SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Salve Regina freshman Zach Smith (New Canaan, Conn.) was named the D3baseball.com Rookie of the Year for the New England Region, highlighting a list of 12 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) student-athletes garnering All-Region recognition.
Five CCC baseball players were recognized as D3baseball.com All-New England selections. Endicott’s Mike Kochiss (Fairfield, Conn.) was the only CCC representative on the First Team. Smith was a Second Team honoree along with his teammate Alex Perry (North Attleboro, Mass.) and Cam Cook (Phoenixville, Pa.) from Nichols. Tristan Dacey (Wyckoff, N.J.) was the third Seahawk recognized as he earned a spot on the Third Team.
Kochiss, Perry, Smith and Dacey were also named ACBA/Rawlings and NEIBA All-Region performers. Kochiss was on the First Team, while the Salve Regina trio earned Second Team honors. Endicott’s JJ Branch (Milford, Mass.) and Eduardo Colmenares (Caracas, Venezuela) were also Second Team selections. Five others were Third Team choices including Anthony Serina (Portsmouth, R.I.) from Endicott, Ryan Kelly (Waldwick, N.J.) from Salve Regina, and David Cherry (Southbury, Conn.), Bob Hamel (Southwick, Mass.), and Kevin Marciano (Pepperell, Mass.) from Western New England.
Kochiss, who was named the CCC Player of the Year this season, hit .410/451/.590/1.041 in 44 starts at third base to go along with 29 runs scored, 15 doubles, two triples, three home runs, 44 RBI, 12 walks, and four stolen bases. He also compiled 19 multi-hit games and 12 multi-RBI contests, both team-highs, throughout his junior campaign and put together a 16-game hitting streak from April 8-24 (30 H, 11 R, 19 RBI, .566 AVG).
Smith finished the season second in the league in batting average (.417), while leading the league in hits (70). The All-CCC First Team outfielder also had 44 RBI, tying him for the second spot in the conference.
Perry was an All-CCC First Team selection for the second straight season. Perry led the league in RBI this year totaling 48. His 20 doubles were also tops in the conference. In addition he recorded three triples and four home runs.
Cook had a year for the Bison record books this season setting single-season program-records for hits (67) and singles (54). He also had 12 doubles – the fourth most in a season in Bison history. Cook finished second in the conference with his 67 hits while finishing in the top 10 in the conference in batting average (.390) and runs scored (38). Cook's season was highlighted by a 35-game on-base streak which spanned from April 26th of the 2015 season all the way to April 24th of this season.
Dacey earned a spot on the All-CCC First Team as designated hitter and led the league in homeruns (seven). He finished third on his team in RBI with 41.
This past season, Branch became the program's all-time wins leader (25) by posting a 7-1 record and a 2.43 earned run average over 77 2/3 innings pitched for the Gulls. Branch also compiled nine quality starts (min. 6 IP & 3 ER or less) and struck out five or more batters in four games including a career-high nine against Framingham State University on April 19.
Colmenares, a two-time All-Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) honoree, was one of four players in the CCC to bat over .400 this season. The senior infielder hit .403 (58-for-144) with eight doubles, one triple, four home runs and 41 RBI (5th in CCC) while scoring 43 runs (6th) in 40 games. He also ranked second in the conference in on-base percentage (.471) and tied for fifth in slugging percentage (.556).
Serina posted a .352/.427/.556 slash line to go along with 50 hits (8 2B, 3 3B, 5 HR) and 27 RBI. Serina also broke three single-game program records in the opening round of the CCC Tournament as the senior designated hitter collected six runs score, five hits, and eight RBI in a 28-4 win over the Colonels.
Kelly concluded his collegiate career as Salve Regina’s career leader in at-bats (598), runs scored (201), and triples (19). The two-year captain hit four home runs this year and was second in the conference in stolen bases (23. Kelly's 58 runs scored also led all conference players.
Cherry, the CCC Pitcher of the Year, capped his collegiate career by going 7-2 with a 2.70 earned run average (7th in CCC) in nine starts this spring. He posted five complete games (T-3rd), striking out 59 batters (2nd) and issuing just 15 walks in a team-high 60.0 innings of work.
Hamel made an immediate impact during his first season with the program en route to CCC Rookie of the Year and All-CCC second team recognition. Hamel tied Cherry for the league lead in wins with seven (going 7-1 overall), while posting a 1.88 ERA, good for third in the CCC. He struck out 37 batters and surrendered just 11 earned runs in 52.2 frames on the mound.
Marciano, who served as Western New England's team captain this spring en route to his second straight All-CCC First Team selection, finished fifth in the conference with a .394 batting average. The senior shortstop recorded nine doubles (T-12th), three triples (T-3rd), two home runs and 20 RBI. He also scored 46 runs (3rd), drew 12 walks and stole 17 bases (T-3rd) in 21 opportunities.
Portions of this release are courtesy of the Endicott, Nichols, Salve Regina, and Western New England Sports Information Departments.