Baseball Conference Honors Announced
Newcomb earned his second-straight America East honor when he was named to the All-Conference First Team after earning All-Rookie distinction last season. The lefthander broke a pair of records in 2013, the first a Hartford Baseball record for strikeouts in a season with 92. Seventy-eight of those came in America East action, which set a league record for conference strikeouts in a single season. Newcomb's 92 strikeouts included a single game career-high of 12 against Binghamton which was the most by a single pitcher in the America East in 2013.
The Middleboro, Mass. native closed out the season among the top-five in the nation in strikeouts-per-nine-innings with his average of 11.5. For the year, Newcomb pitched a team-high 72 innings and allowed 39 runs, 30 earned, on 53 hits all combined for a 3.75 earned run average. Newcomb made 13 appearances, 12 of which were starts, and finished with a 5-4 overall record.
DelDebbio marks the second-straight season a Hartford player has been named to the All-Rookie Team after leading a group of 15 freshman in 2013 with a .279 batting average while driving in a team-best 28 runs. The centerfielder finished with 53 hits, second on the team, with 14 of those going for extra bases, leading to a .374 slugging percentage. One of three players to appear in all 53 games, DelDebbio finished with just one error, sporting a .990 fielding average with 91 putouts and five assists.
Rounding out the league honors was a trio of players who were named to the All-Academic Team: Brady Sheetz, James Alfonso and Brian Hunter. Of the three, Sheetz led the way with a 3.54 cumulative grade point average, second on the 10-member team, as a biology major in the College of Arts and Sciences. On the field, Sheetz finished third with a .274 batting average on a team-best 54 hits in 197 at bats. The first baseman also drove in 20 runs and scored a team-high 31.
Alfonso, the Hawks' everyday catcher, sports a 3.40 grade point average as a management major in the Barney School of Business. On the field, Alfonso finished his junior season with 37 hits in 160 at bats for a .231 batting average. Twelve of his hits went for extra bases on 10 doubles and a pair of home runs while he also worked 32 free passes on 19 walks and was hit by a pitch a team-high 13 times.
Hunter, a mainstay in the Hawks' weekend pitching rotation, finished his junior campaign leading the rotation with a 3.71 earned run average starting all 13 games he appeared in. Overall, Hunter pitched 68 innings and allowed 43 runs, 28 of which were earned, on 43 hits. His average of 5.69 hits-allowed-per-nine-innings ended the regular season among the top-10 in the nation. Off the field, the Port Jefferson, N.Y., native has a 3.38 grade point average as a health sciences, pre-physical therapy, major in the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions.
Under second year head coach Justin Blood, the Hawks finished with a 17-36 overall record and a mark of 13-17 in America East Conference action. The 17 total victories is the most since the 2008 season (18), while the 13 wins in America East play is the most since the Hawks finished with 18 league victories in 1992. Joining Newcomb, Hunter, Sheetz, DelDebbio and Alfonso as the leading returners for 2014 will be junior right fielder Ryan Lukach.