Baseball Student-Athletes Honored For Academic Excellence

Release: 06/08/2009
Courtesy: America East Communications
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Eleven baseball student-athletes have been selected to the America East Baseball All-Academic team as was announced by the conference office Monday afternoon. These student-athletes, who excel both academically as well as athletically, represent the best of the America East Conference.

The All-Academic squad is highlighted by three members of the 2009 America East Champion Binghamton Bearcats, including the Pitcher of the Year, Murphy Smith (Clifton Park, N.Y.). Stony Brook also sent three student-athletes to the All-Academic team, led by first-team starting pitcher Mike Errigo (Bayside, N.Y.). Hartford and Albany each have two players on the squad, while one student-athlete from Maine is represented on the team.

Joining Smith and Errigo on the All-Academic team is David Noble (Bronx, N.Y.) and Chris Ott (Massapequa, N.Y.) from Albany, Jeff Abrams (Rochester, N.Y.) and Ken Jacobi (Milford, Conn.) from Binghamton, Simon Kundernatsch (Czech Republic) and Rodger Wilmot (Freehold, N.J.) from Hartford, Jon Balentina (Willemstad, Curacao) from Maine, and Steve Mazzurco (Selden, N.Y.) and Michael Stephan (Patchogue, N.Y.) from Stony Brook.

Ott, a senior pitcher, owns the highest grade-point average of the honorees with a 3.81 in biology. Stephan, a junior designated hitter, has earned a 3.54 in history, been named to the ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA All-District Academic Team two years running and was selected the 2008 America East Scholar-Athlete for baseball.

The All-Academic squads are a product of the June 2005 Athletics Director meetings, where faculty representatives and athletics directors from each of the conference’s nine member institutions decided to honor the league’s top student-athletes, whom excel equally in the classroom as they do on the playing field. 

For the last two academic years, the All-Academic Team has been selected based on a formula. Starting this year, America East has adopted a more subjective approach based on feedback from various coaches’ groups and administrators and approval by the athletic directors. The process will now resemble the CoSIDA’s Academic All-America program. Student-athletes worthy of consideration will now be nominated by member sports information directors and voted on by committee of SIDs, academic advisors and faculty representatives from all nine member institutions.

All-Academic squads for team sports are based on the number of athletes that participate in a contest at one time (i.e. 10 including designated player for baseball) or are made up of 10 student-athletes for individual sports. There may be more student-athletes recognized if a tie exists or fewer if eligibility requirements limit the number of nominees. To be nominated for the distinction, student-athletes must be a starter or important reserve for their team and participate in at least 50 percent of their team’s games or competitions. Pitchers in baseball and softball are required to have pitched at least 10 innings. In the classroom, student-athletes must have a 3.30 GPA and have completed at least one calendar year at their institution. Freshmen are not eligible for consideration.

2009 America East Baseball All-Academic Team
Name    Cl.    School    Hometown    GPA    Major

Jeff Abrams    Jr.    Binghamton    Rochester, N.Y.    3.35    Financial economics
Jonathan Balentina    So.    Maine    Willemstad, Curacao    3.65    Civil engineering
Mike Errigo    Sr.    Stony Brook    Bayside, N.Y.    3.33    Business
Ken Jacobi    Sr.    Binghamton    Milford, Conn.    3.78    Management
Simon Kudernatsch    So.    Hartford    Czech Republic    3.60    Biomedical engineering
Steven Mazzurco    Sr.    Stony Brook    Selden, N.Y.    3.50    Business & economics
David Noble    Sr.    Albany    Bronx, N.Y.    3.76    Accounting
Chris Ott    Sr.    Albany    Massapequa, N.Y.    3.81    Biology
Murphy Smith    Jr.    Binghamton    Clifton Park, N.Y.    3.52    Accounting
Michael Stephan    Jr.    Stony Brook    Patchogue, N.Y.    3.54    History
Rodger Wilmot    So.    Hartford    Freehold, N.J.    3.68    Management