By John Cirillo with Ivy Speight
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In our previous Fairfield post earlier this morning, we gave a shout out to Fairfield’s “Big Mac Attack” and “Wally Ball” on Player of the Week and Pitcher of the Week honors, and now there’s more to trumpet on the Stags outstanding season as they head into the MAAC tournament today.
First, kudos to Head Coach Bill Currier on the well-deserved “Lids Team Sports MAAC Coach of the Year” honors just announced.
Coach C. guided the Stags to their first regular season title in 33 years, the first since 1983 when Hall of Famer Don Cook was the skipper.
It was Currier’s second MAAC yearly award and fifth of his outstanding career. Fairfield was honored with five all-MAAC selections, the most ever in a single season.
Here’s the line-up: Senior right fielder Jake Salpietro was selected to the All-MAAC First Team for the second time in his stay at Fairfield, while junior captain Mac Crispino, catcher Kevin Radziewicz, outfielder/DH Troy Scocca, and pitcher Kyle Dube were all selected to the Second Team for the first time in their careers.
“This team has had a lot of different hitters and pitchers step up throughout the season,” Coach Currier said. “It’s nice to see them go through the adversity that they faced. After losing a lot of seniors and Mike Wallace last season, it was not that surprising we were picked so low, but the coaches didn’t know how much better some of the current players got.”
Currier was the MAAC’s Coach of the Year in 2012, his first season at the helm of the Stags. Prior to his tenure at Fairfield, Currier was cited as Coach of the Year in the America East three times (2002, 2003, and 2006) while at Vermont.
Salpietro becomes the first Stag since Ryan Plourde (2013, 2014) to be named to the conference’s First Team in two separate seasons. Bouncing back from a tough season in 2015 (.203 average), the Massachusetts product worked hard in the offseason to produce the comeback campaign. Salpietro tied for the conference lead with nine home runs and is third in total bases (109), fourth in slugging percentage (.540), seventh in RBI (37), and ninth in batting average (.327).
The Stags leading hitter with runners in scoring position, Crispino was selected to his first All-MAAC team representing the utility spot on the Second Team. The reigning MAAC Player of the Week, hit .370 in RBI situations, including a 4-for-5 clip in the final week of the season. Crispino was a .302 hitter and finished second on the team with 32 RBI.
The underrated Radziewicz represented the league’s catchers on the Second Team. The Cromwell, CT. native hit a blistering .406 hitter in Fairfield wins this season, and a presence behind the plate, throwing out 15 potential base stealers. Radziewicz finished third on the team in three categories: average (.326), RBI (31), and slugging percentage (.402).
Scocca was selected as the Second Team’s designated hitter after leading the team with a .425 slugging percentage. The Syosett, NY, product was named the MAAC Player of the Week on March 1, after slugging .900 in his first three games against Delaware State. His two-run homer gave the Stags some breathing room in the playoff-clincher against Monmouth.
Leading the pitching staff for the past two seasons has been the junior right hander Dube, and he was rewarded with his first Second Team selection. Dube was a big part of the Stags’ success in conference game, as the Stags lost just two of the MAAC games he started, and finishing with a team-best 2.84 in conference games. Overall, his 3.38 ERA was eighth in the league and finished sixth in wins, and eighth in opponent’s batting average.
Congratulations all! GO STAGS!