Zach Mathieu Named NCBWA East Region Player of the Year; Baseball Sports Three All-Region Selections
Mathieu, Roche, Walsh all land on First Team
Mathieu adds NCBWA East Region Player of the Year honors to his Northeast-10 Player of the Year accolade.
RINDGE, N.H. (May 16, 2012) – Sophomore first baseman Zach Mathieu (Derry, N.H.) of the No. 14/25 nationally ranked Franklin Pierce University baseball team has been named National Collegiate Baseball Writers' Association East Region Player of the Year, as announced Wednesday by the NCBWA. He headlines three Franklin Pierce selections to the NCBWA All-East Region First Team, as he is joined by freshman catcher Matt Walsh (Plymouth, Mass.) and graduate student center fielder James Roche (Arlington, Mass.).
St. Thomas Aquinas was the only other team in the region to match Franklin Pierce's three First-Team honorees. It is the third straight year a Raven has garnered a major regional award from the NCBWA, as Ryan Thompson and Jose Macias were named East Region Pitcher of the Year in 2011 and 2010, respectively.
The Northeast-10 Conference Player of the Year, 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 13, he ranked among the top 50 players in the country in runs per game (1.09), runs scored (59), hits (85), doubles per game (0.41), doubles (22), triples (5), home runs per game (0.24), home runs (13), slugging percentage (.712) and total bases (156). His total bases and hits totals ranked second and third in the nation, respectively. Currently, through last week's Conference Championship, 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 (.388), triples, home runs and runs batted in (48).
Already this spring, Mathieu has been named as a semifinalist for College Baseball Lineup's Tino Martinez Division II Player of the Year Award and has been selected to the All-Northeast-10 First Team. He currently stands three hits and four doubles shy of tying the school single-season record in both categories. In addition, he is three home runs behind Roche, who has already established the school record for home runs in a season. Mathieu paces a lineup that leads the Northeast-10 in batting average (.330), on-base percentage (.396) and slugging percentage (.473).
Walsh has picked up right where Mike Dowd left off behind the plate for the Ravens. Through the Northeast-10 Championship, he ranks in the top 15 in the Northeast-10 in batting average (.338), hits (68) and runs batted in (40). Over 201 at-bats while starting all 54 games at catcher, he is hitting .338/.397/.438 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with eight doubles, four home runs and 15 walks. He has scored 32 runs, been hit by eight pitches and stolen seven bases in 10 attempts. Defensively, he has thrown out 22.8% of baserunners who have attempted to steal on him (13-for-57). Already this spring, Walsh has earned Northeast-10 Rookie of the Year honors and landed on the Northeast-10 First Team and Northeast-10 All-Rookie Team.
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 13, he ranks in the top 50 in the nation in runs scored (55), hits (80), doubles (18), home runs per game (0.30), home runs (16), runs batted in per game (1.07), runs batted in (58), slugging percentage (.673) and total bases (146). Roche ranks in the top 10 in the nation in total bases (5th), home runs (7th) and hits (9th). Through the Northeast-10 Championship, he leads the Northeast-10 in home runs and runs batted in and ranks in the top five in slugging percentage, runs scored, hits and doubles (17). While starting every game in center field, he is hitting .369/.435/.673, has worked 26 walks and has stolen 20 bases in 28 attempts. Earlier this spring, Roche was named to the All-Northeast-10 First Team.
The third-seeded Ravens (36-17-1) open pursuit of their fifth NCAA Regional title against fourth-seeded Saint Anselm on Thursday, May 17. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Penmen Field in Manchester, N.H.
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).