Rider Award Winners
LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ—The Rider University baseball team held its annual team awards brunch over the weekend.
Junior Nick Richter (Fox River Grove, Ill./Cary-Grove) was named the team Most Valuable Player, junior Justin Thomas (Richboro, PA/Council Rock South) was named the team’s Most Improved Player and senior Kyle Kennett (Spring Lake, NJ/St. Rose) was named the Pitcher of the Year.
Richter received the Joe Plunkett Memorial Award after batting .321 with 61 hits, 41 runs scored and 41 stolen bases. “Nick was a true MVP,” said Rider head coach Barry Davis. “He led the team in the two most important statistics, getting on base (.402) and scoring runs. Add to the fact of his batting average and stolen bases, he played a solid third base. He had a tremendous year and his teammates recognized him as our most valuable player.”
Richter broke the Rider record of stolen bases in a season (40) that stood since 1967.
Thomas received the Peter F. Daly Memorial Award after batting a team-high .341, 65 points higher than his average last year. Thomas ranks among the MAAC leaders in RBI with 45, 21 more than last year. His slugging percentage of .492 this year is 150 points higher than last year.
“Justin improved in every category,” Davis said. “He led the team in hitting, RBI and slugging in addition to reducing his strikeouts and increasing his walks. He truly improved his game.”
Kennett received the Bob Koehler Memorial Award. Kennett began the season as the third pitcher in the rotation and ended the season as the number one hurler in the weekend MAAC contests. During his senior campaign Kennett went three consecutive starts where he allowed just one earned run in 19.1 innings. He defeated MAAC rival Marist and allowed just two runs in a nine-inning start against Manhattan. He gave up one or less earned runs in four starts and gave up three or less earned runs in six of his 12 starts.
“Kyle was a model of consistency,” Davis said. “In five no-decisions and one loss where he gave up one unearned run, his e.r.a. was 2.51 and a whip of 1.02,” Davis said.