CENTERVILLE, MA - University of Massachusetts Boston baseball player Ryan Walsh (Newton, MA) was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Baseball Player of the Year, it was announced today by Patrick Stewart, Director of Communications for the ECAC. Walsh was also named an ECAC Division III New England First Team All Star.
Walsh ads to his collection of awards with the ECAC Player of the Year honors after he was already recognized as both an ABCA/Rawlings All-American & D3Baseball.com's All-American First Team selection, an appointment to the First Team All-Region squad by the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association as well as the Player of the Year and a First Team All-Star by the Little East Conference. Walsh put together one of the greatest offensive campaigns in school history batting .455 (69-155) to set a new single-season record. According to the latest NCAA Division III statistical report, the second baseman ranked among the national leaders in home runs per game (sixth, 0.35), slugging percentage (seventh, .797), and RBI per game (18th, 1.35). Currently, he sits atop the conference circuit in home runs (12) and slugging percentage (.806), while also ranking second in batting average (.445) and RBI (51). Walsh feasted on Little East pitching, posting a .450 batting average (27-for-60) with 12 extra base hits--seven doubles and five home runs--and 26 runs batted in. He was red-hot at the dish against Rhode Island College in a conference doubleheader on April 9, posting an 8-for-10 performance with five runs scored, six runs batted in and 18 total bases. On April 21 at Lasell College, the Newton, MA native became the Beacons all-time homerun leader, belting his 23rd career bomb. A starter in each of his 38 appearances, Walsh hit safely in 31 games, including recording multiple base knocks in 23. He completed his career riding a 15-game hitting streak, which spanned from April 19 to May 12. Walsh registered a season-high four hits five times on the campaign, most recently in the Little East Tournament against Southern Maine. The 2010 All-America selection enjoyed his most successful day at the plate against MCLA on March 14, when he reached safely on each of his four plate appearances. Walsh went 3-for-3 with a triple and home run to drive in four runs. The five-tool player stole 20 bases, drew 16 walks, posted a gaudy .511 on base percentage while also registering 125 total bases in his final campaign at UMass Boston. Walsh was also a slick fielder on the right side of the diamond, registering 110 assists on 116 chances for a .948 fielding percentage.
Over his four-year career, Walsh posted a .396 batting average to top the UMass Boston record books. He'll graduate as the all-time career leader in almost every offensive category including hits (266), runs (187), RBI (166), doubles (64), homeruns (25), total bases (419), slugging percentage (.624), walks (77) and stolen bases (79). Defensive he also made his mark in UMass Boston history recording 449 fielding assists which ranks first all-time while posting a .953 career fielding percentage over 169 career games, the most played by any player to don a Beacons uniform. Walsh has been selected to participate in the NEIBA Senior All-Star game on June 2, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. at LeLacheur Park in Lowell, MA.
Walsh has since signed a professional baseball contract with the historic Newark Bears franchise of the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball League. Through 23 games, the second baseman is batting .307 (27-88) with 14 RBI, 14 runs scored and three homeruns.
UMass Boston wrapped up the 2011 season with an 18-22 overall record, ending their reign as the 2010 New England Regional Champions. The Beacons matched their highest in-conference win total, posting an 8-6 mark in the LEC to earn a #2 seed in the Little East Conference Tournament, their highest seed ever.
For the complete list of ECAC Division III New England award winners visit http://www.ecacsports.com/sports/spring/bsb/AllStars/Division_III_Baseball_New_England_2011