GANSEVOORT, N.Y. – On Thursday, May 2, the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) announced its men's baseball all-conference selections for the 2013 season, as well as the league's Player, Pitcher, Rookie and Coach of the Year winners. When the list was unveiled, five Penn State Harrisburg players found themselves as all-conference first and second team honorees.
Junior Travis Crammer (Cerritos, Calif. / Cerritos) was voted to the NEAC all-conference first team while freshman Bryan Balshy (Palmyra, Pa. / Palmyra), juniors Jim Klingerman (Telford, Pa. / Souderton) and Colton Houseal (Maytown, Pa. / Donegal) and sophomore Branden Rutt (Ephrata, Pa. / Ephrata) were named to the league's all-conference second-team. In addition to his all-conference nod, Balshy was also voted the NEAC Rookie of the Year for his impressive first-year outing this past spring.
Crammer, the Lions' lead-off hitter and second baseman, led the conference in runs scored (40) and ranked second in home runs (7) and walks (26). Balshy, the Blue & White's first baseman, drove in a team-high 42 runs and his RBI total was good enough to lead the NEAC. His five home runs rank him fourth in the league and his 47 hits is the sixth highest total of any player in the conference. Klingerman was Harrisburg's most consistent starting pitcher this year and racked up a NEAC-best seven wins. His 2.20 ERA was good enough to rank him second amongst pitchers in the conference. Rutt's ability to excel both behind the plate and in the designated hitter slot was evidenced by his impressive .362 batting average. His 51 hits rank him fourth in the NEAC and he's thrown out seven runners attempting to steal, the seventh-highest total of any player in the league. Houseal racked up a .365 batting average and his 46 hits rank him seventh amongst all conference players.
In addition to the accolades earned by Penn State Harrisburg players, Penn State Abington's Bill Parave was named the conference's Player of the Year while Gallaudet's Brandon Holsworth earned Pitcher of the Year status. Curtis Pride, the Bison skipper, was voted NEAC Coach of the Year by his peers for the second-straight season.
Penn State Harrisburg will play for the 2013 NEAC championship and an automatic NCAA tournament berth tomorrow morning, May 5 against two-time defending regular season champion Penn State Berks. The Lions will take the field at Gallaudet in Washington, D.C. with the first pitch scheduled for 10 a.m.