Norfolk, Va. (May 15, 2012) --- Delaware State University's Ryan Haas (jr.; Bear, Del.) has been selected as the 2012 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Player-of-the-Year, while Hornet head coach J.P. Blandin was named the league's Coach-of-the-Year in voting by conference head coaches and sports information representatives announced today.
Joining Haas on the 2012 All-MEAC First Team are fellow Hornets Jordan Elliott (pitcher/r-jr.; Lincoln, Del.), Eddie Sorondo (catcher/so.; Jersey City, N.J.) and Cameron Cecil (3B; so.; Gloucester, Va.).
Delaware State's Matt McClain (pitcher/ so.; Dover, Del.), JP Frey (2B/ jr.; Erie, Pa) and Aaron Nardone (OF/so.; Chesapeake, Va.) were named to the All-MEAC Second Team, giving the Hornets a league-best seven all-conference selections.
Haas is tops in the MEAC in runs batted in (53) and doubles (21). He ranks seventh among all NCAA Division I players in doubles and 23rd in RBI. In addition, he's second in the league in hitting (.361), third in hits (65) and third in total bases (89). A 2011 All-MEAC First Team pick, Haas also posted a 3-1 won-loss record as a pitcher, including wins over Delaware and Navy, this season.
He is the third Delaware State player in the last four years to earn MEAC Player-of-the-Year honors, joining Ross Babineaux in 2009 and 2012 teammate Scott Davis last year.
Blandin led Delaware State to the MEAC North Division Championship with a 22-2 league record this season. The Hornets were 35-15-1 overall this season (.686), their best winning percentage since posting a 37-10 mark(.787) in his first year at the helm of the program in 2001. DSU's 35 wins this season are third best in team history.
In addition, the Hornets led the MEAC in 15 statistical categories during the regular season, including batting average (.309), slugging percentage (.394), runs scored (426), hits (501) RBI (351), earned run average (3.57), walks (218) and hit by pitches (137). Delaware State set a new NCAA Division I record in hit batters this season.
Elliott is tied for the MEAC lead with nine wins this season (9-2). He's also third among MEAC starters with a 2.31 earned run average.
Sorondo is tops among MEAC catchers with a .341 average this season. He's also fifth on the Hornets with 36 runs batted in.
Cecil is batting .339 with 12 doubles and 39 RBI this year.
McClain is tied with Elliott for the MEAC lead with nine wins (9-3). He ranks second among league starters with a 2.18 ERA.
Frey is batting .357 and is third on the Hornets with 61 hits.
Nardone is hitting .338 and leads the team with five home runs. He also second on the club with 43 runs batted in.
Bethune-Cookman's Rayan Gonzalez was selected as the 2012 MEAC Pitcher-of-the-Year, while Rexford Davis of Savannah State is the league's top rookie.
Delaware State will take on Savannah State in the opening round of the 2012 MEAC Tournament on Wednesday (May 16) at 4:00 p.m. in Norfolk, Va.
The Hornets won three of four games against the Tigers this season. The teams met Feb. 24-26 in Savannah, Ga. Delaware State won the first game of the series 4-2. The teams split a doubleheader the following day. DSU won the opener 11-5. Savannah State took the nightcap 3-0. Delaware State won the series finale 6-2.
The winner of the Delaware State/Savannah State contest will face the winner of the (#2 South) North Carolina Central vs. (#3 North) UMES opening round game on Thursday at 4:00 p.m.
Delaware State is seeking its first MEAC championship since 1989. The Hornets last appeared in the tournament finals in 2004.