FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
Center Valley, Pa. – The top three teams combined to take all four of the 2009 Patriot League Baseball Major Awards announced on Wednesday, with Army earning two honors and Holy Cross and Bucknell each claiming one award. Holy Cross junior third baseman Matt Perry takes Patriot League Player of the Year honors, while Army sophomore starting pitcher Ben Koenigsfeld was named Pitcher of the Year and freshman second baseman Zach Price claimed the Rookie of the Year award for the Black Knights. Bucknell’s Gene Depew was recognized as Patriot League Coach of the Year for the fourth time. The awards were voted on by the League’s six head coaches, who could not vote for their own team.
Perry becomes Holy Cross’ third Player of the Year honoree, and first since 2001, after leading the Patriot League in batting average, hits and on-base percentage during the 2009 campaign. Perry’s .439 batting average, 75 hits and .505 on-base percentage are all the top marks among League players, and his 111 total bases were tied for the top spot. Perry also led the way by hitting .486 in Patriot League games. He stands third in the League in slugging percentage (.649) while notching seven home runs, 36 RBI and 42 runs scored heading into this weekend’s Patriot League semifinals at Army. Perry batted .486 (34-for-70) with five home runs, 19 RBI and 17 runs scored while leading Holy Cross to an 11-7 Patriot League record. He led or tied for the lead in batting average, hits and on-base percentage (.525) in League games, while placing second in slugging percentage (.786). Perry earned Patriot League Player of the Week honors on April 6 after a big series in a four-game split at Army. The only other Holy Cross student-athletes to earn Player of the Year honors are Jim Sweeney (1999) and Peter Summa (2001).
One day after becoming the first student-athlete in League history to receive First-Team All-Patriot League recognition at two different positions in the same season, Koenigsfeld was once again rewarded for his 2009 season with the Patriot League Pitcher of the Year award. The sophomore starter tied for the Patriot League lead with seven victories and four complete games, and also paced the League in overall innings pitched (63.2) and opponents batting average (.255). He went 7-3 with a 5.51 earned run average for the season, but took it to another level in Patriot League action. Koenigsfeld won all five of his League starts, going 5-0 with a 4.24 ERA against Patriot League competition. He led all Patriot Leaguers with 34.0 innings pitched, 29 strikeouts, four complete games and a .218 opponents batting average in League action, and was the only pitcher to record five victories. Koenigsfeld earned a Patriot League Pitcher of the Week award on March 16. Koenigsfeld’s selection gives Army seven all-time Patriot League Pitcher of the Year honorees, more than any other school. The Black Knights have claimed the honor in four of the past six seasons after Nick Hill earned the award in 2004, 2005 and 2007.
Price had an outstanding rookie season to win the Patriot League Rookie of the Year award. He led all Patriot League freshmen with a .359 batting average, while placing second in the League in runs scored (47) and tied for first in walks (31). While his numbers for the entire season were strong, Price did most of his damage in Patriot League play to help Army to a share of the regular-season crown. His .425 batting average placed fourth in League action, while Price led all players with 25 runs scored and seven stolen bases in League games. He also tied for the lead with 12 walks in Patriot League play, and finished third with a .506 on-base percentage. Price was named Patriot League Rookie of the Week twice, on April 13 and 27, with both instances coming after a strong League series. Price is Army’s fourth Rookie of the Year selection in eight seasons for the award, with all of the winners coming in the past six years. He follows teammate and middle infield partner Clint Moore, who won the Rookie of the Year award at shortstop last season.
In his 28th season at the helm for Bucknell, Depew receives his Patriot League record fourth Coach of the Year award. Bucknell posted a 21-23 overall record and 13-7 Patriot League mark to claim the No. 1 seed in this weekend’s League Tournament. Bucknell won three of four games in four of its five Patriot League series, with wins in 10 of its final 13 League games. Bucknell also won all three of its road series to conclude the League schedule, taking three of four games at Holy Cross, Navy and Lehigh. The Bison won the 2008 Patriot League Championship, but were picked in a tie for fourth in the League’s preseason poll. Bucknell finished second in the Patriot League with a .329 batting average in League contests, and placed first in ERA in League games at 5.51. Depew also notched two career milestones during the 2009 campaign, winning his 500th game on March 9 and claiming his 200th Patriot League victory on April 25. Depew has a 519-595-7 record in 28 years at Bucknell, and is 202-170 in Patriot League contests. He will attempt to lead Bucknell to its fifth Patriot League title. The only coach in Bucknell’s Patriot League tenure, Depew previously won the Coach of the Year award in 1993, 1996 and 2003.
The season continues with the Patriot League Tournament beginning with the semifinal round on Saturday. No. 4 Lafayette visits No. 1 Bucknell in one matchup, while No. 3 Holy Cross is at No. 2 Army in the other series. Both semifinal matchups are best-of-three series that include a doubleheader on Saturday and single game, if necessary, on Sunday. The winners of the semifinals will advance to the best-of-three Patriot League Championship series at the site of the higher seed on May 16-17.
2009 Patriot League Baseball Major Awards
Player of the Year: Matt Perry, Holy Cross, Jr.
Pitcher of the Year: Ben Koenigsfeld, Army, So.
Rookie of the Year: Zach Price, Army, Fr.
Coach of the Year: Gene Depew, Bucknell