SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) announced its 2019 Baseball All-Conference Teams and major award winners Wednesday afternoon. All eight CCC schools had student-athletes recognized on this year's list. CCC Regular-Season Champion Western New England had the most selections with 11.
Salve Regina's Zack Smith (New Canaan, Conn.) took home one of the major awards as he was voted as the Player of the Year. The Roger Williams battery of Connor Hewlette (Deer Park, N.Y.) and Chris Bosco (North Andover, Mass.) was also recognized with Hewlette earning the Pitcher of the Year honor and Bosco receiving the Defensive Player of the Year selection. Nichols freshman Brendan Duffy (Stratford, Conn.) was the Rookie of the Year and WNE's Bob Hamel (Southwick, Mass.) was the CCC Scholar-Athlete. Golden Bears' head coach Dan Gomez picked up his third Coach of the Year award in four years, while Wentworth earned the Team Sportsmanship award.
Voting for the All-CCC teams and each of the major awards was conducted by the conference's eight baseball head coaches following the conclusion of the regular season.
Smith, Hewlette, and Bosco were also recognized as members of the All-CCC First Team. However, it was the Golden Bears who dominated the First Team selections with six student-athletes garnering the honor. They were starting pitcher Kevin Hummer (Shrewsbury, Mass.), relief pitcher Sean Halligan (North Branford, Conn.), first baseman Zac Nussbaum (Bridgewater, Mass.), shortstop Alex Loparco (Riverside, Conn.), outfielder Erik Lacaire (Worcester, Mass.), and designated hitter Joe Cassella (Wallingford, Conn.). Hewlette and Bosco had two other Hawks teammates joining them on the All-CCC First Team as second baseman Danny Roth (West Hartford, Conn.) and outfielder Justin Stone (Blackstone, Mass.) both earned spots. Endicott had two First Team selections with starting pitcher Kevin Gould (Rollinsford, N.H.) and utility player Matt Bald (De Pere, Wisc.) getting the honor. Nichols' Christian Naccari (Ossining, N.Y.) rounded out the First Team at third base.
The Bision's Duffy and the Golden Bears' Hamel were two of the four All-CCC pitchers selected to the Second Team. Joining them was Salve's Will Ginsberg (Sharon, Mass.) and Endicott's Zachary Sultar (South Windsor, Conn.). The Hawks' Craig Demers (Acushnet, Mass.) was the Second Team selection out of the bullpen. Two catchers earned All-CCC Second Team honors with the Seahawks' Dylan Ketch (Clinton, Conn.) taking one spot and WNE's Brian Valeriano (Stratford, Conn.) taking the other. In the Second Team infield were first baseman Kyle Bouchard (Fall River, Mass.) from Nichols, second baseman Christian Allaire (Sandown, N.H.) from Endicott, third baseman Aaron Rios (Stratford, Conn.) from Western New England, and shortstop Madden Ward (Clinton, Conn.) from Salve Regina. There were four outfielders to claim the Second Team title. They were the Bison's Joe Assenza (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.), the Gulls' Dan Cacciola (Saugus, Mass.), the Hawks' Eli Camner (Hamden, Conn.), and the Golden Bears' Ben LaCroix (Branford, Conn.). Rounding out the All-CCC Second Team was utility player Jared Keller (Oxford, Conn.) from Curry and designated hitter Tristan Dacey (Wyckoff, N.J.) from Salve Regina.
There were 16 players named to the All-CCC Third Team with four of them coming from Salve Regina. The Seahawks Third Team selections were starting pitcher Patrick Maybach (Saunderstown, R.I.), first baseman Sean O'Malley (Darien, Conn.), second baseman Anthony Cieszko (Woodcliff Lake, N.J.),and outfielder Michael DeFusco (East Greenwich, R.I.). Roger Williams had three All-CCC Third Teamers named with starting pitcher Justin Garcia (Foxborough, Mass.), third baseman Anthony Dominguez (Chester, N.J.), and outfielder Joey Gulino (Meriden, Conn.) all earning spots. Catcher Dylan Ketterer (Plymouth, Mass.) and DH Jason Leonard (Dedham, Mass.) were Curry's two Third Team selections. Gordon and Wentworth also had two Third Team choices with outfielder Chris Leavitt (East Bridgewater, Mass.) and utility player Mike Oley (Barkhamsted, Conn.) representing the Fighting Scots and shortstop Aidan French (Chicago, Ill.) and outfielder Ross Golebiewski (Lyme, Conn.) representing the Leopards. Endicott, Nichols, and WNE each had one Third Team selection to wrap up the All-Conference list. The Gulls were represented by relief pitcher Cooper Anibal (Bedford, N.H.), the Bison were represented by second baseman Nathaniel Cormier (Sandisfield, Mass.), and the Golden Bears were represented by starter Paul Wetmore (Hamden, Conn.).
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Zack Smith, Salve Regina
Smtih was one of the best hitters in the league this year, leading the conference in number of categories this year. He finished the regular season first in hits (56), double (13), home runs (8), total bases (97), batting average (.438), and slugging percentage (.758). His batting average (20th) and slugging (23rd) numbers were also in the top 25 in all of Division III. Smith was also second in the CCC in RBI (38) and on-base percentage (.473), while scoring the league's third most runs (35). He reached safely in all but two games and recorded hits in 28 contests, including a 21-game hit streak. He had 20 multi-hit games, including three four-hit performances. He was picked as the CCC Player of the Week in the week ending April 7.
PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Connor Hewlette, Roger Williams
In eight starts for the Hawks this season, Hewlette posted a 6-1 record, including a 6-0 mark in-conference. He had a league-best 2.10 ERA and held opposing batters to a .206 average. Hewlette also struck out 28 batters this year. His best outing of the regulars season came in his final start when he tossed a seven-inning complete game, one-hit shutout against Wentworth. He won the CCC Pitcher of the Week honor for the week ending April 28 for that performance.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Chris Bosco, Roger Williams
Bosco was a solid defensive catcher Hawks behind the plate. He posted a .975 fielding percentage and picked off 20 would be base stealers. His 20 caught stealing led the league. He also posted a .417 (20-of-48) runners caught stealing percentage.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Brendan Duffy, Nichols
Duffy put together a solid freshman campaign together for Nichols on the mound. He went 3-2 in 13 appearances (eight starts) and tossed the third most innings in the league (52.2). He had the conference's third best ERA at 2.39 and saw that number drop to 1.87 in conference play. He held opposing batters to a .224 average and struck out 37.
Bob Hamel, Western New England
In addition to being a solid performer on the mound, Hamel is also a standout in the classroom. He currently holds a 3.83 GPA in electrical engineering and is a member of number of honor societies, such as Chi Alpha Sigma and Alpha Lambda Delta. He has completed internships with BAE Systems will being working with them in June. He was CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree in 2018. On the field, Hamel has received numerous honors including the 2018 CCC Pitcher of the Year when he was the NCAA Division III ERA leader. He was the 2016 CCC Rookie of the Year and is now a four-time All-CCC selection.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Dan Gomez, Western New England
Gomez earns his third CCC Coach of the Year honor in four years after leading Western New England to a 13-1 CCC (22-12 overall) and claiming the CCC Regular-Season Championship. His Golden Bears squad was at the top of the league in most offensive categories including runs (284), home runs (24), RBI (258), walks (169), on-base percentage (.414), and slugging percentage (.440). They scored more than 50 runs more than their closest competitor in the category. WNE was no slouch on the mound either, especially in conference play. In league games the Golden Bear staff posted a league-best 3.40 ERA and .232 batting average against. The CCC Regular-Season Champions scored double-digit runs twelve times, including a five-game stretch in which they had 94 runners cross the plate. The 32 runs they scored against Keene State was the second-highest run total in Division III this year. Gomez's team was ranked sixth in New England in the most recent NCAA Division III Regional Rankings.
2019 ALL-CCC BASEBALL TEAMS
FIRST TEAM ALL-CCC
SP - Kevin Gould, Sr., Endicott
SP - Connor Hewlette, So., Roger Williams
SP - Kevin Hummer, So., Western New England
RP - Sean Halligan, Sr., Western New England
C - Chris Bosco, Sr., Roger Williams
1B - Zac Nussbaum, Jr., Western New England
2B - Danny Roth, Jr., Roger Williams
3B - Christian Naccari, Jr., Nichols
SS - Alex Loparco, Sr., Western New England
OF - Erik Lacaire, Sr., Western New England
OF - Zack Smith, Sr., Salve Regina
OF - Justin Stone, Jr., Roger Williams
UTL - Matt Bald, Sr., Endicott
DH - Joe Cassella, Sr., Western New England
SECOND TEAM ALL-CCC
SP - Brendan Duffy, Fr., Nichols
SP - Will Ginsberg, Sr., Salve Regina
SP - Bob Hamel, Sr., Western New England
SP - Zachary Sultar, Sr., Endicott
RP - Craig Demers, Jr., Roger Williams
C - Dylan Ketch, Jr., Salve Regina
C - Brian Valeriano, Sr., Western New England
1B - Kyle Bouchard, Jr., Nichols
2B - Christian Allaire, Fr., Endicott
3B - Aaron Rios, Sr., Western New England
SS - Madden Ward, So., Salve Regina
OF - Joe Assenza, Sr., Nichols
OF - Dan Cacciola, Sr., Endicott
OF - Eli Camner, Sr., Roger Williams
OF - Ben LaCroix, Sr., Western New England
UTL - Jared Keller, Jr., Curry
DH - Tristan Dacey, Sr., Salve Regina
THIRD TEAM ALL-CCC
SP - Justin Garcia, Jr., Roger Williams
SP - Patrick Maybach, Jr., Salve Regina
SP - Paul Wetmore, Sr., Western New England
RP - Cooper Anibal, So., Endicott
C - Dylan Ketterer, So., Curry
1B - Sean O'Malley, Fr., Salve Regina
2B - Anthony Cieszko, So., Salve Regina
2B - Nathaniel Cormier, So., Nichols
3B - Anthony Dominguez, Sr., Roger Williams
SS - Aidan French, So., Wentworth
OF - Michael DeFusco, So., Salve Regina
OF - Ross Golebiewski, Sr., Wentworth
OF - Joey Gulino, Jr., Roger Williams
OF - Chris Leavitt, Sr., Gordon
UTL - Mike Oley, Fr., Gordon
DH - Jason Leonard, Fr., Curry
Player of the Year - Zack Smith, Salve Regina
Pitcher of the Year - Connor Hewlette, Roger Williams
Defensive Player of the Year - Chris Bosco, Roger Williams
Rookie of the Year - Brendan Duffy, Nichols
CCC Scholar-Athlete - Bob Hamel, Western New England
Coach of the Year - Daniel Gomez, Western New England
Team Sportsmanship - Wentworth
ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH COAST CONFERENCE
The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprised of nine full member and one associate member institutions throughout the New England region. Its membership aims to provide student-athletes with a positive experience in their pursuit of excellence through high academic standards, quality competition, and a meaningful student life. The conference administers championships in 18 intercollegiate sports.