on four balls in NAC action. In the most recent NCAA Division III national statistics, LaBeau ranks seventh in complete games and 32nd in ERA.
Jurkiewicz is being recognized for excelling academically and athletically throughout his undergraduate experience, while serving as a role model in both the classroom and on the field. The scholar athlete is studying Honors History and is the only student at Castleton in the program. He has made the Dean's List every semester, was inducted into the History Honors Society, and awarded two separate academic scholarships through the history department. The senior also spent the fall of 2016 semester abroad in Venezuela. He is a four-year mentor at a local elementary school, has been a three-year writing tutor in the academic support center and won the Plato Philosophy prize. On the field, Jurkiewicz compiled a 24-6 record on the mound, to go along with one save. The southpaw made 36 appearances, 30 starts, and threw 11 complete games. In his 202 innings of work, he tallied 110 strikeouts (4.90/9 innings) and scattered 203 hits, allowing just 63 walks and accumulating a 3.48 career ERA.
Shipley is earning his seventh coach of the year honor in his 17th season at the helm of the Spartans. This season Castleton has posted a 34-8 overall record (21-3 NAC), which is the 12th straight 20-win season and fifth 30-win season for Castleton. Shipley's squad is the league leader in several offensive categories including home runs (24), stolen bases (96), batting average (.292), and slugging percentage (.417). The Spartans were also top-2 in runs (249), hits (359), doubles (63), RBI (217), on-base percentage (.386), and total bases (512). Defensively, Castleton topped the league with a .961 fielding percentage to go along with a NAC-best 2.07 ERA, while giving up the fewest hits (264), runs (100), earned runs (74), walks (87) and home runs (6). Nationally, the Spartans lead all of Division III in ERA, shutouts (11), and WHIP (1.09), while also ranking second in hits allowed per 9 innings (7.40), fifth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.46), ninth in win-loss percentage (.810), and 10th in walks allowed per 9 innings (2.44).
White, in only his fourth season at the helm of the Hornets, has been voted by his peers to earn his first Coach of the Year honor. His squad posted a 22-20 overall record and a 13-11 mark in conference play, an 11-game improvement from a year ago, including seven more wins in conference action and the No. 3 seed in the NAC Tournament. Lyndon finished in the top-2 of the conference in stolen bases (80), batting average (.286), and fielding percentage (.960). Lyndon was one of the toughest teams to strike out, posting a league second-best 192 strikeouts, while drawing the fourth-most walks (114). His team also posted 324 hits, 184 runs, 152 RBI, 35 doubles, seven triples, and three home runs. Defensively, the Hornets topped the league with 33 double plays and were top-3 in several pitching categories, including the second-lowest number of hits allowed (309), and third in runs (198), earned runs (149), strikeouts (220), and strikeouts per 9 innings (6.62). In all of Division III, Lyndon ranks eighth with 47 sacrifice bunts and is 33rd in stolen bases.
Joining Delaney (outfielder) and LaBeau (pitcher) on the first team were Castleton sophomore outfielder Dillon Benham (Lenox, Mass.) and senior pitcher Devin Hayes (Vergennes, Vt.), Colby-Sawyer junior second base Doug Avellino (Woodstock, Vt.), UMaine-Farmington freshman utility Derek Bowen (Benton, Maine), Husson sophomore catcher Sam Huston (Bangor, Maine), Lyndon seniors, outfielder Andre Eason Jr. (Waterbury, Conn.) and first base Devon Rollins (Winooski, Vt.), and New England College freshman shortstop Luis Atiles (Dorchester, Mass.) and senior third base Vincent Backert (Shelton, Conn.).
The NAC Baseball Sportsmanship Team is reserved for those who have distinguished themselves through demonstrated acts of sportsmanship and ethical behavior. The honorees are individuals who have positively affected the baseball culture and environment and whose behavior clearly demonstrates sportsmanship and integrity that go beyond the playing rules and etiquette. The following seven individuals have been selected to the 2017 Sportsmanship Team, Castleton sophomore Deagan Poland (Williston, Vt.), Colby-Sawyer junior Andrew Pratt (New Sharon, Maine), UMaine-Farmington senior Jordan Croteau (South Paris, Maine), Husson senior Cam Archer (Old Town, Maine), Lyndon senior Kevin Tufo (Colchester, Conn.), New England College junior Ryan Swarts (Ware, Mass.), and Thomas junior Alex Curtis (Monmouth, Maine).
2017 NAC Baseball All-Conference Teams
C - Sam Huston, Sophomore, Husson
1B - Devon Rollins, Senior, Lyndon
2B - Doug Avellino, Junior, Colby-Sawyer
SS - Luis Atiles, Freshman, New England College
3B - Vincent Backert, Senior, New England College
UT - Derek Bowen, Freshman, UMaine-Farmington
OF - Dillon Benham, Sophomore, Castleton
OF - Evan Delaney, Sophomore, New England College
OF - Andre Eason Jr., Senior, Lyndon
P - Devin Hayes, Senior, Castleton
P - Michael LaBeau, Senior, Castleton
C - Jason Doris, Sophomore, Lyndon*
1B - Davis Mikell, Freshman, Castleton
2B - Darren Kelly, Freshman, Thomas
SS - Dylan Bailey, Sophomore, Castleton
SS - Ryan Cordeiro, Junior, Lyndon*
3B - Mark Leahy, Senior, UMaine-Farmington
UT - Stanley Vargas, Freshman, New England College
OF - Grant Corbett, Freshman, Thomas
OF - Conor Crouse, Senior, New England College
OF - Brendan Thurber, Junior, Colby-Sawyer
P - Stanley Vargas, Freshman, New England College
P - Ben Walls, Senior, Husson
Player of the Year
Evan Delaney, Sophomore, New England College
Pitcher of the Year
Michael LaBeau, Senior, Castleton
Rookie of the Year
Davis Mikell, Freshman, Castleton
Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year
Steven Jurkiewicz, Senior, Castleton
Coach of the Year
Ted Shipley, 17th Season, Castleton
Tom White, Fourth Season, Lyndon*
Cam Archer, Senior, Husson
Jordan Croteau, Senior, UMaine-Farmington
Alex Curtis, Junior, Thomas
Deagan Poland, Sophomore, Castleton
Andrew Pratt, Junior, Colby-Sawyer
Ryan Swarts, Junior, New England College
Kevin Tufo, Senior, Lyndon
*Award vacated by Lyndon State and the NCAA Committee on Infractions.