Bryant’s Ryan Ward spent the last five games adding to his league-leading totals and swung his way to a national weekly honor in the process.
Becoming the first NEC athlete to do so this season, Ward earned National Player of the Week status from Collegiate Baseball News.
He is the fourth player in Bryant’s history to receive the honor, joining James Karinchak (2016, 2017), Matt Albanese (2015) and Kevin Brown (2013).
Ward, who owns a 19-game hit streak, batted .536 (15-for-28) last week. Eight of his knocks went for extra bases, including three homers.
The redshirt freshman leads NEC Baseball in batting average (.435), hits (64), doubles (17) and slugging percentage (.748).
He’s second in homers (7), runs (34), RBI (34) and on-base percentage (.469).
CB’S NATIONAL PLAYERS OF WEEK: One hitter belts 5 HRs, a pitcher fires a no-hitter, another strikes out 14 batters over 7 innings, one hitter delivers 4 home runs in one game while a pitcher fans 16 batters over 7 innings, plus more. Go to: https://t.co/YqPyCsavLvpic.twitter.com/s5gme1cmhS
The Northeast Conference recognized those teams that best competed with dignity and respect during the 2017-18 winter sports season.
For the 10th year running, the league handed out a Team Sportsmanship Award in the sports of men’s basketball, women’s basketball, women’s swimming & diving, men’s indoor track & field, women’s indoor track & field and women’s bowling.
Bryant (MBB / SWIM) and St. Francis Brooklyn (WBB / WITF) were double winners. SFBK won the women’s basketball honor for the fifth time in six seasons while Caldwell captured a third consecutive women’s bowling award.
Since the NEC Team Sportsmanship program was instituted in 2008, Saint Francis U has won a conference-best 35 awards.
The NEC’s Team Sportsmanship Award winners were chosen through a vote of team captains and coaches from throughout the conference.
Mount St. Mary’s senior Junior Robinson was unanimously chosen by the league’s head coaches as the NEC Player of the Year. The conference’s leading scorer received the honor on the eve of Wednesday’s NEC Tournament quarterfinal games.
The league announced its major award winners and all-conference honorees on Tuesday afternoon via Twitter.
Wagner clinched the top seed more than one week ago and the rest of the pieces fell into place as the #NECMBB regular season wound down.
Defending champion Mount St. Mary’s snatched the No. 2 seed with No. 3 Saint Francis U and No. 4 LIU Brooklyn joining the Mount as quarterfinal game hosts.
The tournament tips off on February 28 with all four quarters set for 7:00 pm ET. The semifinal round will unfold on March 3 with the #NECMBB Championship Game happening on March 6 on ESPN2. All games will be played at the home sites of the higher seeds.
Welcome to the Northeast Conference Hall of Fame, Mike Iuzzolino, Lesley Renninger and Howie Dickenman!
This year’s three-member class raises the total number of names enshrined in Somerset to 29.
Here’s something you should know about each of the three newest honorees.
Mike Iuzzolino (Saint Francis U)
Before going on to star in the NBA Jam video game alongside Dallas Mavericks teammate Derek Harper, Iuzzolino was responsible for arguably the most-impressive individual two-year stretch in the league’s 37 seasons of men’s basketball. SFU’s Academic All-American shot 52.3 percent from three-point range while piling up 1,346 points in two seasons after transferring from Penn State.
Lesley Renninger (LIU Brooklyn)
Her collegiate career ended 25 years ago, but there is still no LIU pitcher with a better career earned-run average than Renninger. The Academic All-American, who helped the Blackbirds to a conference crown as a freshman, won 55 of her 71 decisions in the circle.
Howie Dickenman (Central Connecticut)
Coach D, a mentor and friend to so many, bleeds CCSU blue. The former Blue Devil hoops star returned to his alma mater as the head men’s basketball coach in 1996 and proceeded to win four NEC Coach of the Year awards while thrice taking CCSU to the Big Dance.