ATTLEBORO, Mass. – The NECC announced its 2018 Baseball All-Conference teams and major award winners on Monday afternoon. The awards were voted on by the conference's seven coaches following the conclusion of the regular season. All seven of the conference schools are represented on the all-conference teams, led by Mitchell College with 10 All-Conference selections, seven of which were first-team honorees.
Mitchell senior second baseman Kyle Hartenstein (Meriden, Conn.) was voted the 2018 NECC Player of the Year. Lesley University senior Tom Muratore (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) earned Pitcher of the Year honors, while Newbury College's Javi Martinez (Saugus, Mass.) was named Rookie of the Year. Lesley head coach Billy Cather was voted Coach of the Year by his peers.
Joining Pitcher of the Year Tom Muratore in the first team all-conference pitcher slot is Elms College junior Thomas Owens (Enfield, Conn.), and Mitchell pitchers Jakari Pellegrini (New Britain, Conn.) and Eddie Santiago (New London, Conn.). Lesley's Jacob Cervantes (Oxnard, Calif.) landed the first team catcher nod. Player of the Year Kyle Hartenstein is a first-team infield selection at second base, along with his teammates, first baseman James Rangel (North Bergen, N.J.) and shortstop Garet Griffin (Moosup, Conn.), as well as Rookie of the Year Javi Martinez, in the third base slot. Mitchell is also well-represented in the first team outfielder spot, as both Jack Finnegan (Old Saybrook, Conn.) and Eric Marriott (Niagara Falls, Canada) were honored, as well as Becker College senior Chris Testa (Providence, R.I.). Lesley junior Ryan Pumphret (Shrewsbury, Mass.) rounds out the first team at the designated hitter position.
Dean College is represented on the second team by pitcher Gaten Davis (Anchorage, Alaska). He is joined by pitchers Kevin Banas (Hatfield, Mass.) of Elms, Nick Iadevaio (Mineola, N.Y.) of Lesley and Bryton Ferris (Manchester, Conn.) of Mitchell. Becker freshman William Negron (Bronx, N.Y.) nabbed the second team catcher spot. In the infield, Elms' Josh Berthiaume (Pittsfield, Mass.) is the first base selection, while Lesley's Will Rhone (North Haven, Conn.) was selected at second base and Mitchell's Steven Pagan (Oceanside, Calif.) at third. Southern Vermont College's John Arancio (Oradell, N.J.) rounds out the infield at shortstop. His teammate Niko D'Agnese (Mahopac, N.Y.) lands the first of three outfield spots, along with Steven DePalma (Albertson, N.Y.) of Lesley and David Center (Medford, Mass.) of Newbury. Mitchell's Peter Abate (Wallingford, Conn.) rounds out the second team at the designated hitter position.
NECC Player of the Year – Kyle Hartenstein (Sr., 2B, Meriden, Conn.)
Senior Kyle Hartenstein led the Mariners to a 15-3 regular season conference record (30-8 overall), and the No. 1 seed in the 2018 NECC Tournament. Mitchell would go unbeaten in the tournament, winning their fourth title in five years. Hartenstein's play in the tournament would garner him All-Tournament recognition. Overall, the second baseman batted a league-best .408, hitting safely in every NECC game he played in this season. He scored 52 runs, also tops in the league and tied for 17th in NCAA Division III. In conference play, Hartenstein leads the league in hits (29), doubles (7), and total bases (47). Defensively, the second baseman only made six errors in 165 total chances for a .964 fielding percentage. He will graduate as Mitchell's all-time leader in hits, runs and games played. He was also an All-American and All-New England honoree in 2017. He was a one-time 2018 NECC Player of the Week selection (week ending 3/11/18).
NECC Pitcher of the Year – Tom Muratore (Sr., P, Mamaroneck, N.Y.)
Senior Tom Muratore was a work horse for the Lynx, pitching more innings than any other pitcher in the league (64.1). Behind his pitching, the Lynx finished with a 14-4 conference record, and a 27-11 overall record, landing the second seed in the conference tournament. The senior was tops in the league in wins (9), complete games (5), shutouts (2) and strikeouts (71). His five complete games is tied for ninth in NCAA Division III. His 2.80 ERA was good for second in the league. Muratore was the 2015 NECC Rookie of the Year. He was a two-time 2018 Pitcher of the Week selection (weeks ending 3/18/18 and 3/25/18).
NECC Rookie of the Year – Javi Martinez (So., 3B, Saugus, Mass.)
Sophomore Javi Martinez made an immediate impact in conference play for the Nighthawks. His .446 batting average in league play was tops in the conference. He also led the league with seven doubles in conference play. Overall, the newcomer hit .366, with four home runs and 30 RBI. Defensively, the third baseman had a .929 fielding percentage in conference play. Martinez earned NECC Rookie of the Week honors once (week ending 4/8/18).
Coach of the Year – Billy Cather, Lesley
In his fifth season with the Lynx, Cather led his squad to a 14-4 conference record, and 27-11 overall record. The 27 overall wins and 14 conference wins are both program bests. The Lynx led the league in home runs with 22, and doubles with 84. His pitching staff allowed the fewest runs in the league (135), and was second in ERA (3.77) and strikeouts (239). Defensively, the Lynx led the league with a .973 fielding percentage. This is Cather's second consecutive NECC Coach of the Year award.
First Team All-NECC
P- Thomas Owens, Elms (Jr., Enfield, Conn.)
P- Tom Muratore, Lesley (Sr., Mamaroneck, N.Y.)
P- Jakari Pellegrini, Mitchell (So., New Britain, Conn.)
P- Eddie Santiago, Mitchell (Sr., New London, Conn.)
C- Jacob Cervantes, Lesley (Jr., Oxnard, Calif.)
1B- James Rangel, Mitchell (Sr., North Bergen, N.J.)
2B- Kyle Hartenstein, Mitchell (Sr., Meriden, Conn.)
3B- Javi Martinez, Newbury (So., Saugus, Mass.)
SS- Garet Griffin, Mitchell (Sr., Moosup, Conn.)
OF- Chris Testa, Becker (Sr., Providence, R.I.)
OF- Jack Finnegan, Mitchell (Sr., Old Saybrook, Conn.)
OF- Eric Marriott, Mitchell (Jr., Niagara Falls, Canada)
DH- Ryan Pumphret, Lesley (Jr., Shrewsbury, Mass.)
Second Team All-NECC
P- Gaten Davis, Dean (Fr., Anchorage, Alaska)
P- Kevin Banas, Elms (So., Hatfield, Mass.)
P- Nick Iadevaio, Lesley (Sr., Mineola, N.Y.)
P- Bryton Ferris, Mitchell (Sr., Manchester, Conn.)
C- William Negron, Becker (Fr., Bronx, N.Y.)
1B- Josh Berthiaume, Elms (Jr., Pittsfield, Mass.)
2B- Will Rhone, Lesley (So., North Haven, Conn.)
3B- Steven Pagan, Mitchell (Jr., Oceanside, Calif.)
SS- John Arancio, Southern Vermont (Sr., Oradell, N.J.)
OF- Steven DePalma, Lesley (So., Albertson, N.Y.)
OF- David Center, Newbury (Jr., Medford, Mass.)
OF- Niko D'Agnese, Southern Vermont (Sr., Mahopac, N.Y.)
DH- Peter Abate, Mitchell (Jr., Wallingford, Conn.)
All-NECC Sportsmanship Team
Payton Musco, Becker (Fr., Litchfield, N.H.)
Jason Bottone, Dean (So., P, Derby, Conn.)
Andrew Serio, Elms (So., Northampton, Mass.)
Aaron Rhodes, Lesley (Sr., Chittenden, Vt.)
Sam Sabilia, Mitchell (Sr., C, New London, Conn.)
Jim McGrorry, Newbury (Sr., P/INF, Oakhurst, N.J.)
Monte Hogue, Southern Vermont (Jr., Phoenix, Ariz.)