Baseball Team Clinches First Conference Title
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/June 20, 1998
Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616
The fans weren't the only ones cheering on April 25, when an optimistic and obviously well-armed WPI baseball team trounced Norwich 15-3 to win its first Constitution Athletic Conference (CAC) title at Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. The team finished its second consecutive winning season 16-13-tying the school record. But the April 25 win will be the team's only CAC championship. Next fall, six of the eight conference members, including WPI, will join Wheaton in a new, co-ed conference (unnamed at press time).
Pitcher/first baseman/outfielder Guy Miller '98 helped ice the victory by going 8 for 14 with four home runs and 11 RBIs during the three-game championship. One of these homers, in the bottom of the ninth, gave WPI a 7-6 win over Clark in the semifinals earlier in the day. The team also defeated MIT to get to the finals.
For his outstanding performance during the season, Miller was named CAC Player of the Year and received First Team honors as a pitcher. He is the WPI first baseball player to earn All-Conference honors all four years. He finished the year with a .391 batting average, leading the team with seven home runs and 59 total bases for a .678 slugging percentage. On the mound he was 5-1 with a 1.80 ERA and a team-leading 47 strikeouts.
Outfielder Jason Merry '99, who went 4-4 against Norwich, was also named to the CAC First Team. Scott Townsend '98, Aviv Kaufmann '98, Jason Katz '00, and Rob Busby '01 (who pitched a complete game in the final), were named to the Second Team
Merry led the team with a .398 average and a .687 slugging percentage, drove in 21 runs, and was second with 31 runs scored and five home runs. Townsend led the team with 37 runs and tied Miller with 27 RIBs. He finished the season with a .330 average from the lead-off spot in the order. Kaufmann batted .352 and drove in 19 runs as the starting catcher. Katz hit .318 and was tied for lead with 34 hits while driving in 25 runs. Busby, who became a regular in the outfield after an injury cost the Engineers their starting centerfielder, showed he has a bright future as an outfielder and pitcher by finishing the season with a .327 batting average while compiling a 3-2 record as a pitcher with a 4.23 ERA.