WILMINGTON, N.C. – Four Virginia Commonwealth University baseball players received All-Colonial Athletic Association recognition Wednesday evening at the conference's annual pre-tournament awards banquet on the campus of UNC Wilmington.
Junior utility player Taylor Perkins garnered first team honors, freshman outfielder Bill Cullen was named to the second team and senior outfielder John Lenherr received third team recognition. Cullen and freshman Joey Cujas were members of the All-Rookie squad.
Perkins, who spent time behind the plate, at first base, third base and as the team's designated hitter in 2011, batted .320 with a team-leading 15 doubles and four home runs. The Dinwiddie, Va., native, who garnered third team All-CAA honors last year, ranked second on the squad with 38 RBIs and 28 walks while driving in two or more runs in a team-high 13 games this year.
Cullen, meanwhile, concluded his freshman campaign hitting .324 (tied for the second-best average on the team) with 12 doubles, four triples and 33 RBIs. The speedy centerfielder, who finished 15-for-20 in stolen bases while drawing a team-high 29 walks, was one of the Rams' most consistent offensive threats down the stretch. He hit .415 (34-for-82) with 19 RBIs, 19 runs scored, 10 doubles, two triples, a home run and eight walks during the final 19 games of the season, including a team-best 13-game hitting streak.
Lenherr overcame an injury-plagued junior campaign to earn third team honors in his final season with the Rams. The Windham, Kansas native led VCU with a .353 batting average, 76 hits, 44 runs scored, five triples and 21 stolen bases (21-of-23). Lenherr, who was one of two Rams to start all 54 games this season, paced the Black & Gold with a .479 slugging percentage and .432 on-base percentage, and led the team with 24 multi-hit games, including a career-long 12-game hitting streak in April.
Cujas concluded his first collegiate season on a high note, batting a team-best .427 during the final month of the year. He finished the season hitting .321 with a team-high 41 RBIs, including nine doubles, a triple and two home runs. The Rams' starting third baseman drove in four or more runs on three occasions (most on the team) while striking out just 18 times, fewest among VCU's starters.
The future seems bright for the Rams as Cujas and Cullen were VCU's top two hitters during the final month of the season. The duo combined to bat .420 (66-for-157) with 39 RBIs, 31 runs, 13 doubles, three triples a home run and 14 walks since April 22.
James Madison's Jake Lowery received Player of the Year honors, while William & Mary's Loban Billbrough and Old Dominion's Kyle Hald were named Co-Pitchers of the Year. Nick Natoli (Towson) garnered Defensive Player of the Year accolades, Aaron Barbosa (Northeastern) took home Rookie of the Year honors and Old Dominion Interim Head Coach Nate Goulet was recognized as the league's Coach of the Year.
2011 ALL-CAA BASEBALL TEAM
C – Jake Lowery, James Madison
1B – Steve Ulaky, Delaware
2B – Rob Lind, Georgia State
SS – Josh Wright, Old Dominion
3B – Brandon Williams, Georgia State
OF – Pat Dameron, Delaware
OF – Mark Micowski, Georgia State
OF – Danny Poma, Hofstra
UT – Taylor Perkins, VCU
DH – Thomas Pope, UNC Wilmington
SP – Logan Billbrough, William & Mary
SP – Kyle Hald, Old Dominion
RP – Adam Wisniewski, Old Dominion
Player of the Year: Jake Lowery, James Madison
Co-Pitchers of the Year: Logan Billbrough, William & Mary and Kyle Hald, Old Dominion
Defensive Player of the Year: Nick Natoli, Towson
Rookie of the Year: Aaron Barbosa, Northeastern
Coach of the Year: Nate Goulet, Old Dominion
C – Andrew Parker, Towson
1B – Hunter Ridge, UNC Wilmington
2B – Chris Cook, George Mason
SS – David Herbek, James Madison
3B – Matt Campbell, UNC Wilmington
OF- Johnny Bladel, James Madison
OF – Andrew Cain, UNC Wilmington
OF – Bill Cullen, VCU
UT – Brig Tison, George Mason
DH – Drew Shields, Georgia State
SP – Will Campbell, Georgia State
SP – Charlie Cononie, Towson
RP – Brett Koehler, William & Mary
C – Matt Reistetter, Hofstra
1B – Austin Harclerode, Towson
2B – Jonathan Slattery, William & Mary
SS – Nick Natoli, Towson
3B – Chris Wychock, Towson
OF – Aaron Barbosa, Northeastern
OF – Alex Foltz, James Madison
OF – John Lenherr, VCU
UT – Ty McFarland, James Madison
DH – Dylan Nasiatka, Hofstra
SP – Sean Tierney, James Madison
SP – Les Williams, Northeastern
RP – Jake Dyer, Georgia State
Dean Ali, Old Dominion
Aaron Barbosa, Northeastern
Joey Burney, Old Dominion
Joey Cujas, VCU
Bill Cullen, VCU
Blaise Fernandez, George Mason
Kenny Jackson, Hofstra
Connor Lyons, Northeastern
Ty McFarland, James Madison
E.J. Stoltzfus, Delaware