Record Four Bears Earn All-New England Baseball Honors
June 14, 2007
Providence, RI - A Brown-record four Bears have been honored by the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association as All-New England recipients. Senior catcher Devin Thomas (Gainesville, FL), junior outfielder Ryan Murphy (Mantoloking, NJ), and junior pitcher Jeff Dietz (Altamonte Springs, FL) were all named to the First Team, while shortstop Matt Nuzzo (Everett, MA) was named to the Second Team. In addition, Head Coach Marek Drabinski was named New England Coach of the Year.
Murphy, Dietz, and Nuzzo will now play in the NEIBA All-Star Game on July 22 at Fenway Park, although Thomas will not after being drafted by the Detroit Tigers. The game pits the All-New England recipients from Division I schools against those from Divisions II and III.
Thomas, a team tri-captain, had one of the best seasons at the plate in Ivy League history. Unanimously voted Brown's second Ivy Player of the Year (Matt Kutler - 2005), Thomas broke Brown single-season records with 16 home runs, 64 runs batted in, and 51 runs scored. He also has made his mark on Brown's all-time top 10 lists for games, at-bats, hits, runs, doubles, triples, home runs, RBIs, extra-base hits, total bases and slugging percentage. He became Brown's highest drafted player since 1974 when he was chosen in the seventh round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Detroit Tigers.
Thomas currently ranks fifth in the country with an average of 1.33 RBI-per-game, 14th in home runs-per-game (0.33), 15th in slugging percentage (.729), and 30th in total home runs (16). In League play, Thomas led the Ivies with seven home runs, 24 runs scored, 28 RBIs, 67 total bases, and a .859 slugging percentage. Thomas was an All-Ivy honoree all four years at Brown, earning First Team honors at catcher the past two seasons.
Dietz, Brown's second Ivy League Pitcher of the Year (Jonathan Stern - 2002), set a new Brown record with nine victories this season. He led the Ivy League in wins both in Ivy play (5-1) and overall (9-3), and threw complete-game shutouts in Brown's Red Rolfe Division-clinching win against Yale and in the first game of the Ivy League Championship Series against Penn. He also drove in the lone run in the latter game on a sacrifice fly. Dietz tied for first in Ivy play with five complete games and was second with 42 strikeouts. As a junior, he is already fourth all-time at Brown with 16 career wins, and he appears on top 10 lists for career shutouts, strikeouts, 10-plus-strikeout games, strikeouts-per-nine-innings and fewest walks-per-nine-innings. A two-way player, Dietz was also named Second Team All-Ivy at first base.
Murphy is currently 18th in the country with a .410 batting average. He had a career year in 2007, setting personal bests in every offensive category en route to First Team All-Ivy honors. His overall average was third in the League, while his .423 average in Ivy play was good for seventh. Murphy was named to the NCAA Austin Regional All-Tournament team after going 4-for-7 with a walk and an RBI in two games. Hitting in the number-two slot in the batting order for most of the year, he was Brown's best hitter in advancing runners, successfully doing so almost 62 percent of the time (55 out of 89 opportunities), a team high.
With a team-high 19-game hitting streak, Nuzzo led Brown with a .429 batting average in Ivy play, good for fourth in the League and helping him earn First Team All-Ivy honors. The sophomore's early-season switch from third base to shortstop helped stabilize the Bears' infield defense, as the team averaged 4.3 errors-per-game before and just 1.2 per-game after the change. Even more impressive was his improvement from his freshman season without the benefit of fall baseball, as he is also a quarterback for Brown's football team.
Drabinski, who completed his 11th season at the helm of the Brown program, led the Bears to a record 27 victories in 2007, as well as the team's first Ivy League Championship and NCAA Regional appearance. This is his first time being named New England Coach of the Year, but he was the runner-up in 1999 after leading Brown to its first winning season in 10 years. This season marked the sixth time he has led a Brown team to 20 or more victories, and the eighth time he has led the Bears to a winning Ivy League record. He won his 200th game on April 25, when the Bears beat Dartmouth, 12-7.
All-New England Division I Team
C: Devin Thomas, Brown
1B: Joel Barrett, Maine
2B: Randy Gress, Quinnipiac
3B: Eric Campbell, Boston College
SS: Dennis Donovan, Connecticut
OF: Tim Binkoski, Quinnipiac
OF: Ryan Murphy, Brown
OF: Mike Tamsin, Northeastern
DH: Peter Allen, Fairfield
SP: Jeff Dietz, Brown
SP: Jay Monti, Sacred Heart
SP: Brendan McGinn, Connecticut
RP: Matt Karl, Connecticut
C: Ryan Lavarnway, Yale
1B: Marc Sawyer, Yale
2B: Ben Sobocinski, Hartford
3B: Curt Smith, Maine
SS: Matt Nuzzo, Brown
OF: Josh Cox, Yale
OF: Nick Santomauro, Dartmouth
OF: Matt Vance, Harvard
DH: Jeff Nanson, Sacred Heart
SP: Ken Kerski, Central Connecticut St.
SP: Andy Mayer, Quinnipiac
SP: Bryan Rembisz, Vermont
RP: Evan Scribner, Central Connecticut St.
Coach of the Year: Marek Drabinski, Brown