MEAC Announces Baseball All-Conference Honors
Bethune-Cookman University catcher Peter O'Brien was named the 2010 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Baseball Player of the Year. North Carolina A&T's Esterlin Paulino was selected as Pitcher of the Year, while teammate Kelvin Freeman was named Rookie of the Year. Head Coach Mervyl Melendez of Bethune-Cookman earned Coach of the Year accolades.
All awards are voted on by the conference's head baseball coaches and sports information directors.
O'Brien leads the conference and is fourth in the nation with 19 home runs. He led Bethune-Cookman to the MEAC regular season title with a perfect 18-0 finish. O' Brien, an All-MEAC first-team selection, ranks fourth in the conference with a .378 batting average in 50 games played. He recorded 68 hits, 10 doubles, and 53 RBI in 180 at-bat appearances and led the MEAC in total bases (135) and slugging percentage (.750). A sophomore and native of Miami Gardens, Florida, O'Brien also added 337 putouts and 57 assists.
Freeman hit .405 in 121 appearances at the plate during his rookie campaign. He started 31 games and tallied 49 hits, six home runs, five doubles, and 37 RBI. From the first base position, Freeman collected 265 putouts and 20 assists. He garnered MEAC Player and Rookie of the Week accolades once this season.
Melendez earns his fifth straight Coach of the Year honor, eighth overall, after leading the Wildcats to an unblemished 18-0 mark and 32-19 overall record. Melendez has been the staple of the Wildcats baseball program for 11 years and has guided B-CU to nine MEAC championships and nine NCAA regional appearances in his first ten seasons as head coach. In 2009 Melendez became the second youngest NCAA D-I head coach to reach 300 career wins.
The defending MEAC champion Bethune-Cookman Wildcats led the conference with 10 student-athletes earning all-conference first and second teams selections. North Carolina A&T was second with five all-conference nods followed by Norfolk State with three.
The 2010 MEAC Baseball Championship tournament begins at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 20, with #2 North Carolina A&T facing #5 Coppin State. #1 Bethune-Cookman will matchup against #6 Maryland Eastern Shore for game two beginning at 2 p.m., and #3 Norfolk State will take on #4 Delaware State in final game of the day beginning at 6 p.m. The action continues on Friday and Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. A complete bracket is available on www.MEACsports.com
The championship finale is set for Sunday, May 23 at 2 p.m. and will air on ESPNU in a tape-delayed format on May 24 at 5 p.m. The broadcast will be the MEAC's first televised baseball championship.
Admission for the 2010 MEAC Baseball Championship is $4 for children (13 and under), students and seniors and $8 for adults. Discounted ticket packages are available for all three days at a cost of $12 for children, students and seniors and $20 for adults. Tickets can be purchased at the Jackie Robinson Ballpark, 105 E. Orange Ave., Daytona Beach, Florida beginning on May 20.
For more information on MEAC Baseball, logo on to www.MEACsports.com.
2010 Baseball All-Conference Honors
Pitcher of the Year: Esterlin Paulino, North Carolina A&T
Rookie of the Year: Kelvin Freeman, North Carolina A&T
Coach of the Year: Mervyl Melendez, Bethune-Cookman