|Jaspers Collect Hardware at MAAC Baseball Awards Banquet|
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - Five Manhattan College baseball players received All-MAAC First Team honors as awarded on Wednesday at the MAAC Awards Banquet at Joe Bruno Stadium in Troy, N.Y. on the eve of the 2012 MAAC Baseball Tournament. Junior catcher Ramon Ortega, junior second baseman Nick Camastro , junior centerfielder Anthony Vega, junior pitcher John Soldinger and sophomore shortstop Yoandry Galan made up nearly half of the league's First Team.
Manhattan (29-24, 18-6 MAAC) was also presented with its fourth MAAC Regular-Season trophy in the last five years as the top-seeded Jaspers will begin defending their championship on Thursday at 3 p.m. against #4 Rider. Additionally, four Jaspers received MAAC All-Academic Team honors. Sophomores Chris Kalousdian, Michael Martin, Scott McClennan and junior Kyle Murphy were recognized for their success in the classroom. To be eligible for the All-Academic team, student-athletes must have completed at least two semesters at their institution and have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher.
Camastro received All-MAAC honors for the second consecutive season after hitting above .300 for the third straight year. The Jaspers' co-captain started 52 games during the regular-season leading Manhattan in doubles (15) and on-base percentage (.428). Camastro started all 24 MAAC games and hit .310 with 13 RBI, nine doubles and nine steals against conference opponents. He was named MAAC Player of the Week on Feb. 28 after batting .529 with four RBI in the Jaspers non-conference series at Florida Atlantic.
Ortega also garnered All-MAAC honors for the second straight year. The co-captain from Miami enters the MAAC Tournament ranked third in the league with seven home runs and 45 RBI. Ortega started 43 of 50 appearances behind the plate during the regular-season and caught 21 base runners stealing. He tied for fifth in the MAAC drawing 28 walks, while also delivering 10 multi-hit games and 10 multi-RBI efforts.
Vega made a strong case for player of the year consideration after leading Manhattan and ranking in the top-5 of the MAAC in batting average (.343), hits (69), stolen bases (31), runs (38), triples (4), slugging percentage (.502) and total bases (101). The centerfielder from Patchogue, N.Y. set career-highs in every statistical category. He trailed only Ortega on the team with five home runs, 31 RBI and a .420 on-base percentage batting 46 of his 53 appearances out of the one or two holes. Vega led Manhattan with 20 multi-hit games, including seven 3-hit performances. Defensively, he committed only one error playing every inning in center field.
Soldinger received his third All-MAAC award with his second straight selection to the First Team. The co-captain from Bay Shore, N.Y. ranked second in the league with six wins and a .246 batting average against. Soldinger also ranked eighth in the nation with six complete game performances during the regular-season. In MAAC contests, Soldinger posted five victories, winning his last four starts of the regular-season beginning with a complete game victory at Canisius on April 21. Soldinger was named MAAC Pitcher of the Week twice this year, and he enters the postseason seventh in program history with 21 career wins.
Galan collected his first All-MAAC award as he has developed into one of the most dynamic infielders in the conference. The sophomore from Miami started all 53 games during the regular-season, playing the last 43 at shortstop. Galan committed only 11 errors playing the middle infield for the entire regular-season. Offensively, he ranked second on the team with a .305 batting average and third with 51 hits. Galan registered a .401 on-base percentage and had eight doubles.
After facing #4 Rider on Thursday, the Jaspers will take on either #2 Canisius or #3 Fairfield on Friday in the double elimination tournament. Game times Friday are slated for 3 & 7 p.m.