May 30, 2012

Peacocks Shine On Diamond, Records Eclipsed

Peacocks Shine On Diamond, Records Eclipsed
Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tying for the second-most wins in program history, the 2012 Peacocks baseball team set a multitude of records, despite falling short of a MAAC tournament berth. For the year, the squad finished with a record of 20-34 overall and 10-14 in conference action. Only twice in program history has a Saint Peter's baseball team reached the 20-win plateau, with the last time occurring in 2008. The team's excellence was not limited to on-field accomplishments however, as 10 players were named to the MAAC All-Academic Team, tying with Iona to lead all league schools. Also highlighting this year's achievements was Justyn Carter and Matt Speckmann receiving All-MAAC Second Team accolades, while Carter, Chris Grimes, Mark Wilson and Matt Mancini were named to the New Jersey Collegiate Baseball Association Division I All-State Second Team.

Arguably one of the most impressive dimensions of the 2012 team was the pitching staff, which finished the year with the best overall earned run average since 1982 (4.36)- also good for second in the league. The staff also broke school records in walks per nine innings, saves in a season, and most shutouts as a staff, led by senior Mat Yuhas. Yuhas pitched back-to-back complete game shutouts; the first time a Peacock pitcher ever achieved such a feat, towards the end of April against conference rivals Siena and Rider. Fellow starter Zach Hopf was also impressive in his sophomore campaign, establishing a single season record in innings pitched (90.1) and striking out 71 batters, good for third in the MAAC. Dom Macaluso tied fellow senior Anthony DeLeo for most saves in a season (7), while DeLeo graduates as the all-time leader in saves with 14. For the year, NJCBA Division I All-State Second Team selections Mark Wilson and Matt Mancini also finished the year with notable statistics. Wilson led the team in ERA (1.42) and limited opponents to a .239 batting average, and Mancini tied for the team lead in wins with 5, struck out 40 in 72.1 innings pitched and finished the season with a 3.48 ERA.

The Peacocks' offense also broke several single-season records, as they recorded the fifth most hits (436), doubles (86) and total bases (579) in school history. The team's 86 doubles was fifth most in the MAAC and their 9 triples tied for fourth. Senior shortstop Justyn Carter served as a catalyst on the offensive end, leading the squad in batting average (.326), on base percentage (.424), runs (23) and stolen bases (21). Finishing his career with a batting average of .333, his 93 stolen bases are an all-time Peacock record, while his .462 on base percentage is second and his 124 runs scored place him at fourth.

Additionally, two-year catcher Russ Stupienski tied for the MAAC lead in runners picked off with 5 and finished third in runners caught stealing (21).

"The program has made some amazing strides on and off the field this year", remarked pitching coach Sean Cashman. "In every aspect of the program, from the administration, to the players, to the coaches, a commitment to excellence was truly exhibited.  Although we came up short of our goal of winning the MAAC championship, the future is very bright for Peacock baseball. We're returning our 3 conference starting pitchers, from a staff that set 11 school records in 2012 and with an outstanding incoming recruiting class. The 2012-13 season is definitely one everyone is looking forward to."