PAWTUCKET, R.I. – The Little East Conference announced its 2017 Baseball All-Conference Teams and Major Awards as voted on by the eight LEC head coaches. The Southern Maine Huskies edged out UMass Boston to claim the 2017 Little East Conference regular season championship by one game, the program's 12th LEC regular season title and sixth straight.
Eastern Connecticut State's senior outfielder, Alex Zachary (Enfield, Conn.) was named the 2017 LEC Player of the Year. Zachary finished inside the top-3 in all of the major offensive categories during the 2017 season. Zachary hit both for power and for contact as he led the LEC with nine home runs and placed second in the conference with a .404 batting average on 61 base hits. Zachary produced all season for the Warriors at the plate, finishing the year with 42 runs batted in and Zachary also scored 42 runs and added 25 stolen bases. The all-around performance by Zachary in 2017 also earned him All-LEC First Team honors as an outfielder. Defensively, Zachary accumulated 95 putouts with three assists while only committing two errors in 37 games played for Eastern Connecticut State. Zachary also added 14 doubles with a .702 slugging percentage and a .477 on-base percentage.
Keene State College returned to the LEC postseason after a three-year absence and was led by the 2017 LEC Pitcher of the Year, senior Michael Crimi (Bethel, Conn.). Crimi, the Keene State ace, finished the year with a league leading 72 strikeouts and 79 innings pitched. Crimi averaged 8.20 strikeouts per nine innings pitched and allowed 22 earned runs and gave up only one home run all season long. Crimi dominated on the mound all season long for the Owls, allowing 57 hits and an earned-run average of 2.51, which was third best in the Little East. Crimi finished tied with UMass Boston's Matt Tulley for the league lead in wins (7) and was the league leader with three complete games. This is the second consecutive season a starting pitcher from Keene State has won the LEC Pitcher of the Year Award (Cody Dube '16).
Southern Maine's freshman Dylan Hapworth was named the 2017 LEC Rookie of the Year, becoming the first Huskies' student-athlete to win the honor since Sam Dexter and Paul McDonough won the honor in back-to-back years in 2013 and 2014, respectively. The top freshmen, Hapworth finished first among all Little East members with 43 runs scored and a .735 slugging percentage and nine home runs for the 2017 LEC regular season Southern Maine Huskies. Hapworth finished tied for second with a .404 batting average as he collected 55 hits, 12 doubles, 3 triples and drove in 38 RBIs while collecting 100 total bases during his rookie campaign. Hapworth also accumulated a .475 on-base percentage, walking 14 times and striking out 34 times (10th best).
For the ninth time in his career, Southern Maine's head coach Ed Flaherty was named the 2017 LEC Coach of the Year by his peers. Coach Flaherty led the Huskies to a 12-2 LEC record and has the Huskies ranked 20th in the nation and the top ranked baseball in the New England region. Coach Flaherty also had the home field at Southern Maine dedicated in his honor on April 30th along with the 20th anniversary celebration of his 1997 NCAA Division III National Championship.
2017 Little East Conference Softball
Player of the Year
Alex Zachary, Senior, Eastern Connecticut State
Pitcher of the Year
Michael Crimi, Senior, Keene State
Rookie of the Year
Dylan Hapworth, Freshman, Southern Maine
Coach of the Year
Ed Flaherty, 32nd season, Southern Maine
All-Little East First Team
Pitcher Michael Crimi Sr. Keene State
Pitcher Dalton Rice So. Southern Maine
Catcher Cam Ruziak Jr. Plymouth State
First Base Chris Fowler Jr. UMass Boston
Second Base Jake Dexter So. Southern Maine
Third Base Alex Parkos So. Eastern Connecticut
Shortstop EJ Lavoie Sr. Western Connecticut
Outfield Alex Zachary Sr. Eastern Connecticut
Outfield Dylan Hapworth Fr. Southern Maine
Outfield Connor Longley So. Keene State
Designated Hitter Dan Mantoni Sr. UMass Boston
Relief Pitcher Jake Dexter So. Southern Maine
All-Little East Second Team
Pitcher Matt Tulley Sr. UMass Boston
Pitcher Sean Callahan Sr. UMass Dartmouth
Catcher Anthony Searles Sr. UMass Boston
First Base Taylor Cacciola Sr. UMass Dartmouth
Second Base Josh Lopez Jr. UMass Boston
Third Base Kyle Boudrias So. UMass Boston
Shortstop Erick Ramirez So. UMass Dartmouth
Outfield Zach Quintal So. Southern Maine
Outfield Ezequiel Sanchez Sr. UMass Dartmouth
Outfield Ryan Richard So. Plymouth State
Designated Hitter John Tarascio So. Keene State
Relief Pitcher Bobby Tramondozzi So. UMass Boston