Four Jaspers Receive ABCA Northeast Region Honors
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - The Manhattan baseball team is still collecting honors after winning the 2011 MAAC Championship and advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in program history. The Jaspers tied Connecticut and Stony Brook for the most honorees on the American Baseball Coaches Association Northeast Region Team as four Jaspers earned the award. Senior Mark Onorati and sophomore John Soldinger earned ABCA First Team recognition, while seniors Mike McCann and Chad Salem were named to the Second Team.
Onorati, a four-time All-MAAC selection and member of the 2011 First Team, started all 53 games in center field for the Jaspers and led the team with 66 hits and 21 doubles. He finished second in the conference with 58 runs scored and was one of the toughest players to strike out in NCAA Division I going down only five times in 201 at-bats. Onorati finished the season with a .328 batting average, six home runs, 26 RBI and a team-high 15 stolen bases.
Soldinger, the 2011 MAAC Pitcher of the Year, led the conference with 10 victories and posted 66 strikeouts in 106 innings of work. The right-hander from Bay Shore, N.Y. pitched six complete games, including a complete game victory over Notre Dame on March 4, and he recorded a 3.57 ERA. Soldinger limited opponents to a .248 batting average against, won seven league games and posted a 1.96 ERA in MAAC contests.
McCann earned ABCA Northeast Region honors for the second time in his career. The 2011 First Team All-MAAC outfielder started all 53 games for Manhattan and led the Jaspers with a .355 batting average. McCann tied Onorati for the team lead with 66 hits, and he posted 38 RBI and scored 33 runs. He also led Manhattan with a .438 on-base percentage and was second on the club with six home runs and a .538 slugging mark.
Salem was named to the ABCA Northeast Region Second Team for the second consecutive season. The third baseman from Rye, N.Y. started all 53 games and led Manhattan with nine home runs and 50 RBI. Salem, a four-year All-MAAC selection, posted 65 hits, 19 doubles and scored 37 runs. He led Manhattan with a .571 slugging percentage and finished with a .425 on-base rate.
Manhattan was sent to the NCAA Tournament Gainesville Regional, after winning the program's second MAAC Championship in the last six years under the direction of 2011 MAAC Coach of the Year Kevin Leighton. The Jaspers dropped their opening contest to tournament host and SEC champion Florida, before coming up on the short end of a 5-4 contest against Jacksonville in the elimination round.