August 6, 2014

2014 Emory Baseball Season Recap

The Emory University Baseball team completed a historic 2014 campaign with a run to the NCAA Division III Championship game and a second-place finish at the World Series, matching the best finish in the program’s history.

The Eagles 2014 season saw the squad accomplish a number of achievements and milestones – both on the team and individual level – including NCAA Regional and University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships, a new single-season program record and NCAA-leading RBI mark, and a plethora of postseason honors.

The Eagles made an improbable run to the title game of the NCAA Division III Championships, batting through the losers’ bracket of the double elimination tournament after an opening-game loss to Baldwin-Wallace College.  Emory started its run with an 8-5 win over Linfield College, eliminating the reigning champion from the tournament.  The Eagles went on to defeat fifth-ranked SUNY Cortland 9-7 the next day, and claimed a pair of wins the following day, 15-3 over the 12th-ranked University of Southern Maine and 10-7 over the sixth-ranked University of St. Thomas, to reach the championship game.

Emory fell in the title game to the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater by a 7-0 score, finishing the year with an overall record of 38-13.  The 38 victories were the third-most in the program’s history, and the highest win total by an Eagles’ squad since 2007, when the squad also finished as the National runner-up.  Senior second baseman Jared Kahn, freshman third baseman Philip Maldari (who drove in a World Series-best 11 runs) and catcher Jared Welch were each named to the All-NCAA Tournament Team, while Maldari and Welch each earned the honor from D3Baseball.com as well.

Emory’s fourth World Series berth in program history was precipitated by a run through the South Regionals, hosted by Piedmont College in Demorest, Georgia, which included four-straight wins in elimination games.  Welch was selected as the Regional’s Most Valuable Player, and led all players during NCAA Tournament play with 16 RBIs in 12 games.  On the mound, freshman Kyle Monk emerged as dominant closer, picking up saves in four games during the regional, and six overall during the NCAA Tournament.  In addition to Welch and Monk, junior pitcher Connor Dillman, senior outfielder Brandon Hannon and senior outfielder Daniel Iturrey (who lead all NCAA players with 21 hits in tournament action).

Welch also became just the second player in school history to win an ABCA/ Rawlings Gold Glove.  Welch, who started every game at catcher for the Eagles during the season, earned the honor, bestowed to the best NCAA Division III defensive player at each position, after committing just three errors during the campaign, and throwing out over 34% of would-be base stealers on just 58 total attempts.

Junior Brett Lake led all Eagles during the year with a .417 batting average and 86 hits, and his 69 runs batted in not only were the most ever by an Emory player, but led all NCAA Division III players during the season.  Lake became the 12th ABCA All-American in the program’s history, earning a spot on the organization’s second team, and the second Emory player to be named a D3Baseball.com All-American, claiming a first-team berth.  In addition, he was named a co-Most Valuable Player of the University Athletic Association (UAA) and to the ABCA and D3Baseball.com All-South Region First Teams.

Hannon was named to ABCA All-South Region First Team as well, and claimed All-UAA First Team recognition for the fourth time in his career, becoming just the second player in conference history to accomplish the feat for four-straight seasons.  He ended his career as one of just two players in the program’s history with over 200 hits and 100 walks, while breaking the Emory record with 187 runs and finishing second in school history with 125 walks, fourth with 230 hits, a .478 on base percentage and 79 stolen bases.  In addition, Hannon was selected to the Capital One Academic All-America Third Team, becoming just the second Emory player ever to earn the acclaim.

During the course of the regular season, the Eagles claimed their third UAA title in the last four years, and their 12th overall in the program’s history, at the annual conference championships in Sanford, Florida.  Emory finished the tournament with a 6-2 overall record, tying Case Western Reserve University for the UAA Championship, and led all conference teams with a 2.87 ERA during the eight games, the lowest mark by over a run.  Lake, who led all players with 12 RBIs, and Hannon, who had a tournament-best three doubles and seven stolen bases, were each selected to the all-UAA Tournament team.

Emory totaled 409 runs as an offense in 2014, the second-most in the program’s history and fourth among NCAA Division III squads during the year.  The Eagles’ 599 hits were the second-most in Division III and third in school history, and the squad set a program record with 252 walks, leading all D-III teams in the category.  Emory also stole 131 bases on 162 attempts, ranking fifth in Division III.

In addition to leading all Division III players in RBIs in 2014, Lake ranked second in hits with 86.  Hannon led all Division III players with 43 walks during the season, and was second with 67 runs scored (both the second-highest single-season totals in Emory history).  Junior outfielder Wes Peacock, who was named to the ABCA All-South Region Third Team, finished the year ranked 12th in Division III with 54 RBIs (tied for the seventh-most in school history) and led all Eagles with five home runs during the season.

On the mound, Emory ranked 45th among Division III teams with a 3.31 ERA during the year.   The Eagles’ rotation was anchored by Dillman, a unanimous all-region second team selection.  Dillman recorded a 2.35 ERA with a 10-1 record, tying for the fourth-most wins by an Eagle in a single-season.  He also led all Eagles during the season with 84.1 innings pitched and 78 strikeouts.  Emory’s rotation was bolstered by the addition of a pair of freshman in right-hander Hans Hansen and southpaw Jackson Weeg.  Hansen was named the UAA and D3Baseball.com South Region Rookie of the Year, setting the program’s freshman record with nine victories and recording a 3.21 ERA during the year.  Weeg led all Emory pitchers during the year with a 2.03 ERA, and threw a team-best 20 innings during the NCAA Championships, going 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA.

Out of the bullpen, Monk led the Eagles with seven saves, ranking 24th among Division III pitchers during the year, while senior Robert Gross paced the team with 21 relief appearances, going 2-2 with a 2.35 ERA.

Other highlights from the regular season include a four-game season-opening road trip to Southern California, during which the Eagles went 3-1.  Emory also saved some of its best play for the end of the regular season, winning 11 of its final 13 games prior to the NCAA Tournament, and 20 of its last 25 games overall.  The Eagles finished the year with a 5-2 record against teams ranked in the final top-10 in the ABCA National Poll, 10-7 against teams ranked in the top-30, and 14-7 against all teams featured in the poll, including those receiving votes.

The Eagles earned the following honors during the 2014 season:

 

American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) All-America

Brett Lake

Studio City, CA (Campbell Hall)

Outfield

Second Team

 

D3Baseball.com All-America

Brett Lake

Studio City, CA (Campbell Hall)

Outfield

First Team

 

ABCA/ Rawlings Gold Glove

Jared Welch

Alpharetta, GA (Alpharetta)

Catcher

 

All-NCAA Tournament Team

Jared Kahn

Atlanta, GA (Woodward Academy)

Second Base

Philip Maldari

Brooklyn, NY (Poly Prep)

Third Base

Jared Welch

Alpharetta, GA (Alpharetta)

Catcher

 

D3Baseball.com All-NCAA Tournament Team

Philip Maldari

Brooklyn, NY (Poly Prep)

Third Base

Jared Welch

Alpharetta, GA (Alpharetta)

Catcher

 

D3Baseball.com South Region Rookie of the Year

Hans Hansen

Playa del Rey, CA (Harvard-Westlake)

Pitcher

 

ABCA All-South Region

Brandon Hannon

Peachtree City, GA (McIntosh)

Outfield

First Team 

Brett Lake

Studio City, CA (Campbell Hall)

Outfield

First Team

Connor Dillman

Santa Monica, CA (Harvard-Westlake)

Pitcher

Second Team

Wes Peacock

Sherman Oaks, CA (Harvard-Westlake)

Outfield

Third Team

 

D3Baseball.com All-South Region

Brett Lake

Studio City, CA (Campbell Hall)

Outfield

First Team

Connor Dillman

Santa Monica, CA (Harvard-Westlake)

Pitcher

Second Team

Brandon Hannon

Peachtree City, GA (McIntosh)

Outfield

Second Team

Hans Hansen

Playa del Rey, CA (Harvard-Westlake)

Pitcher

Third Team

 

NCAA South Regional Tournament Most Valuable Player

Jared Welch

Alpharetta, GA (Alpharetta)

Catcher

 

NCAA South Regional All-Tournament Team

Connor Dillman

Santa Monica, CA (Harvard-Westlake)

Pitcher

Brandon Hannon

Peachtree City, GA (McIntosh)

Outfield

Daniel Iturrey

Miami, FL (Miami Palmetto)

Outfield

Kyle Monk

Cortlandt Manor, NY (Hendrick Hudson)

Pitcher

Jared Welch

Alpharetta, GA (Alpharetta)

Catcher

 

University Athletic Association (UAA) Most Valuable Player

Brett Lake

Studio City, CA (Campbell Hall)

Outfield

 

UAA Rookie of the Year

Hans Hansen

Playa del Rey, CA (Harvard-Westlake)

Pitcher

 

All-UAA

Connor Dillman

Santa Monica, CA (Harvard-Westlake)

Pitcher

First Team

Hans Hansen

Playa del Rey, CA (Harvard-Westlake)

Pitcher

First Team

Brandon Hannon

Peachtree City, GA (McIntosh)

Outfield

First Team

Brett Lake

Studio City, CA (Campbell Hall)

Outfield

First Team

Daniel Iturrey

Miami, FL (Miami Palmetto)

Outfield

Second Team

Wes Peacock

Sherman Oaks, CA (Harvard-Westlake)

Outfield

Second Team

 

UAA All-Tournament Team

Brandon Hannon

Peachtree City, GA (McIntosh)

Outfield

Brett Lake

Studio City, CA (Campbell Hall)

Outfield

 

Capital One/ CoSIDA Academic All-America

Brandon Hannon

Peachtree City, GA (McIntosh)

Outfield

Third Team

 

Capital One/ CoSIDA Academic All-District

Brandon Hannon

Peachtree City, GA (McIntosh)

Outfield

 

Jewish Sports Review All-America

Brett Lake

Studio City, CA (Campbell Hall)

Outfield

First Team

 

UAA Athlete of the Week

Hans Hansen

Playa del Rey, CA (Harvard-Westlake)

Feb. 17th, Mar. 3rd, Mar. 24th, Apr. 21st

Connor Dillman

Santa Monica, CA (Harvard-Westlake)

Feb. 10th, Mar. 31st, Apr. 28th

Brett Lake

Studio City, CA (Campbell Hall)

Feb. 10th, Mar. 10th

Daniel Iturrey

Miami, FL (Miami Palmetto)

Feb. 17th

Jared Kahn

Atlanta, GA (Woodward Academy)

Mar. 24th

Philip Maldari

Brooklyn, NY (Poly Prep)

Mar. 31st

Kyle Monk

Cortlandt Manor, NY (Hendrick Hudson)

May 19th

Wes Peacock

Sherman Oaks, CA (Harvard-Westlake)

Mar. 3rd

Jackson Weeg

Woodstock, GA (River Ridge)

Mar. 10th

Jared Welch

Alpharetta, GA (Alpharetta)

May 19th

 

The following were the team leaders during the 2014 season:

 

Batting Average

Brett Lake

.417

Runs Scored

Brandon Hannon

67

Hits

Brett Lake

86

Doubles

Wes Peacock

16

Triples

Jared Welch

5

Home Runs

Wes Peacock

5

RBIs

Brett Lake

69 *E

Walks

Brandon Hannon

43

Stolen Bases

Brandon Hannon

24

 

Wins

Connor Dillman

10

Saves

Kyle Monk

7

ERA

Jackson Weeg

2.03

Strikeouts

Connor Dillman

78

 

*E – Indicates Emory record