Siena freshman Joe Drpich "The Big Show" took home one of the MAAC's biggest awards today. Drpich was honored as MAAC Rookie of the Year and joined senior captain Justin Esquerra on the MAAC First Team after a standout first season with the Saints.
It's the second straight year the Rookie of the Year has come from Siena. Sophomore center fielder Dan Swain took home the honor last season. Drpich is the fifth Saint to win the award.
Senior pitcher Matt Quintana was named to the MAAC Second Team. Esquerra was joined by Taylor Ahearn, Chris Amorosi, Brian Fay, Bryan Goossens, Yahriel Jimenez, Chris Kearney and Patrick Ortland on the MAAC All-Academic Team.
Drpich (South Salem, N.Y.) batted .314 this season and was fourth in the MAAC with eight home runs. He led the conference with .22 home runs per game and was second with a .610 slugging percentage. Drpich was named MAAC Rookie of the Week a league-high three times this season. He did his most damage on the road, batting .424 with six home runs, 19 RBI and an .848 slugging percentage. In addition to Rookie of the Year honors, he was named to the MAAC First Team at designated hitter.
Esquerra (San Diego, Calif.) led the team with a .326 batting average and 56 hits. He earned First Team All-MAAC honors at third base, where he made just four errors in 132 chances this season. Siena's Male Student Athlete of the Year has started all 106 games since joining the program last year after transferring from San Diego Mesa Junior College. He finished third on the team with 27 runs scored and 21 RBI, and his .448 slugging percentage and .387 on-base percentage were second best.
Quintana (West Simsbury, Conn.) led the MAAC with a 1.79 ERA in 18 appearances. He struck out 58 men in 50.1 innings of work, and walked just 12 batters all season. Opponents hit just .188 off the senior right hander and he posted five saves. Quintana was one of three pitchers named to the MAAC Second Team.
To be eligible for the MAAC All-Academic Team, a student athlete must complete two semesters at their institution and hold a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 on a 4.0 scale.
Siena begins its MAAC title defense Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. against No. 5 seed Monmouth. The Saints finished the season with a 20-26 overall record and a 13-8 MAAC mark to earn the No. 4 seed in the six-team championships which will be contested at Fishkill's Dutchess Stadium.