WILMINGTON, N.C. (May 19, 2009) – George Mason junior catcher Chris Henderson (Marlton, N.J.) and Patriots’ senior outfielder Scott Krieger (Towson, Md.) were selected as the 2009 CAA baseball Co-Players of the Year in voting by the league’s head coaches.
Henderson was also honored as the CAA Defensive Player of the Year, while Old Dominion pitcher/outfielder Brett Harris (Chesapeake, Va.) was named CAA Rookie of the Year and George Mason’s Bill Brown was chosen as the CAA Coach of the Year.
Henderson and Krieger are just the second set of teammates to share CAA Player of the Year honors, joining VCU’s Matt Burch and Brandon Inge who won the award in 1998. They are also the first George Mason players to receive the league’s top award since Chris Burr in 1992.
Henderson ranked second in the CAA with a .427 batting average and was also second in the conference in hits (90), runs (65), doubles (21) and total bases (154). Krieger ranked eighth in the CAA with a .383 batting average and led the conference with 18 home runs and 76 RBI. On the CAA’s career statistical lists, Krieger ranks first in RBI (234), second in home runs (67), third in runs (222) and fifth in hits (297).
Henderson is the third player in CAA history to receive Player and Defensive Player of the Year accolades in the same season, joining ODU’s Tim Hummel in 2000 and VCU’s Matt Davis in 2001. The junior catcher committed only two errors all season and threw out 21 of 59 attempted base stealers. He also helped guide a Patriots’ pitching staff that led the conference with a 4.15 team ERA.
Harris is Old Dominion’s first CAA Rookie of the Year since Justin Verlander in 2002. The multi-talented freshman went 6-4 on the mound with a 4.95 ERA and recorded 49 strikeouts with only 19 walks in 80 innings. He also hit in the middle of the Monarchs’ lineup and posted a .315 batting average with 31 RBI.
Brown received Coach of the Year honors for the second year in a row and the sixth time in his career. His Patriots set a school record for victories (40) at the Division I level and they currently own the top winning percentage (.800) in the nation. George Mason didn’t lose a conference series all year and finished with a 19-5 league mark to claim the regular-season title by a commanding 5.5 games. The Patriots were especially strong at home, where they posted a 25-2 record.
George Mason placed a league-high five players on the All-CAA first team. Joining Henderson and Krieger were junior first baseman Justin Bour, who batted .342 with 17 homers and 62 RBI, senior pitcher Mike Modica, who posted a league-best 10-1 record with a 4.16 ERA, and junior pitcher Kevin Crum, who went 8-3 with a 3.98 ERA.
James Madison had four players selected to the first team. Junior second baseman Mike Fabiaschi hit .328 with 32 RBI, junior outfielder Matt Townsend batted .390 with 17 homers and 59 RBI, sophomore Trevor Knight hit .377 with 14 HR and 55 RBI and sophomore pitcher Kevin Munson was 3-3 with a league-high nine saves and a 2.85 ERA.
Senior shortstop Gary Helmick of Towson, junior third baseman Jake McAloose of Old Dominion, senior outfielder Mark Stuckless of Hofstra and senior designated hitter Derek Simmons of Georgia State round out the first team. The leading hitter in the CAA with a .430 batting average, Helmick also led the league in hits (98), runs scored (72), triples (9), total bases (179) and slugging percentage (.785). McAloose was ODU’s leading with a .408 batting average while driving in 39 runs. One of the top hitters in the CAA all season, Stuckless finished the year with a .392 batting average and 25 RBI, while Simmons batted .333 with 12 home runs and 51 RBI.
The awards were presented on Tuesday evening in Wilmington, N.C. on the eve of the 2009 CAA Baseball Championship, which gets underway Wednesday at Brooks Field.
Full release and complete All-CAA teams can be found here.