LANCASTER, Pa. – Four members of the Franklin & Marshall baseball team received All-Centennial Conference (CC) accolades announced Thursday by the league office. Alex Vescera and Aaron Gillette were named to the first team, Brendan DeMond landed on the second team, and Matt Mezansky earned Rookie of the Year honors.
Vescera and Gillette both earn First Team All-CC honors after leading the Diplomats from the middle infield positions in 2013. Vescera (Cranston, R.I./Bishop Hendricken) leads F&M in batting average (.367), hits (58), RBIs (44), is tied for second in doubles (13) and stolen bases (8), while also ranking third in runs scored (29). In CC play, the senior shortstop led the conference with a .432 batting average and ranked second in hits (32) and RBIs (22). He has also contributed on the mound, tying the single-season record for saves (6) with a 1.46 ERA in 12 1/3 innings of work.
Gillette (Owings Mills, Md./Beth Tfiloh) has held down the leadoff spot for the entire year, providing a key spark at the top of the F&M lineup. The speedy senior second baseman broke the single-season mark for stolen bases (30) while batting .362 with 16 RBIs and a team-high 48 runs scored. Gillette cracked the top-10 in the CC in multiple categories in conference play, posting league-highs of 21 runs scored and 10 stolen bases while also ranking fifth in on-base percentage (.489), sixth in hits (29) and ninth in batting average (.397).
DeMond (Wilton, Conn./St. Luke's) makes his way onto the second team after a superb senior campaign. The righthander has been a consistent force on the mound for Diplomats, posting team bests of nine wins (9-2) and 71 strikeouts in 73.2 innings. His 2.08 ERA leads the team amongst starters and ranks fifth in the CC. DeMond was a huge factor in F&M's CC Championship run, becoming the first player in the conference history to record two wins in the CC Tournament. He defeated sixth-ranked Johns Hopkins twice, holding the Blue Jays to just one run in 14 innings, earning Tournament MVP honors for his efforts.
Mezansky (Larchmont, N.Y./Mamaroneck) was tabbed as the conference Rookie of the Year in the inaugural season of the award. The third baseman had a breakout freshman campaign, batting .338 with 35 RBIs, 23 runs, 11 doubles, and a .477 slugging percentage. He provided timely hitting to the middle of the batting order, proving his worth as one of the top young players in the conference.
Hopkins first baseman Jeff Lynch received Player of the Year honors, Haverford's Tommy Bergjans secured Pitcher of the Year accolades, and Gettysburg's John Campo was named Coach of the Year.
F&M captured its first CC title since 2006 and fourth overall with an impressive run through last weekend's double-elimination CC Tournament, becoming the first four seed to come away with the conference crown. The Diplomats topped Hopkins twice and Gettysburg once en route to the title, including a 16-1 triumph over JHU in the decisive championship game.
The Diplomats will compete at the NCAA Regionals beginning on May 15 at a site yet to be determined. F&M's regional location will be announced on Sunday.