May 9, 2012

Mathieu Northeast-10 Player of the Year, Walsh Rookie of the Year; Baseball Puts Seven On All-Conference Teams

Ravens have three on First Team, open postseason this afternoon

Full All-Northeast-10 Conference selections (PDF)

Mathieu After an All-Rookie Team selection last season, Mathieu becomes the fifth player in school history to be named Northeast-10 Player of the Year.

RINDGE, N.H. (May 9, 2012) – Sophomore first baseman Zach Mathieu (Derry, N.H.) of the No. 14/26 nationally ranked Franklin Pierce University baseball team has been named Northeast-10 Conference Player of the Year, as announced Wednesday by the Conference office. In addition, freshman catcher Matt Walsh (Plymouth, Mass.) has been named Northeast-10 Rookie of the Year. In all, the Ravens had seven players selected to the three All-Conference teams, matching their total of a year ago.

Mathieu and Walsh lead three Franklin Pierce selections to the All-Northeast-10 Conference First Team, a number that ties for the most in the league, as they are joined by graduate student center fielder James Roche (Arlington, Mass.). In addition, sophomore left fielder Calvin Graves (Boston, Mass.) and junior right fielder Nick LaCroix (Grafton, Mass.) were selected to the All-Northeast-10 Second Team, while senior second baseman Dan Hennigan (Downingtown, Pa.) and graduate student right-hander Jack Crawford (Montgomery, N.Y.) landed on the All-Northeast-10 Third Team. Walsh was also selected to the Northeast-10 All-Rookie Team.

Both Massachusetts Lowell and Le Moyne had three players each on the First Team as well, while both Le Moyne and Southern New Hampshire matched Franklin Pierce with seven All-Conference selections. No team had more selections in either category.

Mathieu is the first Franklin Pierce player to earn Northeast-10 Player of the Year honors since Keith Renaud in 2007. He becomes the fifth Northeast-10 Player of the Year selection in program history, joining Renaud, Garrett Olson (2006), Bryan Duplissie (2005) and Eric Cavers (2004). Tim Flight of Southern New Hampshire was named Northeast-10 Pitcher of the Year, ending a four-year run by the Ravens in that department.

Six of Franklin Pierce's eight position players were named as All-Conference selections. As a team, the Ravens lead the Northeast-10 in batting average (.330), on-base percentage (.394) and slugging percentage (.466).

Mathieu has put together one of the most impressive offensive seasons in the nation, especially given that he plays in a wood-bat conference. Through May 6, he ranked among the top 50 players in the country in runs per game (1.12), runs scored (55), hits (76), doubles per game (0.39), doubles (19), triples (5), home runs per game (0.22), home runs (11), slugging percentage (.697) and total bases (138). Currently, through the end of the regular season, Mathieu leads the Northeast-10 in slugging percentage, runs scored, hits and doubles. In addition, he ranks among the top five players in the Conference in batting average (.384), triples, home runs and runs batted in (43). It is the first career All-Northeast-10 selection for Mathieu, who was named to the All-Rookie Team a year ago.

Walsh has picked up right where Mike Dowd left off behind the plate for the Ravens. Through the end of the regular season, he ranks 12th in the Northeast-10 in hits (63) and 16th in runs batted in (36). Over 183 at-bats while starting all 49 games at catcher, he is hitting .344/.401/.421 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with eight doubles, two home runs and 13 walks. He has scored 29 runs, been hit by seven pitches and stolen six bases in nine attempts. Defensively, he has thrown out 22.2% of baserunners who have attempted to steal on him (12-for-54). He was named Northeast-10 Rookie of the Week for two of the final three weeks of the regular season.

Walsh Walsh's .344/.401/.421 slash line was good enough to earn Northeast-10 Rookie of the Year honors.

In his lone year in Rindge after three seasons at fellow Northeast-10 member Bentley, Roche has not missed a beat, batting primarily in the three-spot for the Ravens. Through May 6, he ranks in the top 50 in the nation in hits (70), home runs per game (0.24), home runs (12) and total bases (123). Through the end of the regular season, he leads the Northeast-10 in home runs and ranks in the top five in slugging percentage (.628), runs scored (49), hits, doubles (17) and runs batted in (49). While starting every game in center field, he is hitting .357/.424/.628 and has scored 49 runs, driven in 49, worked 24 walks and stolen 18 bases in 26 attempts. It is Roche's fourth career All-Northeast-10 selection, as he was on the Second Team in 2010 and 2008, in addition to a selection to the First Team in 2009. He was Northeast-10 Freshman of the Year back in 2008 at Bentley.

A regular starter in 2012 after bouncing in and out of the lineup last season, Graves leads the team in average (.387) out of the nine-hole, turning the lineup over with regularity. He ranks second in the Northeast-10 in batting average, fifth in stolen bases (22-for-24) and 13th in on-base percentage (.426). Over 150 at-bats in 44 games, he is hitting .387/.426/.427 with four doubles, three triples and four walks. He has scored 31 runs, driven in 23 and been hit by seven pitches. It is the first career All-Northeast-10 selection for Graves.

After surging to an All-Northeast-10 selection last year after missing the start of the season with injury, LaCroix hit from the beginning this year and has started every game in right field. He ranks in the top 10 in the Northeast-10 in average (.367), hits (66), runs batted in (41) and stolen bases (19-for-24). Over 180 at-bats, he is hitting .367/.423/.511 with 12 doubles, one triple, four home runs and 17 walks. He has scored 36 runs and driven in 41. It is the third All-Conference selection in as many years for LaCroix, who was on the Third Team in 2011 and the Second Team in 2010.

In his second season at Franklin Pierce after two years at Philadelphia University, Hennigan has continued to get on base consistently in the lead-off spot for the Ravens. He ranks in the top five in the Northeast-10 in average (.364), on-base percentage (.470), runs scored (45) and stolen bases (23-for-25), while ranking in the top 10 in hits (68) and walks (33). Starting every game at either second base or designated hitter, over 187 at-bats he is hitting .364/.470/.406 with eight doubles. He has scored 45 runs, driven in 27 and been hit by seven pitches. It is the second straight All-Conference selection for Hennigan, who was named to the First Team last season.

In his lone year with the Ravens after spending time at both St. Andrews and Dominican (N.Y.), Crawford has anchored the Franklin Pierce pitching staff in 2012. Through May 6, he ranks 10th in the nation in hits allowed per nine innings (5.81) and 20th in earned-run average (1.61). Over eight starts and one relief appearance totaling 61.1 innings, he is 5-2 with three complete games. He has allowed 17 runs (11 earned) on 40 hits, walked 15, hit five, struck out 55 and held opponents to a .187 batting average (40-for-214). It is the first career All-Conference selection for Crawford.

The Ravens (33-15-1) open pursuit of their record-tying fifth Northeast-10 Championship title later this afternoon with a Northeast Division first-round contest. Second-seeded Franklin Pierce will host third-seeded Stonehill at 4 p.m. at Dr. Arthur and Martha Pappas Field in Rindge.

For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics).

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