YORK, Pa. – The No. 4 Salisbury University baseball team is getting ready for its 16th-straight NCAA tournament appearance and 21st overall, after making a run all the way to the Capital Athletic Conference championship, and the Sea Gulls were rewarded by the CAC coaches with nine All-CAC nods, including four first-team honorees.
Seniors Danny Breen, Jordan Gowe, and Kyle Hayman, and sophomore Pete Grasso were named to the first team, while seniors Austin Barefoot, Brett Collacchi, Dan Fein, and Bobby Sanzone and sophomore Ryan Daiss landed on the second team.
Breen has been a dominant force at the designated hitter spot this season, leading the team in batting average (.451), on base percentage (.509), and slugging percentage (.657), earning second in the conference in all three categories. The Owings, Maryland native has tallied 46 hits, eight doubles, three home runs, and two triples on the season, while recording 24 RBIs. Breen has also been a threat on the base paths, stealing nine bases on the season, which is third on the team.
Gowe has been a consistent offensive weapon for the Sea Gulls all season long. The left fielder leads the team in hits (51), doubles (17), and RBIs (43). The Bear, Delaware native is also No. 8 in the nation in doubles per game (.53) and 18th in runs batted in per game (1.34). Gowe has also scored 30 runs, hit two triples, and blasted a home run on the season, along with a .367 batting average and a .540 slugging percentage. Along with his hitting ability, Gowe has shown his speed this year, as he is tied for first on the team in stolen bases with 12. Gowe has also been perfect in the field this year, notching 40 putouts on 40 total chances.
Grasso has been another top offensive threat for Salisbury, leading the team in runs with 47 on the season. The Wilmington, Delaware native has notched 45 hits and six doubles and has the second-most home runs on the team, blasting five over the fence so far. Grasso is third on the team in RBIs with 37, and has stolen seven bases. Grasso has spent most of his time as the starting shortstop, recording a .933 fielding percentage, 46 putouts, and 93 assists, but has also made a big impact on the mound. Grasso has pitched 31 1/3 innings, recording 39 strikeouts, which is third on the team. Grasso was also named CAC Player of the Week once this season.
Hayman makes his second appearance on the all-conference team, being named All-CAC first team in 2014, as well. Hayman has once again proved to be one of the biggest offensive and defensive threats on the team, as well as in the nation. The Wilmington, Delaware native has rattled off 47 hits and scored 38 runs, which are both second on the team. Hayman has also notched five triples in 2015, which is tied for first in the conference and tied for 23rd in the nation. Hayman has also kept up his speed this season, stealing a team-high 12 bases. Hayman has been one of the top defensive players in the conference as well, recording a 1.000 fielding percentage, tallying 66 putouts, and nothing two assists.
Barefoot has been a strong point for Salisbury, both offensively and behind the plate. The catcher has tallied 40 hits, 21 RBIs, five doubles, two triples, and three home runs on the season, while recording a .398 batting average. Barefoot has one of the highest on base percentages (.488) and slugging percentages (.539) on the squad, as well. Behind the plate, the La Plata, Maryland native has the second-most putouts on the team with 211 and has caught nine runners stealing on the year.
Collacchi, who is making his second All-CAC appearance, garnered a 3.77 ERA and recorded 40 strikeouts on the hill this season, which is second on the team. The Bear, Delaware native went 5-2 in the regular season, pitching 57 1/3 innings of work and allowing only 48 hits. The senior has proved to be one of the top pitchers in Salisbury's rich history, as he moved his way up to No. 2 in program history in career wins with 30 and complete-game shutouts with two, while taking first in career starts with 44. Collacchi was also named CAC Pitcher of the Week twice this season.
Fein has had another spectacular season for Salisbury as a starting pitcher in his senior year. The lefty went 5-0 in the regular season, recording a 2.83 ERA in 54 innings of work. The Southbury, Connecticut native has tallied 33 strikeouts, while only allowing 17 earned runs and walking just seven batters this year. Along with his strong ability on the field, Fein has also made an impact in the classroom. For the second-straight season, Fein was placed on the Capital One Academic All-District Team, earning a 4.0 grade-point average in his major of math education.
Daiss has been one of the top pitchers for Salisbury and in the conference this season. The Seymour, Connecticut native boasts a 2.39 ERA so far, which is the best on the team. Daiss also has recorded a team-high 49 strikeouts, which is fifth-best in the entire conference. Daiss has only allowed 13 earned runs in his 49 innings on the hill and has nine strikeouts per nine innings.
Sanzone is making his third All-CAC appearance, earning first-team honors last season. Sanzone has been one of the keys to Salisbury's success, both on the offense and in the infield. The senior third baseman has been the leader in the small ball category, executing a team-high 11 sacrifice bunts, which is also No. 6 in the nation. Sanzone has tallied 34 hits and has the second-most RBIs on the team with 38. On defense, Sanzone has garnered a .911 fielding percentage with 52 assists and 20 putouts.
With the nine selections, the Salisbury baseball program has had 129 players named to the All-CAC teams since 1995 with 75 of them being first-team honorees.
The No. 4 seeded Sea Gulls get set to take on fifth-seeded Mitchell College in the first game of the eight-team Mid-Atlantic regional of the 2015 NCAA tournament. The game is set for Wednesday, May 13 at 10 a.m., and will be held at Santander Stadium in York, Pennsylvania.