Baseball Season Recap
- Release Date:
- June 4, 2012
- The Office of Sports Information
- (716) 649-7900 ext. 333
2012 Season Review: With every program, when a team has good senior leadership, great things can happen. The 2012 Hawks continued to build off the success started one season earlier as they doubled their win records in both league and overall standings. Hot bats, a strong pitching staff and some great coaching helped the Hawks improve to 10-20 overall and 6-10 in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference. As a statement of their worth to the program, four Hawks were named to an AMCC All-Conference team at the conclusion of the season, which is the largest number one single team at Hilbert has produced in one year.
Hilbert traveled down to Fort Pierce, Florida and picked up ten games as a warm-up to the tough AMCC schedule which was waiting for them in Western New York. The Hawks opened with losses to Rutgers (Camden), Delaware Valley College (DVC) and Earlham before they captured their first win (5-4 in eight innings) against Centenary College. After Nick Sherman grabbed his first complete game, a battery of pitchers took the mound in the night cap to secure the team’s second win over Centenary in the 12-9 victory. The next day, in a second game of the week against Rutgers, the Hawks weren’t sharp enough to continue their win streak and dropped the rematch 11-2. Derrick Mort earned his only win of season in the Hawks 11-7 battle against DVC on March 16, just before they suffered a 13-1 thrashing in the night cap against DVC to close-out the three-game series with the Pennsylvania school. Hilbert ended its spring trip with two losses to Richard Stockton College before they returned the Hamburg (3-7) to begin their league play.
Hilbert hosted Mount Aloysius in probably one of the earliest dates the Hawks played baseball in WNY. The March 23rd double header saw the Mounties blank the Hawks (5-0) before the blue and white warmed up to their home field and took a 11-4 first AMCC win of the season. Penn State Behrend belted Hilbert for ten runs each game while giving up only one run dropping the Hawks in two quick games. After a long bus ride to central PA, Altoona took the first game (5-2) from Hilbert. The Lions stormed back in the bottom of the sixth inning with nine runs to tie the game before pushing the winning run over the plate in the bottom of the seventh to win 17-16 over Hilbert.
In probably the only rainy day of the season, Fredonia hosted the Hawks and took a win from the visitors before the night cap was called off because of field conditions. Another non-conference double header set of games were dropped at home before the Hawks surprised AMCC league leader (and eventual champions with a 13-3 record) La Roche College with a 3-1 win (Sherman on the mound). The RedHawks turned around and put fire in their bats as they rocketed to a lopsided win to finish the afternoon. Sherman again took the mound a few days later and captured his fourth win of the season in the Hawks 2-0 shut-out at Bradford before the Panthers rebounded and split the series.
In what was supposed to be a double header non-conference game with D’Youville turned out to be a long hitting battle between the cross-town rivals. D’Youville captured a 14-12 nine-inning win on the road with both coaches agreeing to play only one game (instead of two) since they were on the field for over four and a half hours. What turned out to be the Hawks final home game was a split decision against Medaille College March 17. The Mavericks belted to a 13-3 win before Hilbert returned the favor in their 11-5 win which gave Garrett Pauly his first win of the season. Greensburg took both games from Hilbert down in PA before the Hawks traveled to Coca Cola Field in downtown Buffalo for their league game against D’Youville. The baseball team accomplished a first for the program – since competing in the AMCC league in the spring of 2005. The Hawks have never won a double header set of games against a league opponent. They stole a 4-3 first game (Sherman) before they trounced the Spartans (14-1) with Pauly pitching a two-hitter and striking out eight to help the Hawks finish the season 6-10 in league standings and 10-20 overall.
Senior leadership was the key to the team’s success this season. Pat Lagueras, Matt Militello, Nick Sherman and Scott Walker have all been with the team since their freshman year and dedicated themselves to the program. Jim Pernick, and Aaron Lawrence each played three seasons for the Hawks while Chris Parrott’s injuries after the long basketball season prevented him from playing until his senior year. Each of this year’s graduating athletes were contributors to the team’s improvement over the last two seasons.
Sherman was a bull on the mound, earning AMCC Pitcher of the Year honors his final season finishing 5-6 (10 starts) going six complete games and tossing 63.1 innings while striking out 57 batters. He finished with 12 career wins becoming the All-Time Wins leader for the baseball team since they joined the AMCC league. Militello capped his senior year off with thirty-four hits pushing him to a career total of 153 hits and claim to the All-Time Hit leader for Hilbert. The centerfielder finished with (.354) six doubles, two triples and one solo home run against Medaille. Pernick, in three years after his transfer from Clarion, broke the 100 hits plateau against Greensburg and built it to 103 against D’Youville at Coca Cola Field. The often used catcher finished hitting (.387) with 36 hits, was tied for first on team with 27 RBIs, team-leading two homeruns, as well as six doubles, seventeen walks and 108 putouts from behind the plate. Lagueras finished with (.313) as the team’s designated hitter; he saw less time on the mound this season but appeared in four games. Parrott finished with eight hits, two doubles and one home run offensively and he stretched from first base defensively getting credit for 118 putouts (second behind Frank Mancuso’s 127). Lawrence was often used a pinch runner for his speed on the bases and Walker continued to bring a positive attitude to the other guys in the dug-out.
Leading the Hawks at the plate was junior eligibility-wise, Chris Hoak. The short-stop hit a team best (.422) with 102 at bats, scored second best twenty-four runs, but led in hits (43) doubles (9) triples (4) and earned one homerun while knocking in twenty-seven RBIs. His (.618) slugging percentage led the Hawks while he was credited with only five strike outs. He was tied with Militello for four stolen bases and earned a team high 89 assists on outs.
For his performances on the field, Hoak was honored as an AMCC First Team All-Conference player, joining Sherman on the elite squad. Militello was named to the Second Team and Pernick earned a spot on the Third Team All-Conference.
Sherman and Pauly (2-6) shared duties on the mound and were relieved by the largest number of pitchers in several years as coach Pernick continues to build depth at that important defensive position. Also earning wins for the Hawks were Jim Pernick (1-0, 1 inning pitched), Derek Mort (1-2, 25 innings pitched) and Chris Hoak (1-3, 17.1 innings pitched).
It will be difficult to replace the leadership and skill level of the players who graduate in 2012. But coach Pernick is excited about his returning players and their dedication to the program and each other. He will continue to build depth on the team and a winning attitude in the program to carry the Hawks as they hope to challenge for an AMCC championship in the near future.
Hilbert College, located in suburban Hamburg, N.Y., south of Buffalo, is a private four-year college founded in 1957 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition. With nearly 1,100 students, Hilbert is a dynamic Western New York college that offers career-focused majors, including one of the top criminal justice programs in the region, and more than 50 minors and concentrations. The college’s engaging, student-centered campus community offers numerous leadership, internship and service learning opportunities from which students launch successful careers while making positive changes in their communities. Hilbert has expanded its academic offerings with the college’s first graduate programs, one a master’s in criminal justice administration and the other a master’s in public administration, and new Accelerated Degree Programs geared to adult learners.