TROY, NY - Iona College baseball senior 3B Chris Burke was named the 2012 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Year by the league's nine head coaches at this evening's pre-championship banquet at Joe Bruno Stadium. Burke headlined three All-MAAC performers for the Gaels on the first team. Senior C James Beck and senior 2B Eric Capowski were named to the All-MAAC second team.
Burke contended for both overall and conference games triple crown this season hitting .351 with 11 home runs and 50 RBI in 53 games played and .409 with five home runs and 26 RBI in 23 MAAC contests. Overall, he finished fourth in hitting, second in RBI and second in home runs among MAAC peformers. His 72 hits, 44 runs scored, 20 doubles, 127 total bases led the league while his .620 slugging percentage was second and 23 stolen bases ranked fourth.
In MAAC contests, Burke led the league in hitting by 34 points, and finished second in home runs and RBI. His 38 hits (five more than Rider's Adam Wayman), 10 doubles, 63 total bases, and .677 slugging percentage (90 points higher than Niagara's Ryan McCauley) were all conference bests.
In the Iona single season record book this year, Burke's performance ranked second in hits and at bats, third in games played, fourth in RBI, fifth in doubles, seventh in stolen bases, ninth in home runs, and 14th in runs scored.
Burke completed a remarkable career in the Top 10 in virtually every offensive category. He is Iona's all-time leading hits man (226) and ranks second in games played (188), at bats (689), runs batted in (138), and stolen bases (52). Burke is third in doubles (47) and home runs (31), fourth in runs scored (137), ninth in slugging percentage (.540) and 10th in bases on balls (73). His .328 career batting average ranks 14th in school history.
Burke is the first Iona performer to earn the award since Wil Pikolycky in 2000. He looks to continue his career professionally and is a candidate to be selected in this season's Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft held from June 4-7 in New York City.
Beck appeared in 50 games for the Gaels hitting .265 with six home runs and 43 RBI. The home run and RBI total ranked second among Iona performers. He had 49 hits including nine doubles while scoring 22 runs in his final season in New Rochelle.
Capowski had a breakout senior campaign, playing every infield position but primarily at second base. HE batted .304 with 34 hits in 110 at bats posting three doubles and four stolen bases in 39 games played.
In addition, Iona had a league best 10 members named to the MAAC All-Academic Team. Beck joined graduate LHP Justin Wiley, senior RHPs Derrick Bligh, Conan Leon and Vincent Parisi, juniors SS Matthew Kriss, RHPs Thomas Kriss and Pete Ladis and sophomores RHP Stephen Bianchi and OF Joe Torres on the list.
To be eligible for the MAAC All-Academic Team, a student athlete must complete two semesters at their institution and hold a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 on a 4.0 scale.