WALSH NAMED LEC BASEBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR, EARNS 1ST TEAM ALL REGION HONORS
May 18, 2011
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA - University of Massachusetts Boston baseball player Ryan Walsh (Newton, MA) was named the Little East Conference Player of the Year, earned a spot on the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association Division III All-Region First Team and was named a Little East Conference First Team All-Star it was announced today. This marks the first time in program history that a Beacon has been named the LEC Player of the Year and is Walsh's second straight season landing on the All-Region First Team as well as his third consecutive campaign where he has been named an LEC First Team All Star. Joining him on the Little East Conference First Team is junior centerfielder Mark McCormack (Shelton, CT) while junior pitcher James Dalton (Apopka, FL) has been named to the LEC Second Team.
Walsh put together one of the greatest offensive campaigns in school history batting .455 (69-155) to set a new single-season record. According to the latest NCAA Division III statistical report, the second baseman ranked among the national leaders in home runs per game (sixth, 0.35), slugging percentage (seventh, .797), and RBI per game (18th, 1.35). Currently, he sits atop the conference circuit in home runs (12) and slugging percentage (.806), while also ranking second in batting average (.445) and RBI (51). Walsh feasted on Little East pitching, posting a .450 batting average (27-for-60) with 12 extra base hits--seven doubles and five home runs--and 26 runs batted in. He was red-hot at the dish against Rhode Island College in a conference doubleheader on April 9, posting an 8-for-10 performance with five runs scored, six runs batted in and 18 total bases. On April 21 at Lasell College, the Newton, MA native became the Beacons all-time homerun leader, belting his 23rd career bomb. A starter in each of his 38 appearances, Walsh hit safely in 31 games, including recording multiple base knocks in 23. He completed his career riding a 15-game hitting streak, which spanned from April 19 to May 12. Walsh registered a season-high four hits five times on the campaign, most recently in the Little East Tournament against Southern Maine. The 2010 All-America selection enjoyed his most successful day at the plate against MCLA on March 14, when he reached safely on each of his four plate appearances. Walsh went 3-for-3 with a triple and home run to drive in four runs. The five-tool player stole 20 bases, drew 16 walks, posted a gaudy .511 on base percentage while also registering 125 total bases in his final campaign at UMass Boston. Walsh was also a slick fielder on the right side of the diamond, registering 110 assists on 116 chances for a .948 fielding percentage.
Over his four-year career, Walsh posted a .396 batting average to top the UMass Boston record books. He'll graduate as the all-time career leader in almost every offensive category including hits (266), runs (187), RBI (166), doubles (64), homeruns (25), total bases (419), slugging percentage (.624), walks (77) and stolen bases (79). Defensive he also made his mark in UMass Boston history recording 449 fielding assists which ranks first all-time while posting a .953 career fielding percentage over 169 career games, the most played by any player to don a Beacons uniform. Walsh has been selected to participate in the NEIBA Senior All-Star game on June 2, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. at LeLacheur Park in Lowell, MA.
McCormack is making his second consecutive appearance as a Little East Conference All Star, working his way up to the First Team after appearing on the Second Team a season ago. The junior played in and started all 40 games for the Beacons posting a .349 batting average while also recording a .479 slugging percentage. The lefty scored 41 runs and drove in 24 RBI hitting out of the two-hole in the lineup for the majority of the season. The centerfielder opened the 2011 campaign with a 10-game hitting streak right out of the gates and closed the year strong, hitting safely in 12 of his final 13 games which included eight multi-hit outings. On the season, McCormack produced 18 multi-hit games including a 4-5 showing on March 18 vs. Washington (MD) in which he hit a homerun to go along with four RBI and three runs scored. The Shelton, CT product wrapped up his junior campaign with a .415 on base percentage, 20 walks and 12 stolen bases while posting a .972 fielding percentage in center.
During his three seasons with the Beacons, McCormack has identified himself as one of the top hitters in the program's history, posting a .364 career batting average which currently ranks fifth all-time in program annals. He's among the all-time leaders in several other offensive categories including hits (second, 200), runs (second, 153), doubles (second, 50), total bases (second, 295), walks (second, 69), RBI (third, 112), stolen bases (fourth, 54), slugging percentage (fifth, .537) and homeruns (t-sixth, 13). In the outfield he's posted a .972 fielding percentage, recording 299 putouts to go along with 10 assists.
Dalton followed up his All-American season a year ago with another solid campaign to land himself on the LEC Second Team, posting a 4-4 overall record in his second year with UMass Boston. The southpaw notched a 3.44 ERA to rank fourth in the conference while his 68 strikeouts placed him third in the league. Dalton hurled a total of 65.1 innings to rank tied for fourth in the conference while holding opponents to a .261 batting clip which ranked eighth overall in the LEC. The Apopka, FL native hit his stride on the mound mid-season when he posted three consecutive wins over three conference outings from April 3-16. On April 3, the first "W" came against UMass Dartmouth as the left hurled 7.0 scoreless innings en route to 10-0 shutout win. On April 9, Dalton followed up with another strong performance against the eventual LEC tournament champions in Rhode Island College, recording a career-high 12 strikeouts while allowing just one earned run in 8.0 innings of work in the Beacons 8-4 win. On April 16, the junior was able to notch a victory over \#9 Eastern Connecticut State, holding one of the nation's most potent offensives to just three runs over 7.1 innings of work while striking out seven in the 8-3 UMB victory.
Dalton has been the ace of the Beacons staff for the past two seasons posting a combined 12-6 record and a 3.09 ERA which is the lowest in UMass Boston history for any pitcher with over 85 innings of work. His 12 wins rank tied for fourth all-time in UMass Boston history while his 140 strikeouts rank third. Dalton has logged a total of 148.1 innings to rank tied for 10th all-time and has held opponents to a .253 batting average while anchoring the staff. Dalton had previously played a season at Division II University of South Carolina Upstate in 2005, where he owned a 2.85 ERA and struck out 72 batters in 60 innings pitched over 25 appearances as a reliever. For his career, the lefty owns an 18-9 career record with a 3.02 ERA and 212 strikeouts.
UMass Boston wrapped up the 2011 season with an 18-22 overall record, ending their reign as the 2010 New England Regional Champions. The Beacons matched their highest in-conference win total, posting an 8-6 mark in the LEC to earn a \#2 seed in the Little East Conference Tournament, their highest seed ever.