Homepage Photo: Junior 2B Zach Lopes earned first team honors (Photo by Mark Campbell)

WILMINGTON, N.C. - The University of Delaware baseball team had nine players honored with All-Colonial Athletic Association honors at the conference’s year-end banquet Tuesday night.

The event was held on the eve of the CAA Championships, which will get underway on Wednesday at UNCW's Brooks Field. The No. 4 seed Blue Hens (24-25) will take on No. 5 Northeastern at 12 noon to open the double-elimination tournament.

Leading the way for the  Blue Hens was junior second baseman Zach Lopes (Salesianum/Wilmington, Del.), who was the lone Delaware player selected to the first team in a vote of the league head coaches. He has batted .321, recorded 10 doubles, knocked in 28 runs, and is currently riding a team-best 11-game hitting streak.

Other Blue Hens honored were senior shortstop E.J. Stoltzfus (Holy Spirit/Brigantine, N.J.) and junior outfielder Norm Donkin (Ridley/Folsom, Pa.) on the All-CAA second team; senior first baseman Jake Clark (Norco/Norco, Calif.),  junior outfielder Joe Giacchino, (Malvern Prep/West Chester, Pa.), senior designated  hitter Alex Mottle (Hopewell Valley/Pennington, N.J.), and junior third baseman Ryan Hartley (Council Rock South/Newtown, Pa.) on the All-CAA third team; and freshman right-handed pitcher Chad Martin (Quince Orchard/Darnestown, Md.) and freshman first baseman Doug Trimble (Episcopal Academy/Rosemont, Pa.) on the CAA All-Rookie squad. Mottle also was Delaware's representative on the CAA All-Academic team.

“It was great to see these guys get rewarded for their hard work,” said University of Delaware head coach Jim Sherman. “We still have business to take care of, but it was nice to see the guys get the recognition they deserve.”

Stoltzfus is batting .313 this season and reached base in the final 11 games of the season. He is second on the team with 33 runs scored, tied for third on the team with 33 RBI, and fourth on the team with 10 doubles this season. Donkin, a first-year transfer who was named the team's UD Alumni Association Most Valuable Player on Monday, leads the team in hits (64), batting average (.333), doubles (16), and stolen bases (10), and is tied for the team lead with 30 RBI this season.
Clark, who earlier this year was named to the CoSIDA District 2 All-Academic team, is batting .256 and is third on the team with 11 doubles.He also registered one triple, two home runs, and 21 RBI on the year.
While being an excellent outfielder, Giacchino was also a force at the plate. The junior co-captain is second on the team in doubles (14) and batting average (.326), has knocked in 22 runs,  and is tied for the CAA lead in triples with five.
Hartley has provided a power boost throughout this season for Delaware as the junior leads the Blue Hens with six home runs on the year. He has recorded a .286 batting average and ranks  fifth on the team with 23 RBI.
Like Hartley, Mottle has given some pop to the middle of the Blue Hens lineup this spring. The senior co-captain is tied for the team lead with 30 RBI and ranks second on the team with four home runs. In addition to his on the field honors, Mottle was also honored for his performance in the classroom. A CoSIDA Acadsemic All-American nominee, he is an honor student as a business management major at Delaware.
“With eight guys getting awards, it really shows how well-rounded this team is,” said Mottle. “There wasn’t just one guy who we leaned on. This year has been a total team effort and these awards show that.”

Martin and Trimble completed the honors with spots on the All-Rookie team. Martin, who this year earned CAA pitcher or rookie of the week three times, has earned five wins and recorded a 4.86 ERA in his first year with Blue Hens. Trimble is tied for fourth on the team with a .313 batting average and has tallied four doubles, one home run, and 14 RBI this season.
William & Mary outfielder Michael Katz was named CAA Player of the Year; UNCW left-hander Mat Batts earned CAA Pitcher of the Year honors; Hofstra shortstop Matt Ford was the Defensive Player of the Year; College of Charleston pitcher Bailey Ober was selected as Rookie of the Year; and Brian Murphy of William & Mary was selected as Coach of the Year.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Michael Katz, OF, William & Mary
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR:  Bailey Ober, P, College of Charleston
COACH OF THE YEAR:  Brian Murphy, William & Mary

1st Team: C – Ryan Hissey (William & Mary); 1B – Matt Tenaglia (JMU); 2B – Zach Lopes (Delaware); SS – Jason Vosler (Northeastern); 3B – Ty McFarland (JMU); OF – Michael Katz (William & Mary), Tyler Gregory (JMU), Nick Thompson (William & Mary); Utility – Gunnar Heidt (Charleston); DH – Charley Gould (William & Mary); SP – Mat Batts (UNCW), Bailey Ober (Charleston); RP – Joseph Gaouette (William & Mary)

2nd Team – C  - Ryan Welke (Charleston); 1B – Peter Bowles (Towson); 2B – Ryan Lindemuth (William & Mary); SS – E.J. Stoltzfus (Delaware); 3B – Carl Wise (Charleston); OF – Norm Donkin (Delaware), Kenny Jackson (Hofstra), Connor Lyons (Northeastern); Utility – Kevin Casey (William & Mary); DH – Luke Dunlap (UNCW); SP – Taylor Clarke (Charleston), Jason Inghram (William & Mary); RP – Michael Hanzlik (Charleston)

3rd Team – C – Robbie Cafiero (Hofstra); 1B – Jake Clark (Delaware); 2B – Michael Foster (Northeastern); SS – Matt Ford (Hofstra); 3B – Ryan Hartley (Delaware); OF – Derek Lowe (William & Mary), Joe Giacchino (Delaware), Kurt Wetz (Towson); Utility – Ryan LaGrange (UNCW); DH – Alex Mottle (Delaware); SP – Chris Carmain (Northeastern), Dustin Hunt (Northeastern); RP – Brett Schreiber (Hofstra).

All-Rookie Team: OF Casey Golden (UNCW); 3B Cam Hanley, (Northeastern); SS Tim Hoehn (William & Mary); SP Dustin Hunt (Northeastern); SP Chad Martin (Delaware); SP Bailey Ober (Coll. of Charleston); 1B Nick Pappas (Coll. of Charleston); SP Tyler Thornton (Coll. of Charleston); 1B Doug Trimble (Delaware); 2B Brad Witkowski (Hofstra)    

All-Academic Team: P Taylor Clarke (Coll. of Charleston); P Trent Cundiff (James Madison); OF Kenny Jackson (Hofstra); OF Justin Kessler (Northeastern); IF Ryan LaGrange (UNCW); DH Alex Mottle (Delaware); IF/OF Kevin Nutter (William & Mary); P Kyle Paul (Towson).