Billy Armstrong, Conor Bierfeldt and Mike Yates named to
Little East Conference All-Star Second Team

official press release from Jack Holleran - LEC Director of Communications

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA (May 17) - The Little East office announced its annual baseball all-conference and major award winners this afternoon following a vote by each of the coaches in the league. University of Massachusetts Boston senior second baseman Ryan Walsh (Newton, Mass.) was selected as the Player of the Year, while Eastern Connecticut State University senior Jim Schult (Wappingers Fall, N.Y.) was chosen as the Pitcher of the Year. University of Southern Maine freshman third baseman Forrest Chadwick (Brunswick, Maine) was selected as the Rookie of the Year, and Bill Holowaty was tabbed as Coach of the Year. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth earned the Team Sportsmanship Award for the second straight season.  

Western's Billy Armstrong (Moodus, CT), Conor Bierfeldt (Torrington, CT) and Mike Yates (Guilford, CT) were honored on the Second Team.

Armstrong, the Colonials' senior lefty ace, went 6-1 and registed two saves in his final season. He had 53 strike outs in 60 innings of work and a respectable 4.80 earned run average.

Bierfeldt led the team in nearly every offensive category. He batted .435 with five home runs, 13 doubles and 41 runs batted in. His 81 total bases produced an explosive .750 slugging percentage in his second season.

Yates, a top candidate for an American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings Golden Glove, batted .387 with six doubles and 24 RBI. He was 11 of 12 in stolen bases and did not commit an error, in 114 chances in center field in his third season.

In addition to the major award winners, the conference office also sponsored 12-member first and second teams. Eastern Connecticut placed a conference-best five student-athletes on the top squads, while Keene State was just one selection off the pace. University of Massachusetts Boston, Rhode Island College, University of Southern Maine, and Western Connecticut State University each earned three nods, while University of Massachusetts Dartmouth received a pair of citations.

Walsh is the first Beacon in program history to earn the prestigious top player award. The Newton, Mass. product is also making his third consecutive appearance as a first-team selection at second base. According to the latest NCAA Division III statistical report, Walsh ranked among the national leaders in home runs per game (6th, 0.35), slugging percentage (7th, .797), and RBI per game (18th, 1.35). Currently, he sits atop the conference circuit in home runs (12) and slugging percentage (.806), while also ranking second in batting average (.445) and RBI (51). Walsh feasted on Little East pitching, posting a .450 batting average (27-for-60) with 12 extra base hits—seven doubles and five home runs—and 26 runs batted in. He was white-hot at the dish against Rhode Island College in a conference doubleheader on April 9, posting an 8-for-10 performance with five runs scored and six runs batted in. Walsh established a new single-season record for batting average (.455), while also becoming the program’s all-time career leader in hits (266) and home runs (25). He broke the career home run record (23) at Lasell on April 21, and placed an additional two round-trippers over the fence to complete his storied career with 25.

A starter in each of his 38 appearances, Walsh hit safely in 31 games, including recording multiple base knocks in 23. He completed his career riding a 15-game hitting streak, which spanned from April 19 to May 12. Walsh registered a season-high four hits five times on the campaign, most recently in the Little East Tournament against Southern Maine. The 2010 All-America selection enjoyed his most successful day at the plate against MCLA on March 14, when he reached safely on each of his four plate appearances. Walsh went 3-for-3 with a triple and home run to drive in four runs. Walsh was also a slick fielder on the right side of the diamond, registering 110 assists on 116 chances for a .948 fielding percentage.
Schult is the fifth Eastern Connecticut student-athlete to win the top pitcher award and first since former standout Shawn Gilblair earned the trophy in 2007. The Wappingers Fall, N.Y. product is atop the conference individual standings in innings pitched (78), strikeouts (80), and wins (9), while ranking fifth in earned run average (3.69). A starter in 11 of his 13 appearances, Schult posted a 9-1 record with a 3.69 earned run average. He allowed 32 earned runs on 82 hits, including 66 singles, in 78 innings of work. The two-time All-Little East pitcher thrived against conference opponents, making four of his six quality starts and posting a 6-0 mark with a 2.80 earned run average. Schult reached the 10-strikeout barrier in four starts against Little East opponents, including twice against UMass Boston. He struck out a career-high 13 against Plymouth State on April 2. Schult clinched the regular-season conference title for the Warriors at Keene State on May 6. He is just two victories shy of becoming the 13th 20-win hurler in program history, boasting a lifetime record of 18-2.    

Chadwick is the second straight and fifth overall Southern Maine baseball player to be chosen as the top rookie. The freshman from Brunswick, Maine is also making his debut on the All-Little East, first-team as a third baseman. He led the Little East in triples (6), while also ranking among the leaders in doubles (3rd, 17), runs scored (3rd, 55), total bases (4th, 115), hits (6th, 65), home runs (6th, 7), and slugging percentage (6th, .650). Chadwick set the table for the Huskies’ offense as the leadoff batter, hitting .367 (65-for-177) with 30 extra base hits—17 doubles, six triples, and seven home runs—and 32 RBI. A starter in each of his 40 appearances, he reached safely in 33 contests. Chadwick recorded multiple hits 20 times, including 10 contests during his season-high, 12-game hit streak that spanned between April 22 and May 12. He registered five hits in a pair of games, most recently against UMass Boston (5-for-5) on April 19. Chadwick hit his first collegiate home run and drove in a season-best five runs against Mount Saint Vincent on March 6. He was named the conference’s rookie of the week twice on the campaign.  

Holowaty is making his second appearance as the top coach in the Little East, and receiving the honor for the first time since 2003. In 2011, he led his charges to an overall record of 32-11, marking the 11th consecutive season with at least 30 wins. Eastern Connecticut captured the program’s 11th conference regular-season crown and earned the right to host the Little East Baseball Championship for the ninth time. The Warriors reached the championship round of the Little East Tournament for the eighth time before falling to Rhode Island College, 7-5. He mentored the conference’s most explosive lineup, sitting atop the team standings in hits (519), runs scored (372), RBI (336), and walks (175), while ranking second in doubles (87) and triples (23). Eastern Connecticut strung together a pair of nine-game winning streaks, scoring at least 11 runs in seven contests during the stretch from March 18-28. The Warriors recently earned the program’s sixth straight and 32nd overall NCAA Division III Tournament invitation. Eastern Connecticut was awarded the No. 5 seed in the New York Regional and are set to square off against No. 4 Brockport State tomorrow morning at 10:15 a.m.

The Little East Conference is celebrating its Silver Anniversary during the 2010-11 academic year. The conference began sponsoring men's and women's basketball in 1986 as a six-member conference. The Little East has grown to its current eight-institution membership and sponsorship of 19 intercollegiate sports.

2011 Little East Baseball All-Conference Teams

First Team
Catcher............Tyler DiPrato.....Senior.....Keene State College
First Base.........Michael Eaton.....Senior.....University of Southern Maine
Second Base........Ryan Walsh........Senior.....University of Massachusetts Boston
Third Base.........Forrest Chadwick..Freshman....University of Southern Maine
Shortstop..........Kyle Allaire......Junior.....Rhode Island College
Outfield...........Bobby Doyon.......Senior.....Keene State College
Outfield...........Mark McCormack....Junior.....University of Massachusetts Boston
Outfield...........Robert Perry......Senior.....Eastern Connecticut State University
Designated Hitter..Gary Levesque.....Senior.....Rhode Island College
Pitcher............Jeff Pelkey.......Junior.....Keene State College
Pitcher............Jim Schult........Senior.....Eastern Connecticut State University
Relief Pitcher.....Patrick Lavey.....Junior.....University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Second Team
Catcher............Steve Cammuso.....Junior.....Eastern Connecticut State University
First Base.........Tyler Turgeon.....Senior.....Eastern Connecticut State University
Second Base........Josh Mackey.......Senior.....University of Southern Maine
Third Base.........John Granahan.....Junior.....University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Shortstop..........Danny O'Connell...Freshman...Eastern Connecticut State University
Outfield...........Conor Bierfeldt...Sophomore..Western Connecticut State University
Outfield...........Brent Hopkins.....Junior.....Rhode Island College
Outfield...........Mike Yates........Junior.....Western Connecticut State University
Designated Hitter..Jim Schult........Senior.....Eastern Connecticut State University
Pitcher............Billy Armstrong...Senior.....Western Connecticut State University
Pitcher............James Dalton......Junior.....University of Massachusetts Boston
Relief Pitcher.....Corey Vogt........Senior.....Keene State College

Player of the Year
Ryan Walsh, University of Massachusetts Boston

Pitcher of the Year
Jim Schult, Eastern Connecticut State University

Rookie of the Year
Forrest Chadwick, University of Southern Maine

Coach of the Year
Bill Holowaty, Eastern Connecticut State University

Team Sportsmanship Award
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth