GANSEVOORT, N.Y. - The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has announced its 2019 Baseball All-Conference selections with first and second team honors being awarded to the top 24 players, regardless of position. The NEAC has also announced the four individuals to receive the league’s annual awards, with all honors determined in a vote by the conference coaches.
Penn State Berks senior Toby Welk (Downingtown, Pa.) has been named the NEAC Player of the Year for the third-consecutive season after serving as the centerpiece of the Nittany Lions’ offense in 2019. Welk has been a fixture as one of the league’s best players for his entire career and this year proved no different as he leads the NEAC in batting average (.489), hits (66), runs (55), doubles (16), home runs (13), RBIs (58), on-base percentage (.556) and slugging percentage (.956). The Nittany Lions’ offensive leader ranks first among Division III players in slugging percentage and second in batting average. He also ranks among the top 10 in the country in home runs per game, RBIs, RBIs per game and total bases. Welk has hit safely in 32 of 36 contests and has recorded two or more hits in 23 games. Against NEAC opponents, he is batting .529 with seven doubles, one triple, 11 home runs and 38 RBIs. Defensively at shortstop, Welk has recorded 36 putouts, 103 assists and helped turn 14 double plays. In addition to wrapping up a phenomenal career with another individual honor, Welk becomes a four-time All-Conference selection with his spot on the 2019 All-NEAC First Team.
After earning Rookie of the Year honors in 2018, Penn State Abington’s Ryan McCarty (Yardley, Pa.) closes out his sophomore season as the NEAC Pitcher of the Year. The Nittany Lions’ infielder enters the postseason with a 6-2 record on the mound with all six wins coming in league play. McCarty ranks first among NEAC pitchers with a 1.43 ERA in conference games and is listed third overall with a 2.81 ERA in 11 appearances. He has allowed just seven earned runs and struck out a league-leading 38 batters in seven NEAC games. In his seven appearances against NEAC opponents, McCarty struck out five or more batters in five games with a season-high nine strikeouts coming against SUNY Cobleskill. In addition to his pitching, McCarty also serves as an offensive threat for Penn State Abington with a .346 batting average, .444 on-base percentage, .478 slugging percentage, two home runs and 28 RBIs.
SUNY Cobleskill’s Joseph Ciatto (Patterson, N.Y.) has been selected as the NEAC Rookie of the Year after a strong collegiate debut. In 38 games, Ciatto posted a .327 batting average, a .403 on-base percentage and a .378 slugging percentage. The Fighting Tigers’ second baseman ranks fifth in the league with 51 hits and 14 stolen bases. He also had two triples and 19 RBIs. In league play, Ciatto batted .321 with four doubles, 11 RBIs and six stolen bases. In the field, he recorded 83 putouts, 74 assists and 12 double plays. He committed just six errors and finished the season with a .963 fielding percentage. In addition to his individual award, Ciatto is the lone member of the Fighting Tigers to receive an all-conference nod with a spot on the NEAC second team. Ciatto’s production helped the Fighting Tigers improve from three wins in 2018 to 16 this season.
In his sixth season at Keuka College, Rick Ferchen has been voted by his peers as the NEAC Coach of the Year. Ferchen led the Wolves to a 15-3 record in conference play and the NEAC Regular Season Title. The Wolves enter postseason play ranking second in the NEAC with a .336 team batting average and have been the league’s top pitching staff with a 4.78 ERA. In conference games, Keuka College is batting .322 and boasts a staff ERA of 2.94. Ferchen’s squad also ranks first among conference teams with 94 doubles, 25 triples and 595 total bases while having three players earn NEAC All-Conference honors. This is the second time Ferchen has received the league’s top coaching honor with his first award coming in 2014.
2019 NEAC Baseball All-Conference Team
|All-Conference First Team|
|Toby Welk||Penn State Berks||Sr.||3B/SS||Downingtown, Pa.|
|Will Welsh||Lancaster Bible||Sr.||OF||Lancaster, Pa.|
|Ryan McCarty||Penn State Abington||So.||INF/P||Yardley, Pa.|
|Mason Pennypacker||Penn State Berks||Jr.||INF/OF||Pottstown, Pa.|
|Dylan Nolan||Wells College||Jr.||C||Brick, N.J.|
|Brooks Vertoske||Keuka College||Jr.||INF||Horseheads, N.Y.|
|Nathan Holt||Penn College||So.||RHP||Shippensburg, Pa.|
|Brittan Kittle||Penn College||Jr.||C||Millville, Pa.|
|Cameron Upton||Gallaudet University||Sr.||SS||Vicksburg, Miss.|
|Daniel Steve||Keuka College||So.||RHP||Cortland, N.Y.|
|Sebastian Pannuto||SUNY Poly||Sr.||INF||New Paltz, N.Y.|
|Dalton Hughes||Penn State Berks||Sr.||OF||Boyertown, Pa.|
|All-Conference Second Team|
|Dan Bamann||Keuka College||Sr.||3B/C||Rochester, N.Y.|
|Joe Rizzo||Penn State Abington||So.||INF||Gibbstown, N.J.|
|Joseph Ciatto||SUNY Cobleskill||Fr.||INF||Patterson, N.Y.|
|Paul Woodley||Penn State Abington||So.||OF||Levittown, Pa.|
|Dan Freese||Cazenovia College||Jr.||1B/SS/3B||Greece, N.Y.|
|Jacob Carles||Penn College||Fr.||OF||Bernville, Pa.|
|Jeremiah Horton||SUNY Poly||Sr.||P||Broadalbin, N.Y.|
|Josh Saufley||Lancaster Bible||Fr.||OF/SS||Hummelstown, Pa.|
|Jaden Himmelreich||Penn State Abington||So.||INF||Temple, Pa.|
|Jacob Schenck||Lancaster Bible||Sr.||1B||Beverly Hills, Fla.|
|Alex Flicker||Penn College||Fr.||C||Topton, Pa.|
|Zach Kemp||Wells College||Jr.||P||Ithaca, N.Y.|
The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has 12 NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Cazenovia College, College of Saint Elizabeth, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Pennsylvania State University – Abington, Pennsylvania State University – Berks, SUNY Cobleskill, Morrisville State, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and Wells College. Associate members are: Cedar Crest College (W Swimming), D’Youville College (W Lacrosse), Hilbert College (M&W Lacrosse), Medaille College (M&W Lacrosse), Rutgers University – Camden (M Golf), and Wilson College (M Volleyball). The NEAC has partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sport of men’s tennis and with the Colonial State Athletic Conference in the sport of Field Hockey. For more information, please visit: www.neacsports.com.