HADLEY, Mass. -- The Bates College baseball team won several honors, including three First Team honors and Coach of the Year, as the New England Small College Athletic Conference announced its year-end awards Wednesday.
Junior catcher Jack Arend (Newfields, N.H.) was named Co-Defensive Player of the Year in addition to First Team All-NESCAC honors. Sophomore outfielder Christian Beal (Flossmoor, Ill.) and junior pitcher Nolan Collins (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) also were named to the First Team.
Third-year head coach Jon Martin was named NESCAC Coach of the Year, after leading the Bobcats to a 19-17 overall record, most importantly including a 9-3 record in NESCAC East Division play and a berth in the four-team NESCAC Championship tournament for the third straight season.
Arend is the All-NESCAC First Team catcher for the second straight season, after posting career-high numbers across the board. The team captain led the NESCAC in on-base percentage, at .527, thanks to a team-record 34 walks and a .356 batting average, 10th-best in the conference. He also drove in a team-high 21 runs and stole a career-high nine bases. Arend did most of the catching for Bates, accumulating a .992 fielding percentage and throwing out a league-high 19 would-be base stealers.
Beal also excelled defensively in his first season on the team, making several highlight-reel catches in center field while recording four assists and committing zero errors. At the plate, Beal ranks fourth in the NESCAC in batting average, at .370, and is fifth in total bases (70), ninth in stolen bases (15 on 17 attempts) and is tied for 10th in runs scored (32).
Collins, who established himself as Bates' No. 1 starting pitcher as a sophomore, improved in all phases as a junior, en route to earning one of two First Team All-NESCAC pitching slots, with NESCAC Pitcher of the Year R.J. Hall of Tufts. Collins led the NESCAC in strikeouts (64) and ranked second in innings pitched (66.2), while accumulating a 7-2 record with a 3.13 earned-run average. He won four NESCAC East games on the season and came within one strikeout of matching the single-game NESCAC Championship record of 13 strikeouts in Bates' loss to Middlebury on Saturday.