PISCATAWAY, NJ – Five member of the Rutgers University baseball team earned All-BIG EAST honors, as announced by the conference at its pre-championship dinner on Wednesday night.
Junior outfielder Johnny Defendis (Staten Island, NY), senior designated hitter Colin Gaynor (Toms River, NJ) and senior second baseman Cory Rodriguez (Bridgewater, NJ) earned All-BIG EAST Second Team honors. Defendis led the Scarlet Knights with a .370 batting average and also paced the team in RBI (49), hits (81) and total bases (111). Gaynor, who saw action at catcher, first base and designated hitter, finished his senior year with a .341 average, five home runs, 39 RBI and a team-best .476 on-base percentage. He also led the Scarlet Knights with 16 doubles and 40 walks. Rodriguez hit .342, second-best on the team, and fashioned an 18-game hitting streak during the season, the longest in the BIG EAST this year.
Freshman shortstop Todd Frazier (Toms River, NJ) and junior outfielder Jeff Grose (Iselin, NJ) were Third Team All-BIG EAST selections. Frazier finished the year at .295 and led RU in runs (61), home runs (9) and stolen bases (19), while committing just six errors at shortstop. Grose finished at .317, but led RU with a .356 average in league play. He hit .439 over his final 20 games, posting a .565 on-base percentage during that stretch of play.
Boston College’s Jared McGuire was named the league’s Player of the Year while St. John’s reliver Craig Hansen earned Pitcher of the Year honors. Bret Lilley of Notre Dame was the league’ top rookie, while SJU head coach Ed Blankmeyer was named BIG EAST Coach of the Year.
Rutgers (32-21) reached the 30-win mark for the eighth-straight season, but placed fifth in the BIG EAST regular season standings with a 12-12 league mark. The Scarlet Knights enjoyed a three-game series sweep of William & Mary and Minnesota, beat nationally-ranked Georgia Tech and swept a doubleheader from Notre Dame to highlight its 2005 campaign.