May 24, 2011

Foster Named Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year

May 24, 2011


2011 Atlantic 10 Baseball All-Conference Team

KINGSTON, R.I. - Rhode Island baseball head coach Jim Foster has been named the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year in voting conducted among the league's 13 head coaches.

Additionally, five URI players earned All-Conference honors as redshirt junior Greg Annarummo was named to the First Team and classmates Jeff Cammans and Mike LeBel as well as redshirt senior Stephen Peterson were Second Team selections. LeBel also landed a spot on the All-Academic team while freshman Jeff Roy picked up All-Rookie accolades.

Foster earns his first Coach of the Year award after leading the Rams - who were picked fifth in the league's preseason poll - to a 16-8 mark in A-10 play, good for second place. It marks the second time in the last three years that Rhody enters the conference championship as the No. 2 seed.

As always, Foster challenged his club with a very competitive schedule this season - one that has given Rhode Island a top-50 RPI after playing a total of 10 games against teams that are ranked in this week's national polls, including No. 1 South Carolina and No. 2 Florida.

Overall, the Rams have posted a 30-20 record, marking the first time in program history that URI turns in four consecutive 30-win seasons. Foster's 129 wins over the last four seasons are the most at Rhode Island over any four-year span.

Annarummo leads URI's starters with a .352 average to go along with 57 hits - 17 of which have been for extra bases - 33 runs and 34 RBI. He has recorded 17 multiple-hit and 10 multiple-RBI games this season and finished the regular season ranked fourth in the conference with a .378 average in A-10 games.

Cammans - who missed all but eight games last season with an injury - is currently batting .346 with a team-best 64 hits and 22 stolen bases. He also turned in 20 multiple-hit performances and went 9-for-26 (.346) in seven games against nationally-ranked teams.

LeBel finished the regular season ranked fourth in the league in runs scored (47) and first on the team with eight home runs - which give him 24 for his career, a new Rhode Island record. A co-captain for the Rams, he has made 160 consecutive starts since his freshman season and - despite batting just .227 (34-150) over URI's first 35 games this year - he has gone 23-for-55 (.418) at the plate with a team-high 20 RBI, 19 runs and six homers in Rhody's last 15 contests. His .836 slugging percentage is also tops on the team over that 15-game span.

Academically, LeBel is a four-time member of the Atlantic 10 Commissioner's Honor Roll and has a 3.58 cumulative GPA as a Business Administration major.

Peterson wrapped up the regular season with a perfect 6-0 record in A-10 games. He tossed two complete-game shutouts - against St. Joe's and Temple - and finished fourth in the league with 55 strikeouts in Atlantic 10 games. Peterson enters the conference championship having allowed just seven earned runs in his last 44.1 innings pitched.

Roy, a two-time A-10 Rookie of the Week, finished the regular season batting .341 - tops among all A-10 freshman and 15th overall among all players. He had 11 multiple-hit games and reached base in a team-best 18 consecutive games. He currently leads all conference players with 13 bunt singles and batted .333 (9-27) in URI's games against nationally-ranked opponents.

The second-seeded Rams open play at the 2011 Atlantic 10 Championship on Thursday afternoon, when they take on the winner of Wednesday's #3 Dayton vs. #6 La Salle matchup. First pitch is slated for 3:30 p.m. at Campbell's Field in Camden, N.J.