MARSHFIELD, Mass. – The New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) announced this week its 2019 major award winners and all-conference selections with four Southern Vermont College student-athletes garnering accolades.
Sophomore Nick Guajardo (Mansfield, Texas) was named the shortstop on the All-NECC Second Team while senior right-hander Ryan Richards (Beaumont, Calif.) earned one of the three pitchers' spots on the All-Third Team. Senior first baseman Ryan Serrato (Whittier, Calif.) was also voted to the All-Third Team along with senior centerfielder Zack Stacey (Saratoga, N.Y.) who was additionally selected for the Del Malloy Sportsmanship Team.
"All four of our guys who made the all-NECC teams are very-well deserving," said SVC second-year head coach Adam Skonieczki. "Nick, Ryan, and Zack really anchored our offense all year and had dependable bats in the lineup. In addition, Ryan Richards, in my opinion, had one of the best comeback stories in memory."
Guajardo hit .303 on the overall season while notching a .349 average in Conference play. He tallied 13 RBIs, nine runs scored, five doubles, a triple, and a home run against league competition, and the sophomore posted a .415 on-base percentage in NECC action.
"Nick had a great season in his first year in green and yellow," Skonieczki said. "He was dynamic at the plate and was a staple at shortstop for us. I am extremely confident that Nick will continue to do great things—academically and athletically—through his career."
After not having played since his freshman year, Richards had a stellar 2019 campaign on the mound. The senior righty made seven appearances with five of those being starts; he went 5-0 with all four of his league starts going for victories. He chalked up two complete-game wins against NECC opponents and registered 14 strikeouts on the year. Richards' five victories gave him the second-most for a single season in program history, and they helped him move into a tie for fifth for the most career wins (7).
"Ryan's demeanor and mentality on the mound is contagious, and his competitiveness is second-to-none."
Serrato had an amazing season for Southern Vermont as a first-time Mountaineer. He led the team in batting average (.427), on-base percentage (.530), slugging percentage (.645), hits (47), runs (31), RBIs (30), walks (21), and doubles (13); his batting average and on-base percentage were both the third-best for a single season in program history. The senior was a two-time NECC Player of the Week, and he also garnered a spot on the D3baseball.com Team of the Week on February 26 before being selected as the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Division III National Hitter of the Week Honorable Mention on March 27. The Mountaineer made only two errors at first base through 172 total chances for a .988 fielding percentage.
"Ryan was everything we thought he would be—and then some," Skonieczki commented. "He put together one of the best offensive seasons in the school's history, but, more importantly, his leadership qualities really shined. This is a great honor for Ryan to finish off his outstanding collegiate career."
Stacey is finally collecting all-NECC recognition after an outstanding four-year career in the Southern Vermont uniform. In 2019, he was right behind Serrato in a number of categories including hits (39), runs (30), RBIs (22), doubles (7), and walks (15). He posted a slash line of .371/.465/.552 while leading the team with 12 stolen bases. Stacey was once again one of the most dependable outfielders in the country as he didn't commit any errors through 90 total chances in center—routinely robbing the opposition of hits or turning doubles into singles; he made only four errors in 333 total chances during his collegiate tenure for a .988 career fielding percentage.
"I cannot say enough about him as a baseball player," Skonieczki said, "but, more importantly, his character is through the roof."
NECC coaches nominated and then voted for the major awards and all-conference teams after the conclusion of the regular season and prior to the start of the championship tournament.
2019 NECC Baseball Major Awards & All-Conference Teams
NECC Player of the Year – Dougie DelaCruz, Mitchell
NECC Pitcher of the Year – Roland Thivierge, Mitchell
NECC Rookie of the Year – Ryan Solimine, Mitchell
NECC Coach of the Year – Travis Beausoleil, Mitchell
P – Roland Thivierge, Mitchell
P – Ryan Solimine, Mitchell
P – Nick Powers, New England College
P – Shayne Audet, New England College
C – Markus Melendez, Mitchell
1B – Tanyon Ventres, Becker
2B – Anderson Jimenez, New England College
3B – Xavier Nunez, New England College
SS – Luis Atiles, New England College
OF – Dougie DelaCruz, Mitchell
OF – Eric Marriott, Mitchell
OF – Christian Aybar, New England College
DH – Ryan Pumphret, Lesley
P – Daniel O'Donnell Jr., Lesley
P – Jakari Pellegrini, Mitchell
P – Bryce Bedard, Mitchell
P – Brent Houle, Eastern Nazarene
C – Jeff Sharnick, Dean
1B – Ryan Pumphret, Lesley
2B – Peter Abate, Mitchell
3B – Steven Pesce, Eastern Nazarene
SS – Nick Guajardo, Southern Vermont
OF – Steve Cochrane, Mitchell
OF – Evan Delaney, New England College
OF – Evan Barrera, Becker
DH – Brian Hadden, Dean
P – Briley Seiter, Eastern Nazarene
P – Mark Travers, Newbury College
P – Tanyon Ventres, Becker
P – Ryan Richards, Southern Vermont
C – Nathan Ayala, Elms
1B – Ryan Serrato, Southern Vermont
2B – Josue Basilis, Eastern Nazarene
3B – Steven Pagan, Mitchell
SS – Coby Hussey, Becker
OF – Zack Stacey, Southern Vermont
OF – Cameron Griffin, Elms
OF – Alex Hoss, Elms
DH – Michael Bianco, Becker
Del Malloy Sportsmanship Team
Manuel Alejandro, New England College
Dylan Presby, Newbury College
Jack Vogler, Elms
Zack Stacey, Southern Vermont
Brandon Paiva, Mitchell
Willis Pollard, Becker
Ryan Pumphret, Lesley
James Coury, Eastern Nazarene
Jeffrey Sharnick, Dean
– #LetsGoSVC –