WORCESTER, Mass. ---- The seventh annual Worcester Area Baseball All-Star team has been announced after a vote by sports information directors representing nine Worcester area colleges and universities. In addition, five major award winners were also named for their respective contributions to the success of their baseball programs.
Becker senior designated hitter Niko Bedell (Manorville, N.Y.) earned his second career Worcester Area nod after leading the New England Collegiate Conference with eight home runs. Bedell batted .318 with 30 RBI and 42 hits. Niko finished his career as Becker's all-time leader in home runs with 20.
Junior catcher Andrew Jaehnig (Quincy, Mass.) of Assumption College was named the Player of the Year. Jaehnig was named D2CCA and NCBWA First Team All-East Region Honors as well as First Team All-NE10 after a dominant year at the plate for the Hounds, hitting his way to the East Region and NE10 batting title after batting a robust .401 on the season. He also owned the top slugging percentage in the conference and ranked third in the East Region with a mark of .637, which was .67 points higher than the runner up in the NE10. Jaehnig also finished second in the NE10 with 16 doubles and 63 hits, while ranking in the top ten in home runs (five), RBI (33), triples (three) and on base percentage (.449) all while recording a .975 fielding percentage behind the plate as the catcher. On the season, Jaehnig tallied 20 multi-hit games and reached base safely in 37 out of the 42 games.
Sophomore pitcher Cal Slepkow (Rehoboth, Mass.) of Clark University was voted Pitcher of the Year, this after a dominant season where he was named NEWMAC Pitcher of the Year and First-Team All-Conference. The award for Slepkow comes on the heels of a stellar second-year campaign on the mound for the Cougars, who made their first postseason appearance since the 2010 season and is the first major conference award for Clark since 2012 when Diego Angel was named Men's Tennis Player of the Year. Slepkow went 6-1 with a 2.70 ERA while tossing a league-best 66.2 innings, striking out 52 batters and walking just 13.
Freshman first baseman Ben Palatino of Worcester State was named co-Rookie of the Year. Palatino was earlier voted MASCAC Rookie of the Year and was named to the second team All-Conference. Palatino batted .341 and led the team with a .459 on-base percentage. He collected 11 doubles, a triple, two home runs, 24 RBI and 35 runs scored in his first season with the Lancers. He leads the team defensively with 315 putouts and 12 assists for a .982 fielding percentage.
Joining Palatino as Rookie of the Year was freshman outfielder Austin Masel of Holy Cross. Masel was the fourth player in program history to be named the Patriot League Rookie of the Year, and the first since junior Cam O'Neill earned the honor in 2015. The freshman was also named Second Team All-Conference. One of the top offensive players on the team this season, he led the Crusaders with a .321 batting average and 30 runs scored. Masel also posted a .386 on-base percentage with a .442 slugging percentage. Starting in all 44 games this season, he drove in 25 runs during the regular season while hitting eight doubles and four home runs.
Mike Callahan of WPI was named the Coach of the Year. Callahan, who shared the local accolade two years ago, became only the second head coach in to earn NEWMAC Baseball Coach of the Year recognition in back-to-back years. This season he guided the Engineers to their third consecutive NEWMAC West Division title and a share of the overall NEWMAC Regular Season for the first time since 2009. The club went 25-12 with a three-game sweep of Coast Guard, as well as both versus Emerson, MIT and Babson in divisional crossover games. It is also the fourth consecutive winning season, and eighth out of 12, for Callahan.
Congratulations to all the honorees of this year's team.
C Andrew Jaehnig Assumption Jr. Quincy, Mass.
1B Anthony Critelli Holy Cross Sr. Holmdel, N.J.
2B Cam Cook Nichols Jr. Phoenixville, Pa.
3B Steven Gallagher WPI So. Coventry, R.I.
SS Kyle Bonicki Clark Jr. Waterbury, Conn.
SS Nick Comei WPI Sr. Haverhill, Mass.
OF Ryan Tropeano WPI So. Pembroke, Mass.
OF Austin Masel Holy Cross Fr. Stoneham, Mass.
OF Nick Roy Nichols Jr. Middletown, Conn.
DH Adam Barry Worcester State Sr. Auburn, Mass.
UT Noah Millard Fitchburg State So. Leominster, Mass.
UT Teddy Downing Clark Jr. Cambridge, Mass.
SP Cal Slepkow Clark So. Rehoboth, Mass.
SP Danny Hayden Nichols So. East Greenwich, R.I.
SP Kyle Sullivan Worcester State So. Hudson, Mass.
RP George Capen Holy Cross Sr. Gainesville, Va.
C Nathan Littman Fitchburg State Jr. Abington, Mass.
1B Matt Howard WPI Jr. Worcester, Mass.
2B Jared Brescia Assumption Fr. Brentwood, N.H.
3B Thomas Russo Holy Cross Jr. Weston, Mass.
OF Jake Ryan Worcester State Sr. Northbridge, Mass.
OF Anthony Capuano WPI Gr. Stoneham, Mass.
OF Sean Maki Fitchburg State Jr. Fitchburg, Mass.
DH Adam Chochrek Clark Sr. Foxboro, Mass.
UT Matthew Leahey Anna Maria Sr. Rutland, Mass.
UT Niko Bedell Becker Sr. Manorville, N.Y.
SP Doug Rives WPI So. Bethany, Conn.
SP Brendan King Holy Cross Sr. Brookline, Mass.
SP Adam Rigney Nichols Sr. Niantic, Conn.
RP Mike Duclos WPI Sr. Greenfield, Mass.