STANDISH, ME – The 2012 New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) postseason honors have been released and three Saint Joseph's College players have earned mention.
Junior pitcher Chad Rafferty (Keene, N.H.) collects First Team honors while freshman catcher Nic Lops (South Portland, Maine/Cheverus) and junior second baseman Brandon Chase (Naples, Maine) have both been listed on the Third Team.
In 2012, Rafferty recorded one of the finest seasons ever posted by a pitcher at Saint Joseph's, posting a perfect 10-0 record with a 1.71 ERA and 74 strikeouts – against just 20 walks – in 68.1 innings. Opponents hit just .213 (53-249) off the junior righthander this spring.
Rafferty, a Second Team All-NEIBA selection as a sophomore, joins former SJC great Charlie Furbush, now a reliever with the Seattle Mariners, as one of two pitchers in Monks baseball history to record 10 victories in a single season and is the only hurler to post double-digit wins without suffering a loss.
Lops, the 2012 GNAC Rookie of the Year and GNAC Tournament Most Valuable Player, led the Monks in batting average (.389, 51-131) and tallied 22 runs, five doubles, and 28 RBI as a first-year player. His batting average is the highest posted by an SJC rookie since Charlie Furbush hit .392 (49-125) in his first season (2005).
Chase enjoyed a breakout season, hitting .354 (46-130) with 26 runs, five doubles, six triples, seven home runs, 38 RBI and eight stolen bases as a first-year starter. The junior slugger paced the Royal Blue in triples, home runs, RBI, total bases (84), slugging (.646), and stolen bases this spring.
Saint Joseph's went 39-7 overall and 14-2 in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) play this season under the watch of 20th-year Head Coach Will Sanborn '86 (542-295-5, .648). In 2012, the Monks captured a conference crown for the seventh time in the last eight seasons and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in seven years with the GNAC's automatic qualifier.
As the #2 seed in the 2012 NCAA DIII New England Regional Tournament, St. Joe's defeated #7 Bowdoin College and #4 Keene State College but bowed out of the double-elimination tourney with losses to #3 Trinity College and #5 Western New England University.