Baseball: Parkos Repeats as First-Team All-LEC, Joined by 2nd-Teamers Keller, Muchin

Baseball: Parkos Repeats as First-Team All-LEC, Joined by 2nd-Teamers Keller, Muchin

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. –   Eastern Connecticut State University junior Alex Parkos (Meriden) repeated as the first-team All-Little East Conference third baseman  and was joined by second-team juniors Dale Keller (Oxford) and Jordan Muchin (West Hartford). Keller was named at shortstop and Muchin as a pitcher. Both were voted to the all-conference team for the first time.

A total of 12 players were named to the first team and 13 to the second, one at each infield position, with three outfielders, one designed hitter, two starting pitchers and one relief pitcher on each team. One catcher was named to the first team and two to the second.

A second-team All-New England Region pick as a sophomore, Parkos shares second place in the LEC in RBI (43) and is tied for ninth in hits (51) – giving him three straight 50+ hit seasons. In addition to RBI and hits, Parkos led the Warriors in total bases (80), multiple-hit games (16), and multiple-RBI games (13) and was second doubles (11), home runs (6) and runs (36).

The right-handed power hitter started all 41 games, 38 at third base and 38 in the No. 3 spot in the order. He reached base in 13 straight games at one point during the season and had hits in 31 games, drove in five runs once and four runs three times. In his second season at third base after spending 2016 as DH, Parkos never commited more than one error in a game, commiting only two errors in the final 18 games, none in five conference tournament games on ten chances.

Having only started seven games at shortstop in his first two seasons, Keller started all 41 games at shortstop and batted in five different spots in the lineup. Defensively, he led the conference with 126 assists and among players with at least 100 assists was second in fielding percentage (.954). Keller commited errors in only one of the first 23 games of the season, fielding at .976 on 123 chances in that stretch. He had more than one error in a game only once all season.

In the second game of the season, Keller had nine assists and three putouts on 12 chances and played perfect defense on 26 chances in five LEC tournament games.

With the exception of first basemen, Keller was fourth in the conference by contributing to 24 double plays.

Offensively, Keller reached base in 21 consecutive games from April 11 through May 11, in which time he had a .500 on-base percentage and batted .370.  He led the team with a .449 on-base percentage (seventh-best in the LEC) during the season and was third among regulars with a .312 batted average. His 29 walks equaled the fourth-most in the conference

A two-time LEC Pitcher-of-the-Week, Muchin led the Warriors in wins (5) for the third straight year. He also topped the staff in earned run average (3.14), starts (11), innings (71 2/3), complete games (3), shutouts (2), and strikeouts (72). He allowed only two home runs and ten extra-base hits all season. With only 15 walks, Muchin logged a 4.8-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Muchin leads the LEC in strikeouts, complete games (the only pitcher with more than one) and shutouts, shared the conference lead in starts, is second in innings, third in ERA and sixth in victories.

The 6-foot-2, 220 pound righty started the LEC tournament opener for the third straight year, winning for the second time with a 4-1 win over Plymouth State University. He gave up five singles and three walks while fanning nine over seven innings. Muchin had helped Eastern to the No. 2 tournament seed by pitching a complete-game eight-hit (all singles) shutout with seven strikeouts and no walks at nationally-ranked University of Southern Maine on the final day of the regular season.

Eastern closed out its fifth season under head coach Matt LaBranche with a 25-16 overall record, 10-4 in the Little East and reached the championship round for the 12th time in the 22-year history of the tournament.