Four Skyhawks Earn ABCA/Rawlings All-Region Honors

Junior Jim Duff became Stonehill's third consensus All-Region selection since 2010 after being named to the ABCA All-East Region first team last week.

Duff becomes consensus All-Region selection with his first team nod

EASTON, Mass. (May 21, 2014) – Four members of the Stonehill College baseball team were named to various American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings All-East Region teams last week.

Junior right-hander Jim Duff (Garden City, New York/Garden City) was selected to the ABCA All-East Region first team, while senior lefty Zack Soulier (Milford, Connecticut/Jonathan Law) and junior reliever Armand Rugel (Middletown, Rhode Island/Middletown) collected ABCA second team honors, and senior outfielder Billy Karalis (Pawtucket, Rhode Island/Bishop Feehan) was named to the ABCA/Rawlings All-East Region Gold Glove first team. 

One week after earning All-East Region second team honors from both the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and Daktronics, Duff collects All-Region first team honors for the first time in his career. The junior went 8-2 this season and sported a 1.84 earned run average, good for seventh in the Northeast-10 Conference. He recorded 62 strikeouts and held opponents to a .221 batting average, while issuing just five walks over 83 frames.

The NE-10 All-Conference first team selection posted three complete game efforts (one shutout), and earned victories in his first six starts of the season, including two against eventual East Region Champion and NCAA Division II College World Series participant Saint Thomas Aquinas College. Duff will wrap up his successful junior campaign by competing at the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) Joe Walsh All-Star Game on Sunday, June 1st at LeLacheur Park in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Soulier, a second team All-NE-10 selection, earns All-Region honors for the first time in his career after going 9-2 with a 2.13 ERA in 2014. Soulier's nine victories led the NE-10, and the senior southpaw also became Stonehill's all-time wins leader with his 24th career triumph against Adelphi University in the NE-10 Tournament on May 9th.

The Milford, Connecticut native fanned 39 batters in 76 innings of work, while handing out 18 walks and holding opponents to a .225 average. Like Duff, Soulier will compete at the NEIBA All-Star Game next Sunday.

Rugel proved to be an extremely reliable arm at the back end of Stonehill's bullpen this season, as he registered a career-best and NE-10-leading 12 saves in the regular season to go with a 1.16 ERA. The junior right-hander earned NE-10 All-Conference second team accolades after pitching more than one inning in 12 of his 23 appearances, including four saves that took at least two innings of work.

Senior Zack Soulier earned his first career All-Region nod after going 9-2 with a 2.13 ERA in 2014.

Rugel recorded a save in Stonehill's NE-10 Tournament win over Adelphi, giving him 13 this season. He held opponents to a .177 average in 38.2 innings on the hill, and his 37 punchouts ranked third on the team. Rugel will join Duff and Soulier as Stonehill's third representative at the NEIBA All-Star Game.

Duff, Soulier, and Rugel's selections to the ABCA All-East Region first and second teams marks the most All-Region honorees for the Skyhawks since 2012, when then-sophomore shortstop Dan Fratus (Plymouth, Massachusetts/Plymouth North) and senior utility player Michael White, '12, were named to the ABCA All-East Region second team. Duff is Stonehill's third consensus All-Region selection since 2010, as White accomplished the feat in 2012 and first baseman Angelo Bruno, '11, did it in 2010.

Karalis rounds out Stonehill's All-Region honorees this season with his selection to the ABCA/Rawlings All-East Region Gold Glove first team. Karalis led Stonehill outfielders with 109 putouts and 12 assists, while making just two errors for a .984 fielding percentage.

The senior captain was also named to the NE-10 All-Conference second team after a strong campaign in which he belted a career-best seven homers during the regular season to go with eight doubles, a triple, and 24 RBI. He scored 33 runs, drew a team-best 29 walks, and stole 17 bases while slugging .422 out of the leadoff spot.

Karalis carried that momentum into the NE-10 Tournament and was named to the All-Championship team after hitting .438 (7-for-16) with three walks, four doubles, and four runs in four contests. He also slugged .688 and got on base at a .526 clip as Stonehill advanced past the first round for the first time since 2010.

Stonehill (30-20, 17-10 NE-10) finished third in the NE-10 Northeast Division after going 13-8 in divisional play during the regular season. The Skyhawks reached the 30-win mark for the fourth time in five years, and earned a berth in the NE-10 Championship for the 13th time in head coach Pat Boen's 17-year tenure.

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