The Endicott College and Salem State University baseball teams enjoyed two of the most successful regular seasons in all of New England. As they turn their attention to the playoffs, both the Gulls and Vikings reaped major rewards in their respective Commonwealth Coast Conference and MASCAC awards released yesterday.
Salem State’s Richard Fecteau of Newbury was named MASCAC Player of the Year while Ryan Hyjek was the MASCAC Pitcher of the year. Similarly, Endicott’s Tad Gold was CCC Player of the Year, the Gulls’ J.J. Branch was CCC Pitcher of the Year, Cam Farnham was CCC Rookie of the Year and Bryan Haley earned his second straight CCC Coach of the Year nod.
A centerfielder from Martha’s Vineyard, Gold ranks in the top five in his league in 13 different categories and led the league in runs (50), hits (59), triples (8) and total bases (86). He hit .431, slugged .628 and stole 22 bases with 33 RBI, and ranked fourth nationally in runs and fifth in triples. Gold also set Endicott program records in career runs (153), triples (22) and steals (88).
Branch, a righty from Milford, didn’t allow a run in conference play this season and sports a cumulative earned run average of 1.88. Opponents are hitting just .222 against him, an Endicott record, and he led the league with five complete games and two shutouts. Branch is 6-1 on the season and went 4-0 in league play.
The Rookie of the Year, Farnham, is from Andover and is riding a 10-game hitting streak into the playoffs. He hit .343 was a rookie and reached base in each of his 13 conference games, and struck out only eight times all season.
Meanwhile in the MASCAC, Fecteau followed up being Rookie of the Year in 2013 with an MVP-caliber 2014 campaign. The second baseman hit .385 while leading the MASCAC in hits (6-), runs 945) and doubles (22). He also drove in 26 runs, slugged .596 and stole seven bags.