YORK, Pa. – Senior shortstop Rob Benedict became the first Wesley College baseball player to be named the Capital Athletic Conference Player of the Year, it was announced on Thursday afternoon. Benedict is one of a CAC-leading five Wolverines to be honored by the conference coaches this year.
Joining Benedict on the all-conference team was pitcher DJ Keckler who was named to the first team while senior first baseman Geoff Kimmel, junior outfielder Jon Carlson and junior pitcher Jordan Lozzi were all second team selections.
Benedict and Keckler are two of a trio of players this year who have been named to the All-CAC Team three times. Benedict was also a first team honoree in 2011 after receiving second team accolades in 2010 as Keckler received first team honors last year while receiving second team and Rookie of the Year recognition in 2009.
A native of Drexel Hill, Pa., Benedict led the CAC in runs scored (54) and stolen bases (41) while finishing fourth in hits (66) and eighth in batting average (.373). His 41 stolen bases out of 43 attempts are fourth in the NCAA while his 54 runs are tenth nationally. He is also tremendous with the glove as his .962 fielding percentage is tops among CAC shortstops and he has helped turn a league-high 26 double plays.
Keckler finished the season with a 7-3 record and 2.84 earned run average, which was good for second in the CAC. A native of Fallston, Md., Keckler struck out 72 batters in a school single-season record 85.2 innings which equates to 7.56 strikeouts per nine innings. His eight complete games also led the conference and he ranks seventh in the Nation in the category.
Despite leading the CAC in batting average (.428), RBIs (52) and on-base percentage (.500), Kimmel was named to the second team. A native of Lawrenceville, N.J., he also sits among the league leaders in hits (second, 71), runs (tenth, 36), home runs (fifth, 5), doubles (third, 15), triples (third, 3) and total bases (second, 107). His 71 hits and 15 doubles are both Wesley single-season records and he currently ranks in the top-ten nationally in hits and RBIs.
Hailing from Lancaster, Pa., Carlson is earning All-Conference honors for the first time in his career. One of the most consistent players for the Wolverines, Carlson hit .369 with a home run and 36 RBIs. He also led the team with 26 walks and finished third on the squad with a .469 slugging percentage and 15 stolen bases.
Also earning All-Conference honors for the first time, Lozzi went 7-4 on the season with a 3.29 earned run average to rank sixth in the CAC. His 55 strikeouts, 76.2 inning pitched were both second on the Wolverines. The southpaw also threw five complete games and was a part of two shutouts on the mound.
The Wolverines are 30-14 on the season and the 30 wins matches a program-record for victories in a season (2007). Wesley will hope to hear its name called as an at-large selection to the NCAA Tournament which will be announced on Sunday, May 13, on NCAA.com.