By Nicholas Huenefeld/OCCAC Sports Information
Springfield, Ohio---The Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) has announced the 2017 All-OCCAC team and the major award winners in baseball.
Matt Starcovic (North Olmsted/North Olmsted, Ohio), a sophomore outfielder for Cuyahoga Community College and Kyle Ruehlman (Milford/Milford, Ohio), a freshman right-handed pitcher for Sinclair Community College, took home OCCAC player and pitcher of the year, respectively.
Steve Dintaman, who led Sinclair Community College to its seventh conference championship in his nearly 10-year tenure, was named the OCCAC Coach of the Year for the eighth time.
Sinclair captured this year's conference title with a 17-3 record, and they earned it the hard way by taking three of four games from Cuyahoga on the final weekend of the regular season to win the crown by one game. Lakeland (8-8), Mercyhurst North East (7-9), Edison (8-12) and Clark State (0-20) rounded out this year's order of finish.
OCCAC Player of the Year
Matt Starcovic, Cuyahoga C.C.
Starcovic, who was a First Team All-OCCAC selection as a freshman, batted .391 (25-for-64) in conference play as a sophomore while adding 25 runs, 10 doubles, five home runs, 22 RBI, 12 walks and two stolen bases. He led the conference in doubles.
Starcovic was named the OCCAC player of the week three times this year (April 2, April 16, April 23).
OCCAC Pitcher of the Year
Kyle Ruehlman, Sinclair C.C.
Ruehlman, who earned OCCAC pitcher of the week recognition on May 7, went 3-1 in conference play as a freshman. In 25 innings, he posted an incredible 0.00 ERA while striking out 20. His lone loss came on April 15 when he gave up two unearned runs in the first inning of a 2-0 loss to Lakeland.
OCCAC Coach of the Year
Steve Dintaman, Sinclair C.C.
Dintaman, who reached 400 career wins at Sinclair with a win over Kalamazoo Valley on May 17, has led Sinclair to a 403-142 record in his nearly 10 complete years at the college. Last year, his team went 53-12 overall and won the program's first ever Region XII tournament championship. And this year's team has a chance at back-to-back titles if they should knock off Lansing in today's Region XII tournament winner-take-all championship game.
Region XII Awards
In addition to the conference awards, Blaze Glenn (Toronto/Toronto, Ohio), a freshman infielder for Sinclair Community College, received the most votes among conference players in region voting. Ruehlman finished second, while Starcovic and Cuyahoga sophomore pitcher Anthony Savarino (Olmsted Falls/Olmsted Township, Ohio) finished tied for fourth. Brandon Henson (Pickerington Central/Pickerington, Ohio), a freshman outfielder for Sinclair, rounded out the top five.
Glenn batted .431 (25-for-60) in conference play with 28 runs, six doubles, three home runs, 27 RBI, 12 walks and two stolen bases.
Sinclair placed five players on the all-conference team. Aside from Ruehlman, Glenn and Henson, freshman outfielder Sean Darmafall (Elyria Catholic/Elyria, Ohio) and freshman LHP/1B Jake Dennis (Licking Valley/Newark, Ohio) also made it.
Outside of Starcovic and Savarino, freshman 1B/RHP Garrett Robberts (Utica/Utica, Ohio) and sophomore LHP Juan Perez (James F. Rhodes/Cleveland, Ohio) made the team from Cuyahoga.
Rounding out this year's all-conference team are sophomore outfielder Adam Samuels (Pembroke Pines Charter/Pembroke Pines, Fla.), sophomore catcher Alex Medina (John A. Ferguson/Miami, Fla.) and sophomore RHP/OF Levi Jones (West Holmes/Millersburg, Ohio) from Lakeland, freshman first baseman Austin Tisch (Hopewell, Pa.) and freshman RHP Logan Snyder (Lakeview, Pa.) from Mercyhurst North East, freshman outfielder Dustin Parsons (Anderson/Cincinnati, Ohio) and sophomore infielder Keith Olmo (Coral Glades/Coral Springs, Fla.) from Edison and freshman catcher Dalton Holycross (Triad/North Lewisburg, Ohio) from Clark State.