FROM PRESS RELEASE
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – The 2012 Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League (ACBL) season had no shortage of outstanding performances all year long, and on Friday, the league announced the winners of its individuals awards, with Center Moriches catcher Joe Solomeno (Pace) and Shelter Island infielder Thomas Roulis (Dartmouth) sharing Santy Gallone Most Valuable Player Award honors.
Southampton lefthander Paul Paez (Rio Hondo JC) reeled in the Darrin Winston Most Valuable Pitcher Award after leading the league in wins and strikeouts, while North Jersey southpaw Rich Anastasi (Fordham) was selected for the Outstanding Relief Pitcher Award after recording seven victories out of the bullpen for the ACBL champion North Jersey Eagles.
Solomeno also collected the league’s Hitting Award, awarded to the player with the highest batting average, while Staten Island catcher Gabby Molina (Keystone) earned the slugging award with a .726 slugging percentage.
Voting was done by a panel of the 17 field managers in the ACBL. The co-MVP honors were the first since 2009 when Jersey’s Ken Gregory and Riverhead’s Peter Greskoff split the award.
Solomeno had one of the best years in the league’s illustrious history, leading all hitters in average (.421), hits (61), doubles (14), RBI (53) and total bases (96). His year included a five-hit effort on opening night, a 10-9 triumph over Westhampton, and a stretch of 11 straight games in which he had at least one RBI. He was the starting catcher for the Hampton Division All-Star Team on July 19 at MCU Park in Brooklyn.
All Roulis did in his summer on Shelter Island was lead the league in runs scored (41) and stolen bases (24) while hitting at a .399 clip and finishing second behind Solomeno in hits (59). He sparked a Bucks offense that led the league in runs scored with 281; as a unit they carried the first-year squad to the Hampton Division regular-season crown. Roulis enjoyed a mid-season stretch in which he had a hit in 14 consecutive games.
Paez, an 18th-round pick of the New York Mets in 2012, dominated from day one in Southampton, striking out 12 over five innings in his debut against Shelter Island June 4. He fanned a season-best 13 in Southampton’s victory over Riverhead on July 14, and Paez tied former Tomcat righthander Nick Tropeano for single-season wins by recording his seventh in the Breakers’ 9-4 triumph over Center Moriches on July 22.
He finished his season with 82 strikeouts, breaking Tropeano’s Hamptons mark of 77 in 2009. It also put Paez just outside the top five in ACBL history. Paez, who was named starting pitcher for the Hampton Division All-Stars, limited hitters to just 35 hits in 60 regular-season innings.
Anastasi tied Paez for the league high in victories despite making just two starts for the Eagles. He went 7-0 with a 2.11 ERA, also notching two saves. The senior missed bats all year long, striking out 57 batters in 42.2 innings, and his arsenal was particularly tough on righthanded hitters, who were limited to a .175 batting average against the Rams’ rising senior.
A Wolff/Kaiser All-Star selection, Anastasi shined in the postseason as well, recording the save in games two and three of the Wolff Division championship series, both played on the same day, the ACBL semifinal against Southampton, and then the ACBL final against the Kaiser Division champion New York.
Molina was a mainstay behind the plate for Staten Island, but he also wielded a mighty bat. Of the senior’s 27 hits this season, 16 went for extra bases, including 11 doubles and five home runs. Molina’s work allowed the Tide to claim the Kaiser Division regular-season title for the second straight summer.
2012 ATLANTIC COLLEGIATE BASEBALL LEAGUE POSTSEASON AWARDS
Santy Gallone Most Valuable Player Award: Joe Solomeno (Pace/Center Moriches) and Thomas Roulis (Dartmouth/Shelter Island)
Darrin Winston Most Valuable Pitcher Award: Paul Paez (Rio Hondo JC/Southampton)
Most Valuable Reliever Award: Rich Anastasi (Fordham/North Jersey)
Hitting Award: Joe Solomeno (Pace/Center Moriches)
Slugging Award: Gabby Molina (Keystone/Staten Island)
All-Star Game MVP: Matt Moceri (Davis & Elkins/Trenton)