ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Seven members of the Mitchell College baseball team were recognized by the New England Collegiate Conference on Tuesday afternoon as the league announced its annual awards.
Junior shortstop Garet Griffin received one of the conference's top honors as he was named NECC Player of the Year. He becomes the third player in school history to earn the award—joining Jeff Perillo and John Apostolo—and the first since 2011. He was also selected to the all-conference first team for the first time in his career.
Griffin was joined on the all-conference first team by junior second baseman Kyle Hartenstein and senior first baseman Francis Prettitore. It marked the second all-conference nod for both, as Hartenstein was a second-team pick and Prettitore was a third-team pick in 2016.
Senior pitcher Axel De Jesus, senior outfielder Tristan Hurley and junior pitcher Eddie Santiago were all selected to the all-conference second team. De Jesus earned all-conference status for the third time in his career (2014, 2016) while the other two were first-time selections.
Senior Mike Jason rounded out the honorees and was named to the all-sportsmanship team. Awards were determined by a vote of the conference head coaches.
Griffin batted a league-best .540 in conference play and also led the NECC in slugging (.820) and on-base percentage (.569). In 15 games he finished with 27 hits, five doubles, three home runs, 16 RBI and 19 runs scored. He was also a four-time NECC Player of the Week selection, the most in the conference all season.
Griffin played in 36 games and made 35 starts while hitting .496 with 41 RBI and 45 runs scored. He broke the school's single season record for batting average and currently ranks third in the country in the category. He also set Mitchell single season records in on-base percentage (.556) and hit by pitch (18). He ended the season on a 21-game hitting streak, and his 62 hits brought his career total to 100.
Hartenstein led the NECC in runs (23), doubles (10) and total hits (31) while ranking behind only
Griffin in batting average (.463) and on-base percentage (.519). A three-time NECC Player of the Week selection, he hit safely in 17 of 18 conference games and committed only one error in 78 total chances.
Hartenstein started and played all 42 games and hit .422 with 43 RBI and a team-high 51 runs scored. His 70 hits shattered the school's single season record, and he also set a new benchmark for doubles (19). After three years he sits in second place all-time at Mitchell in both career hits (171) and RBI (95).
Prettitore hit .317 and led the NECC in RBI (20), putouts (156) and total chances (165). He also ranked among the league leaders in sacrifice flies (3), runs (17), hits (20), total bases (30), homers (2) and walks (8). One of the top defensive first basemen in the league, he committed only one error in 164 total chances.
Prettitore started and played in 41 games and hit .340 with 36 runs scored and a team-high 50 RBI. He becomes only the second Mitchell player to ever knock in 50 or more runs in a season, and his 335 putouts are the most ever in a single season in school history. He finished the year with 10 doubles and a career-high five homers, and over a two-year career he racked up 97 total hits.
De Jesus, a team co-captain, went 3-2 with a 3.58 ERA in five league starts. He struck out 21 batters over 27.2 innings and issued only five walks. His win total ranked sixth the in the NECC, and he also ranked among the league leaders in complete games, strikeouts per game, ERA, strikeouts and innings.
De Jesus made 12 appearances and 11 starts on the season and sported a 5-5 record with a 4.69 ERA. His 39 strikeouts were second-most on the team, and he finished his career ranked fourth all-time at the school in the category with 145. His 49 appearances are the most all-time at Mitchell, and he also ranks second in innings pitched (222.1) and third in both ERA (3.20) and wins (18).
Hurley batted .317 with 13 RBI and 20 runs scored in conference play. He led the NECC in hit by pitch (6) and also ranked among the league leaders in doubles (7), runs, hits (19), RBI and total bases (29). He hit safely in 12 of 17 league games and didn't make an error in 32 chances in center field.
Hurley started and played in 39 games and hit .289 with 21 RBI and 43 runs scored. He ranked second on the team with 12 doubles, and his 41 hits gave him 92 for his career.
In his first season as a conference starter, Santiago posted a 5-0 record with a 3.26 ERA in NECC play. He led the league in both wins and strikeouts (44) and ranked among the leaders in shutouts, innings (38.2), ERA and complete games. He was a two-time NECC Pitcher of the Week selection during a stretch in which he won his first four starts of the year and allowed only one run over 27.0 innings.
Santiago made 13 appearances and went 6-1 with two saves and a 3.73 ERA. His 65 strikeouts were the most on the Mitchell staff and ranked fifth all-time in the school's single season record book. He held opposing lineups to a .227 batting average in 60.1 innings of work.
Jason played in 19 games and made two starts in his final season with the Mariners. The four-year letterwinner made the most of limited playing time, hitting .261 with two doubles and a homer while logging career highs of seven RBI and six runs scored. He recorded his first collegiate hit early in the season, and in a win over Johnson & Wales he slammed a pinch-hit, three-run home run.
Mitchell ended the season with an overall record of 29-13 under sixth-year head coach Travis Beausoleil. The Mariners also finished with the best record in the NECC (14-4) for the fifth straight season.