Central Connecticut baseball head coach Charlie Hickey was named the Northeast Conference Coach of the Year and eight Blue Devils earned All-Conference honors it was announced on Wednesday at the annual pre-tournament BBQ held at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, CT. It was the most All-Conference honorees for CCSU since 2010.
Hickey guided the Blue Devils to a 33-20 overall record and a 21-7 conference record, both league-high marks. Central notched its seventh 30-win season under Hickey's direction and posted its most wins since 2010 (33). He reached a milestone on May 19 when CCSU defeated Fairleigh Dickinson, 14-6, for his 600th career victory. Hickey enters the weekend with 497 wins at Central Connecticut in 18 seasons.
Senior Franklin Jennings led a group of five Blue Devils named to the All-NEC First Team. Jennings ranked ninth in the league with a .330 average in all games and was seventh with 64 hits in 50 games played. He knocked five triples to rank second in the league, while swiping 11 stolen bases and posting a perfect fielding percentage in right field.
Junior Ryan Costello was named to the All-NEC First Team at third base. He led the league with 21 doubles and tied for the league lead with nine home runs. Costello also ranked among the NEC leaders in runs batted in (48, 2nd) and runs scored (46, 3rd) while hitting .288. His 31 extra-base hits are the most at CCSU since Sean Allaire had 41 in 2010. His 21 doubles are the second-most in a single-season since Allaire had 22 in 2010.
Junior Mitch Guilmette led the Blue Devils and ranked fourth in the league with a .351 batting average en route to earning All-NEC First Team honors as designated hitter. He posted a .453 on-base percentage to rank among the league leaders. In conference play he ranked second on the team with 21 runs batted in and hit .366.
Junior Dean Lockery was named to the All-NEC First Team for the second straight season at second base. He tied a school single-season mark and led the league with 48 walks, while ranking second with 68 hits and 20 doubles. Lockery also ranked among the league leaders in on-base percentage (.466, 2nd) and runs scored (45, 5th). He started all 53 games and led off a lineup that ranked second in the league with 309 runs scored.
Sophomore Jared Gallagher was named the All-NEC First Team relief pitcher. He ranked second in the league with seven saves and posted a 3-1 record with a 1.59 earned run average. The left-hander limited opposing batters to a .229 aveage and tossed 34.0 innings in 17 appearances. He helped anchor a bullpen that compiled a league-best 15 saves during the year.
Sophomore pitcher Mike Appel earned All-NEC Second Team honors. The right-hander tossed the first no-hitter under Hickey in a 2-0 win over Mount St. Mary's on March 18. Appel held opposing batters to a 2.60 batting average and posted a 4.32 earned run average in 12 starts. In 14 outings overall, Appel went 3-3 and tossed 66.2 innings.
Freshman pitcher Michael Delease earned a spot on the Second Team in his rookie season at CCSU. Delease was fifth in the league in wins, posting a 5-0 record. In 11 appearances, six starts, he posted a 2.70 ERA and limited opposing hitters to a .231 average. He notched a shutout in a 3-0 win at LIU Brooklyn on April 9.
Freshman outfielder Chris Kanios rounded out the Blue Devils' selections with a spot on the Second Team. He ranked second on the team with a .362 average in league play, while hitting .315 in all games. Kanios led the Blue Devils with 13 stolen bases and was second in the league in conference play with 12 steals.
The Blue Devils open play at the Northeast Conference tournament on Thursday against third-seeded Wagner. First pitch is slated for 4:00 p.m. The games will be available to watch online at NEC Front Row.