NJCBA Hands Three Major Awards To Felician Baseball

Felician coach Chris Langan was named the 2014 New Jersey Collegiate Baseball Association Division II/III Coach of the Year. (Dave Schofield)
Felician coach Chris Langan was named the 2014 New Jersey Collegiate Baseball Association Division II/III Coach of the Year. (Dave Schofield)

RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Felician College landed five players on the First Team and claimed three of the six major awards when the New Jersey Collegiate Baseball Association (NJCBA) announced its 2014 small-college all-state teams on Wednesday. Sophomore first-baseman Scott De Jong (North Haledon, N.J./Eastern Christian) was voted the NJCBA Division II/III Player of the Year, junior left-hander Jack Fowler (Shrewsbury, N.J./Red Bank Regional) was selected as the NJCBA Division II/III Pitcher of the Year, and Felician head coach Chris Langan of Hazlet was picked as the NJCBA Division II/III Coach of the Year by his peers.

The NJCBA consists of the baseball-playing four-year schools in the state of New Jersey. There are 17 institutions that comprise the Division II/III portion, and the member coaches voted on the award winners. The complete list of 2014 all-state teams and special award winners can be viewed at http://www.njcugothicknights.com/documents/2014/5/21/2014_NJCBA_Division_II_III_All_State_Team.pdf?id=1550.  

De Jong is a 6-foot-4, 235-pound first-baseman who led the NCAA Division II East Region in runs batted in with 51. He also topped the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) in home runs (7), sacrifice flies (7), walks (30) and slugging percentage (.610). In 50 games this season, De Jong hit .374 with 26 extra-base hits, 45 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases. He has previously been named First-Team All-CACC, NCBWA and Rawlings/ABCA First-Team All-Region, and to the all-tournament teams of the CACC Championship and the NCAA D-II East Regional Championship. De Jong is the second NJCBA Player of the Year in Felician history, joining Frank Quintana in 2007.

Fowler, 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds, joins Chris Eshleman in 2002 as Golden Falcon hurlers to be voted the NJCBA Pitcher of the Year. After being named Second-Team All-CACC, Fowler collected three postseason victories. He went 2-0 in the CACC Tournament, then pitched a six-hit shutout against 2013 regional champion Franklin Pierce University in the NCAA Tournament. In the process he set the Golden Falcon season (10) and career (17) records for wins. Fowler finished 10-2 with an earned-run average of 2.10, 78 strikeouts in a school-record 85 2/3 innings, and an opponent batting average of .230.

Under Langan's guidance, Felician set program records for wins and winning percentage (30-20, .600) in 2014. The Golden Falcons won their first CACC championship and made their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Langan claims his first Coach-of-the-Year award of any kind, and is the second Felician head man to win the honor from the NJCBA. Steve Swenson, with Langan as an assistant, shared the award in 2002. Langan is 261-281 in 11 years in Rutherford. 

Joining De Jong and Fowler on the All-NJCBA First Team were senior shortstop Aaron Brill (West Palm Beach, Fla./John I. Leonard), graduate outfielder Joe Petosa (Spotswood, N.J./Spotswood), and junior pitcher Jerry Vasto (Atlantic Highlands, N.J./Henry Hudson Regional). Brill (.363, 10 2B, 11 3B, 1 HR, 47 R, 33 RBI, 13 SB), who leads the country in triples, has also been voted the CACC Player of the Year and the Daktronics Regional Player of the Year. He made the All-NJCBA Second Team in 2013.

Petosa (.370, 12 2B, 4 3B, 1 HR, 29 R, 34 RBI), an All-NJCBA choice for the second time, is Felician's all-time hits leader with 225. He also earned first-team all-CACC, first-team Capital One Academic All-District, and Daktronics and ABCA first-team All-Region honors. Petosa was the Most Valuable Player of the 2014 CACC Tournament. Vasto (6-3, 1.84 ERA, 1 SV, 1 ShO, school-record 79 strikeouts in 68 1/3 innings) followed up on being the CACC Pitcher of the Year and a consensus First-Team All-Region choice.

Felician freshman designated hitter Brennan Price (Middlesex, N.J./Middlesex) (.250, 11 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 15 R, 33 RBI in 44 games) was chosen for the 2014 NJCBA Division II/III All-Rookie Team.