RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The 2016 Felician University baseball team tied a program record by placing nine players on the all-Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) postseason teams, according to balloting released today. The Golden Falcons saw a school-record eight players elected to the All-CACC First Team and one on the Second Team.
The CACC's all-conference teams and special award winners were voted upon by its 11 head coaches. Winners will be formally honored at the annual CACC Baseball Awards banquet, to be held Wednesday night on the campus of Wilmington (Del.) University.
Felician completed the 2016 regular season with a won-lost record of 29-18, and won the CACC regular-season title with a 16-4 league mark. Thirteenth-year head coach Chris Langan and the Golden Falcons are the top seed in the conference tournament, the main draw of which begins on Thursday morning in New Castle, Del.
"These honors are reflective of our maturity from last year," said Langan, who was voted the CACC Coach of the Year for the first time. "We became more acclimated to college baseball and the grind that it actually is. Our guys came in determined and driven, and they reaped the benefits."
Junior designated hitter Brennan Price (Middlesex, N.J./Middlesex) earns all-CACC honors for the third time, the only Golden Falcon winner not to be a first-time selection. Price is sixth in the CACC in batting average (.357) and fourth in on-base percentage (.460). In 42 games, he has 11 doubles, two home runs, 23 runs scored, and 30 runs batted in.
Junior pitcher Matt Blandino (Bristol, Conn./Bristol Central) was also named the CACC Pitcher of the Year. With a 7-3 record, he leads the conference in wins and strikeouts (85) and is second in earned-run average (2.28). He has allowed 66 hits and 14 walks in 83 innings.
Two other members of the pitching staff were elected to the First Team. Sophomore left-hander Jason Polgano (Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Spellman) was chosen at the utility-pitcher spot for his two-way efforts. Polgano is batting .359 with 24 extra-base hits, including six home runs, 33 RBI and eight stolen bases. He leads Felician with 44 runs scored and a .594 slugging percentage. Polgano is also 6-1 with a 2.52 ERA as a pitcher.
Sophomore righty Danny Naif (Jackson, N.J./Jackson Liberty) was voted to the First Team relief pitcher position. In 21 appearances, he posted a 2-0 record and a CACC-leading eight saves, a 1.66 ERA and an opponent batting average of .190. He struck out 21 batters and walked five in 21 2/3 innings.
Junior catcher Matt Kleinstein (.385, 1 HR, 26 RBI), junior outfielder Andrew LaMura (Brick, N.J./Red Bank Catholic) (.352, 6 HR, 42 R, 46 RBI), and junior third baseman J.R. Meneses (Lake Worth, Fla./Zion Lutheran) (.290, 3 HR, 24 R, 27 RBI) all hit more than .400 in CACC competition. Kleinstein is second in the CACC in hitting, while LaMura is second in hits and tied for second in RBI. Joining LaMura in the outfield is sophomore Matt Diesel (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) (.349, 5 HR, 43 R, 38 RBI), who is third in the league in runs and fifth in RBI.
Sophomore shortstop Bruce Strickland (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan) (.289, 13 XBH, 33 R, 19 RBI, 12 SB), the 2015 CACC Rookie of the Year, was chosen to this year's All-CACC Second Team.
Felician finishes the 2015-16 academic year with 13 all-conference athletes.
The complete 2016 All-CACC Baseball Teams and special award winners can be viewed at http://caccathletics.org/sports/bsb/2015-16/releases/59POY.