Friday, October 19, 2012

Seven ‘stormers Make First Team

Following their march to an Atlantic League record 88 wins, the Lancaster Barnstormers captured the three major post-season awards and had seven players named to the league’s first team on the post-season All-Star squad, it was announced today by league officials.

Butch Hobson was named the league’s Manager of the Year, Blake Gailen was selected as Player of the Year, and Dwayne Pollok was picked as the Pitcher of the Year. These honors were awarded by a panel of league executives.

In addition, outfielders Adam Godwin, Fehlandt Lentini and Ryan Harvey; catcher Emerson Frostad, and reliever Tim Hamulack were named to the season-end All-Star Team by the member clubs.

The 2012 Barnstormers are the first team in the 15 year league history to sweep the Player of the Year, Pitcher of the Year and Manager of the Year honors. Having seven players chosen to the first team also sets a new league mark, breaking the previous record of five which was shared by several clubs.

Gailen, who was previously announced as Baseball America’s Independent League Player of the Year, also won the Atlantic League honor based on a season where he led the league with a .338 average. Gailen also belted 22 homers and drove in 89 runs, both in the league’s top five. The California native also stole 25 bases and played tremendous defense throughout the season. He contributed three home runs in the first two games of the post-season.

It marks the third consecutive season that a Barnstormer has at least shared in the award. Aaron Herr split the honor in 2010, and Tommy Everidge won it outright in 2011.

Pollok was one of four Atlantic League hurlers to win 14 games, finishing the season with a 14-4 mark. He led the league with a 2.30 ERA, topping Bridgeport’s Paul Oseguera by 0.22. That mark set the Lancaster franchise record. Pollok is the first Barnstormer pitcher to be named Atlantic League Pitcher of the Year.

Hobson, the architect and leader of the squad, led a team that was the first since the 1999 Bridgeport Bluefish to top the league in both hitting (.297) and team ERA (3.60). His club had seven players signed by Major League affiliates over the course of the season and never broke stride. It is the first such honor by the Barnstormers and the fourth for Hobson.

“Butch's accomplishments this year are extraordinary,” said General Manager Kristen Simon. “It is wonderful to see the league recognize and acknowledge his efforts in putting together a record-setting team that worked well on and off the field.”

Godwin led the league with a franchise record 174 hits and finished second with a .327 batting average. The Lancaster center fielder ranked second in the circuit with 39 stolen bases for the season. Lentini finished third in batting at .317 while also ranking among the top five in doubles (36), RBI (92) and stolen bases (32).

Harvey, who was selected as the top designated hitter, finished second in the league with 27 home runs, 26 coming after the 20th of June. He added five in a record setting playoff run. The slugger from Florida also ended the season in the top ten in hitting at .302, the first time in his career that he has exceeded .300.

Along with Pollok, who was chosen as the right-handed starting pitcher on the All-Star squad, Tim Hamulack was named as the league’s premier closer. Hamulack set a club record with 33 saves, converting his last 26 opportunities to top the league.

John Halama, who went 13-9 with a 3.15 ERA, was named as a left-handed starter on the second team.

“I’m happy that our people are getting the recognition they deserve,” said Hobson. “I’m proud of what they accomplished and how they accomplished it.”

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