WASHINGTON - Six members of The Catholic University of America baseball team earned spots on the All-Landmark Conference teams while head coach Ross Natoli was selected as the league's Coach of the Year as announced by the conference office on Tuesday morning.
Natoli earns his first Coach of the Year recognition since the inception of the Landmark Conference in 2007. Natoli led the 2018 Cardinals to a 31-13 overall record and this year's Landmark Conference Championship Title. Catholic has appeared in 11-straight Landmark Conference Tournaments and captured the crown in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2015 and 2018.
Seniors Brennan Cotter and Jake Crist along with junior Jon Mierzwa garnered first team honors while juniors Ryan Tracy and Bailey Lewis and sophomore Jack Ropelewski were each selected to the second team.
Earlier this week Cotter earned the Landmark Championship MVP award. The first baseman earns his second-straight First Team All-Landmark honor and currently holds a .368 batting average and .669 slugging percentage. The Oakland, N.J., native set a new Landmark Record for most RBIs in a season (64) and Catholic records for most home runs in a season (nine) and most career home runs (18).
Mierzwa also earns his second-consecutive first-team honor as Catholic's starting pitcher. Hailing from Laurel, Md., Mierzwa has registered a 4-1 record and was on the mound when the Cardinals won the 2018 Landmark title as he recorded the save. He leads the league with 75 strikeouts holds a 2.80 ERA.
Crist sits just behind Cotter in the league's number two spot with 39 RBIs this season. The designated hitter from Greencastle, Pa., walked 31 times, recorded 13 doubles and hit six home runs. Crist earned Second Team All-Landmark Honors in 2015 as a freshman.
This is Tracy, Lewis and Ropelewski's first selections to the All-Landmark squads. Tracy holds the seventh-best batting average in the league at .360. Hailing from Rumford, R.I., he recorded nine doubles, one triple and one home run this season with 26 RBI.
A Matthews, N.C., native, Lewis tied Crist with six home runs this year and holds a .338 batting average. He is third on the team in RBI (29) and walks (27) while registering 11 doubles in 2018.
Ropelewski pitched 33.2 innings of relief this season for a 7-1 record with one save. The Gaithersburg, Md., native struck out 39 batters while giving up just 22 hits and eight earned runs for a 2.14 ERA.
Catholic is set to face Babson College on Thursday, May 17 at 7:45 p.m., in the Mid-Atlantic Regional at York College (Pa.). Visit the Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament Homepage for additional details.
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