Three members of the UMass Dartmouth baseball team were named to the 2019 Little East all-conference team that was announced by the league office on Tuesday afternoon, as the tournament runner-up Corsairs had one representative on the first team and placed a pair on the second team squad.
Junior third baseman Mike Knell (Dennis, Mass./Dennis-Yarmouth) collected first team all-Little East accolades after pacing UMass Dartmouth in several offensive categories this spring. Knell sported a .356 batting average with 12 homers and 38 RBI, as 24 of his team-best 57 hits went for extra bases that included 12 doubles and a pair of triples. Mike, who ranks second in the league in homers and fifth in runs batted in, scored 43 runs while recording nine stolen bases, and he also paced the Corsairs in both on-base (.449) and slugging (.669) percentage. Knell, who registered his 100th career hit in a 6-3 win at Western New England on April 18th, will enter his final collegiate campaign with 22 career homers and is 16 RBI shy of reaching the century mark in that category.
Junior outfielder Nate Tellier (Attleboro, Mass./Attleboro) earned second team all-Little East honors for a second straight season, as he batted .325 with 53 total hits that included 11 doubles, a triple, two homers and 22 RBI. Tellier swiped a team-leading 16 stolen bases in 2019 while posting a .385 on-base percentage, and he also served a dual-role as UMass Dartmouth’s closer. Nate notched eight saves (the fourth highest single-season mark in program history) while posting a 1.86 earned run average, as he struck out 41 (12.72 per nine innings) and scattered 14 hits in just 29 innings of work.
Senior All-American Matt Cronin (Framingham, Mass./Framingham) rounded out the Corsair all-conference trio by joining Tellier on the second team squad, as last year’s Little East and New England Pitcher of the Year posted an overall mark of 4-3 on the mound with a league-leading 1.85 earned run average. Cronin tossed a pair of complete games in 11 starts, as he allowed just 47 hits in 78 innings while striking out 80 (9.23 per nine innings) along the way. Matt, who led the Little East in ERA by nearly a full run, finished his career with a 12-6 record that included 12 saves and a 1.83 earned run average. Cronin fanned 182 (9.72 per nine) in 176 2/3 innings of work, and he made his final collegiate appearance a memorable one by hurling 6 1/3 scoreless frames in a 5-2 elimination round victory over Eastern Connecticut that lifted UMass Dartmouth to a spot in the conference championship game.
Head Coach Bob Prince’s Corsairs posted 19 overall victories (eight in Little East action) during the 2019 campaign, as UMass Dartmouth earned a berth in the Little East championship round for the second time in three years before falling to tournament champion UMass Boston. Prince’s crew notched four wins against nationally-ranked opponents on the year, including triumphs over Southern Maine, UMass Boston, Babson and Keystone.