SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Four members of the Endicott baseball program led a talented group of 10 All-CCC winners with major individual awards as senior centerfielder Tad Gold (Martha's Vineyard, Mass.) was named CCC Player of the Year, sophomore right-hander JJ Branch (Milford, Mass.) earned CCC Pitcher of the Year, freshman left fielder Cam Farnham (Andover, Mass.) collected CCC Rookie of the Year honors, and seventh-year head coach Bryan Haley shared CCC Coach of the Year.
The 2014 All-CCC Baseball Team, announced by conference commissioner Gregg M. Kaye, is voted upon by the league's head coaches and recognizes six major awards and three separate All-CCC Teams at the First Team, Second Team, and Honorable Mention levels.
Gold and Branch were two of five All-CCC First Team players from Endicott to be recognized as were senior catcher EJ Martinez (Brooklyn, N.Y.), junior second baseman Harry Oringer (Dartmouth, Mass.), and sophomore third baseman Matthew Paola (Middlebury, Conn.).
Gold, a one-time CCC Player of the Week on April 28th, ranks in the top-five in the CCC in 13 statistical categories and leads the conference five of them including games played, runs scored (50), hits (59), triples (8), and total bases (86) while ranking second in league in batting average (.431), slugging percentage (.628), stolen bases (22), and at bats (137). He has the third-highest RBI total in the CCC with 33. Nationally, Gold ranks fourth in runs scored, fifth in triples, eighth in triples per game, 10th in runs scored per game, and 31st in batting average. Gold has set a person records in nearly all statistical categories including a career-low 13 strikeouts. He has moved to the top of several Endicott all-time records including runs scored (153), triples (22), and stolen bases (88). He goes into the CCC Tournament, a playoff that has Endicott as the top seed, with a 10-game hitting-streak intact which is the second-highest of his career.
Branch won CCC Pitcher of the Week on April 7th after recording his first two complete-games of his career in back-to-back starts over Salve Regina and Western New England. He has not allowed a run against a CCC opponent in 19 2/3 innings and has not allowed an earned run in 24 1/3 innings. In just his second season he has established the lowest career earned run average (1.88) and opponent batting average (.222) in program history. Branch leads the CCC with five complete-games and two shutouts this season as well as ranking second with a 1.63 ERA in 55 1/3 innings. He will head into CCC Tournament with an overall record of 6-1 (4-0 CCC) as the Gulls own the top seed in the tournament
Martinez has played in 33 games this season and batted .408 with a .455 on-base percentage and a .573 slugging percentage. Martinez has 11 extra-base hits season and is tied with fellow First Teamer Paola with a team-high three homeruns. Martinez has 37 RBI, 21 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in which has been a career-best season for the senior. Oringer in 38 games this season averages .415, gets on-base at a .527 clip, and has a .600 slugging percentage. Out of the two-hole, Oringer has drove in 29 runs, scored 37 himself, and stolen eight bases. He has 20 extra-base hits this season on 16 doubles, three triples, and a homerun. Paola has extended his success from freshman year into his sophomore season by hitting .314 with 31 runs scored, 26 RBI, and nine stolen bases. Paola shifted into the leadoff spot late in the season and responded with a .395 on-base percentage as he has 15 walks to go along with his 44 hits.
Farnham, this year's CCC Rookie of the Year, is joined by senior first baseman Brett Holmgren (Middleboro, Mass.) on the All-CCC Second Team.
Farnham won CCC Rookie of the Week on March 31st after batting .409 with nine hits including three hits and four runs scored in a 16-7 win over #5 Southern Maine. He is currently in the midst of a 10-game hitting-streak in which he has raised his overall batting average 93 points from .250 to .343 as the Gulls head into the CCC Tournament as the top seed. Farnham reached base in all 13 conference games he played in, batting .412 (14-for-34) with six walks, nine runs, and three RBI. Farnham has struck out just eight times in 112 plate appearances.
Holmgren batted .282 during his final regular season with 25 RBI, 22 runs, and seven extra-base hits including two homeruns. Holmgren has also been among the region and nation's top defensive players as he sports a .994 fielding percentage with just two errors in 361 total touches on the ball this spring. He has helped turn 32 double plays and laid down tags on seven pickoffs.
A trio of Gulls headline the Honorable Mention All-CCC squad which includes junior pitcher Zac Poland (Essex Junction, Vt.), sophomore shortstop Cody Hall (Rutland, Mass.), and sophomore outfielder Steve Morganelli (Milford, Mass.). Poland, a left-hander who has made 10 appearances this season and seven starts, turned in an undefeated 6-0 record on the mound with a 2.47 ERA and a .274 opponent batting average in 43 2/3 innings pitched. He has a 22-eight, strikeout-walk ratio this season. Hall has played a stellar shortstop for Endicott this spring while contributing offensively with a .268 batting average, 21 RBI, 15 runs scored, and a team-high six sacrifice bunts. Morganelli has provided some pop in the Gulls lineup with a .287 batting average, a .354 on-base percentage, and a .483 slugging percentage. His power has been seen with nine extra-base hits including four triples and two homeruns. Morganelli has totaled 19 RBI and 21 runs with six stolen bases.
For the first time in his seven years as head coach of Endicott, Haley led his team to a top seed in the CCC Tournament after winning the CCC title and appearing in the NCAA New England Regional Finals in 2013. Haley surpassed 300 career games as coach of the Gulls baseball program and has now accumulated an overall record of 189-118 (.616) and a 97-39 (.713) mark in CCC games. In his seven season in Beverly, this year's team produced the highest batting average (.318) and slugging percentage (.440) and third-lowest earned run average (3.86) and opponent batting average (.265) during Haley's tenure. Nationally, the Gulls rank in the top-50 of all Division III baseball teams in 11 statistical categories. Of those 11 categories, five are among the top-25 in the nation, including triples (6th), triples per game (11th), shutouts (11th), double plays (16th), and double plays per game (23rd). Haley will look to lead the Gulls to their second-consecutive CCC Championship title.