Darby, Purnell, Vaccarelli and Lynch are all first-time honorees
NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- Senior pitchers Tom Darby (Middletown, RI) and Matt Purnell (Stafford Springs) of Eastern Connecticut State University have been selected to the Little East Conference all-conference first team and have been joined by second-team infielders Brendan Lynch (Wethersfield) and Mike Vaccarelli (Wolcott), both juniors, it was announced today.
Darby, a lefty, was one of two starting pitchers named to the first team, while Purnell, a righty, was tabbed as the first-team relief pitcher. Lynch was selected as one of two shortstops on the second team ,while Vaccarelli was the second-team all-conference third base.
All four are first-time all-conference honorees.
Darby and Purnell shared the staff lead in wins, with six, with both pitchers losing one decision. Darby led all starters with a 2.97 ERA, while Purnell's 1.63 ERA topped all pitchers on the staff. Darby also led the staff with 67 strikeouts (against just 16 walks) and shared the team lead with 11 starts. Purenll collected nine saves - one shy of the season record -- setting program records for appearances in a season and relief appearances in a season, with 29.
Among hitters with at least 100 at-bats, Vaccarelli led all players with a .347 batting average. He started all 44 games, all of them at third bases, and batted second in the order behind Lynch in 42 games. Defensively, Vaccarelli was second to Lynch with 67 assists.
Lynch started all 42 games in which he appeared, 41 of those starts coming at shortstop. He was the team's starting leadoff hitter in 28 games, but also spent time at six other positions in the order. Lynch batted .315 with a team-high 14 doubles. He drove in 28 runs and was the team leader with 134 assists.
Eastern won 30 games for the 29th time since 1973, finishing 30-13-1. Ranked fourth in New England, Eastern won two and lost two as the No. 2 seed in last week's Little East Conference tournament.