Baseball Names 2003 MVPs, 2004 Captains
May 29, 2003
AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts baseball team has selected its Most Valuable Players for the 2003 season, in voting by the student-athletes. Junior righthanded pitcher Eric Chown (Fall River, Mass.) and senior catcher Tom Ellerbrook (Northampton, Mass.) have been chosen as this year's co-MVPs. In addition, junior shortstop Mike Athas (Holyoke, Mass.), junior third baseman Matt Reynolds (South Boston, Mass.) and junior second baseman Sean Sarno (Stoneham, Mass.) have been selected as team captains for the 2004 season.
Chown went 7-4 on the season, with a 4.25 earned run average and 49 strikeouts in 72 innings pitched, to lead the team in victories, strikeouts and innings. He threw six complete games in 12 starts this year, while also posting one save in two relief appearances. Chown was particularly effective against Atlantic 10 Conference opponents, going 6-1 with a 2.74 earned run average and 31 strikeouts in 46 innings. Over the course of his UMass career, Chown now has 15 victories and 111 strikeouts in 180-1/3 innings pitched.
Ellerbrook started 38 games behind the plate this season, and led the Atlantic 10 by throwing out 20 baserunners. He also made only two errors in 277 total chances, for a team-best .993 fielding percentage. On offense, Ellerbrook totaled 19 runs batted in, five stolen bases and 18 walks, while posting a .230 batting average. He stepped up his play in league games, batting .291 with nine of his 19 runs batted in. Ellerbrook finished his career ranked fifth all time at UMass with 19 sacrifice bunts, while also totaling 55 runs batted in and nine stolen bases.
Athas hit .339 this season, while leading the team in both runs scored (37) and hits (57). He also totaled nine doubles, two home runs, 20 runs batted in and seven stolen bases, while posting a .401 on-base percentage. During his UMass career, Athas has now totaled 11 doubles, four home runs, 34 runs batted in and 11 stolen bases, while recording a .305 batting average.
Reynolds had a .259 batting average in 35 games played this season. He also posted 12 doubles and 13 runs batted in, while ranking second on the team with seven sacrifice bunts. Reynolds transferred to UMass this season, after playing his first two years of collegiate ball at the University of Maine. In two seasons as a Black Bear, Reynolds hit .301 with two homers, 12 doubles and 31 runs batted in.
Sarno, who was limited to action as a designated hitter, pinch hitter and pinch runner this season due to injury, hit .188 on the year with seven runs scored and five stolen bases in five attempts. Over the course of his UMass career, Sarno now has a .286 batting average with 18 walks, 33 runs scored and 18 stolen bases in 18 attempts.
UMass concluded the 2003 season with an overall record of 26-19, and won the Atlantic 10 East Division title with a 14-7 mark in conference games. The Minutemen finished as the runner-up to Richmond in the 2003 Atlantic 10 Tournament, posting a 2-2 mark in postseason action.
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