Felician Claims Top CACC Baseball Individual Awards

(Photos by Steven R. Smith)
(Photos by Steven R. Smith)

RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Felician College senior Aaron Brill (West Palm Beach, Fla./John I. Leonard) has been named the 2014 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Baseball Player of the Year, and Felician junior Jerry Vasto (Atlantic Highlands, N.J./Henry Hudson Regional) was elected the 2014 CACC Pitcher of the Year according to balloting released on Tuesday.

The 11 conference head coaches voted for the CACC Player and Pitcher of the Year winners. Brill, Vasto, and the 2014 All-CACC Team members and other special award winners will be formally honored Wednesday night at the annual league awards banquet, to be held on the campus of Wilmington (Del.) University.

Felician completed the 2014 regular season with a won-lost record of 26-18, and placed second in the CACC with a 15-5 league mark. Eleventh-year head coach Chris Langan and the Golden Falcons are the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament that begins on Thursday morning in New Castle, Del.

Brill, a 6-foot, 200-pound shortstop, is the second CACC Player of the Year from Felician in the 15-year history of the Golden Falcon program. He joins Frank Quintana, who earned the honor in 2007. As Felician's No. 2 hitter in the line-up, Brill leads all NCAA Division II players nationally with a school-record 11 triples, and he also tops the CACC in hits (67) and slugging percentage (.570). In 44 games, he is batting .374 with a home run, 39 runs scored, 31 runs batted in, and 12 stolen bases. He played errorless defense at shortstop in the 20 conference games this season.

"For two years, coaches around the league have told me how much Aaron stands out on the field," Langan said. "He's very unselfish – he will take a ball the other way, give himself up to advance a runner, and is willing to take what the pitcher gives him. And he takes a tremendous amount of pride in his defense, working at it every day." 

Brill has 137 base hits in two years at Felician, and 206 for his combined collegiate career. He is a two-time first-team all-CACC selection, and was an ABCA all-region pick last year. Brill is a 2009 graduate of John I. Leonard High of Greenacres, Fla.

Vasto is Felician's first-ever CACC Pitcher of the Year. In 13 games (10 starts), he has a 6-2 record and one save, and sits second in the CACC in both earned-run average (1.46) and strikeouts (68). His ERA is good for 15th-place nationally entering the postseason. In 61 2/3 innings, he has pitched to an opponent batting average of .202. He is riding a 22-inning scoreless streak, which began with a three-hit shutout against nationally-ranked Wilmington on Apr. 14.

"Jerry has improved every year," Langan said. "He's made a 10 mile-per-hour jump in his velocity since high school, and his mound presence has never been better. He's fought through some difficult times, and trusts his stuff like never before."

Vasto was voted to the All-CACC team for the first time. He has a 10-5 career record at Felician, and his 148 strikeouts are sixth on the Golden Falcons' all-time list. He is a 2010 graduate of Henry Hudson Regional of Highlands.

The complete 2014 All-CACC Teams and special award winners can be viewed at http://www.caccathletics.org/sports/bsb/2013-14/releases/20140506-caccbaseballallconference.