May 22, 2013
TRENTON, N.J. - For a third time in the past four years the MAAC Baseball Player of the Year hails from Siena. Senior outfielder Mike Fish earned the prestigious honor at the conference's awards banquet Wednesday night and the Delmar, N.Y. native was joined on the All-MAAC First Team by fellow local product Matt Gage of Gloversville.
Fish becomes Siena's eighth MAAC Player of the Year - the most of any school - and is the first Saint to earn the honor since Dan Paolini won it in back-to-back seasons in both 2010 and 2011.
A Preseason All-MAAC selection, the Bethlehem High grad leads the conference in home runs (12), hits (80), runs scored (54), total bases (134) and slugging percentage (.626). A two-time MAAC Offensive Player of the Week, Fish ranks second in the league in both RBI (49) and doubles (16) and stands third in average (.374).
The Saints' ace, Gage's MAAC-leading 81 strikeouts are two shy of John Lannan's single-season program record set in 2005. The sophomore southpaw out of Broadalbin-Perth was a two-time MAAC Pitcher of the Week and ranks second in conference-only games with a 1.89 ERA while holding opponents to a .228 batting average.
Other major award winners included Rider's Kurt Sowa (Pitcher of the Year) and Barry Davis (Coach of the Year), Canisius' Alex Godzak (Rookie of the Year) and Jon Fitzsimmons (Co-Relief Pitcher of the Year) and Marist's Kevin McCarthy (Co-Relief Pitcher of the Year).
The Saints also placed four student athletes on the MAAC All-Academic Team for accruing cumulative GPA's of 3.20 or better. They included senior Larry Balkwill, juniors Neil Fryer and Mike Williams and sophomore Chris Kearney.
The fourth seeded Saints begin their quest for the program's fifth MAAC Championship when they face regular season champion Rider Thursday at 7 p.m. at Arm & Hammer Park.