LANCASTER, Pa. - Jonathan Cole was named the Centennial Conference (CC) Pitcher of the Year to lead a contingent of four Franklin & Marshall baseball players who earned a place on the All-Centennial Conference (CC) team, announced by the league office on Tuesday.
Cole also garnered All-CC First Team honors, along with fellow starting pitcher Jack Buckley, while designated hitter Don DiLoreto landed on the Second Team, and shortstop J.J. Freeman received Honorable Mention Recognition.
After leading the Diplomats to the program's fifth-most wins in school history with a 27-15, 12-6 CC record, head coach Ryan Horning was named the Centennial Coach of the Year. He earned the accolade for the second time in his career, becoming just the third CC coach to accomplish that feat.
Cole (Cherry Hill, N.J. / Bishop Eustace Prep.) became only the third CC Pitcher of Year in F&M's history and the first since Ted Serro in 2006. He landed on the All-CC team for the first time in his career after producing the lowest-ever ERA (1.02) among F&M pitchers with at least 50 innings pitched. The junior righty tallied a 7-2 record and struck out 76 batters in 70 1/3 innings on the mound.
He was named CC Pitcher of the Week on two occasions while also earning a spot of the D3baseball.com Team of the Week and being recognized as an Honorable Mention Selection for the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) National Pitcher of the Week award. Cole struck out at least five batters in eight outings, including a Diplomat single-game record of 14 against Haverford on April 20th.
Buckley (Bronx, N.Y. / H.S. of American Studies) also picked up his first All-CC honors after collecting 73 strikeouts on the year, good for the second-most among all Centennial pitchers. The junior lefty produced a 7-3 record in 69 1/3 innings with a 2.60 ERA. He tossed at least seven innings in five starts, surrendering more than two earned runs in only two out of 12 appearances.
DiLoreto (Gladwyne, Pa. / Harriton) led F&M with 24 walks during his sophomore campaign, a mark which placed eighth in the CC. His 10 doubles paced the Diplomats, while his 25 runs scored and 22 RBIs each ranked fourth. DiLoreto slashed .313/.451/.461 for the year and registered multi-hit efforts on seven occasions.
Freeman (Downingtown, Pa. / Downingtown West) was one of F&M's premium run producers, leading the team in home runs (6), triples (4), and runs scored (49). He produced a .298/.366/.483 slash line in 178 at-bats with 53 hits and 19 walks. The sophomore shortstop placed sixth in the CC with 15 stolen bases and notched multiple hits in 13 contests, including a 4-for-5 effort against Washington on April 12th.
F&M enjoyed one of its most successful seasons in program history, reaching the Centennial Playoffs for the second straight year and hosting a Tournament game for the first time since 2015. The Diplomats pitching staff was dominant, recording a single-season record of 320 strikeouts and tallying the second-lowest ERA (3.92) with at least 350 innings pitched.