For Immediate Release: May 23, 2007
Contact: John Hartrick (
Phone: 607-777-6800

Binghamton baseball has conference-best seven America East all-stars
Sinicki named Coach of Year, Hitchcock awarded Player of Year honors

America East Release

VESTAL, N.Y. - On the eve of the America East Baseball Championship, top-seeded Binghamton earned the spotlight at the conference awards banquet Wednesday night from the Huntingdon Hilton on Long Island. Seven Bearcats - the most in the conference - plus head coach Tim Sinicki claimed individual awards.

Head coach Tim Sinicki was named Coach of the Year for the second time in the last three years after guiding the Bearcats to a 17-5 conference mark and the regular season title. In his 15th season, Sinicki blended a stellar senior class (8) with the best pitching staff in the conference (2.65 ERA in league play). Sinicki is the winningest coach in BU's 51 years of baseball history with 295 victories heading into the tournament.

Senior first baseman Brendon Hitchcock (Laceyville, Pa.) was selected as Player of the Year after another outstanding season. A four-time all-star, including three years on the first team, Hitchcock hit .414 against conference opponents, with a .528 on-base percentage. He leads the conference with a .386 average and will graduate as the program's career leader in batting average, hits and RBI and also is a scholar-athlete.

Joining Hitchcock on the first team was senior shortstop Justin Smucker (Bird-in-Hand, Pa.), senior second baseman Matt Simek (Vestal, N.Y.) and junior pitcher Zach Groh (Reading, Pa.).

Smucker repeats as a first team all-star. The team captain hit .329 in league play and leads the Bearcats in doubles (16) and runs scored (39). His doubles per game average (0.38) ranks 49th in the nation. Smucker holds career records for games played, triples and runs scored.

Simek was selected to the first team after an outstanding final campaign. He is hitting .348 (fifth in AE) with a team-high 39 RBI in 39 games. His RBI/game ranks first in the conference. He will graduate in Binghamton's top-3 in career hits, runs and RBI.

Groh, the 2006 America East Pitcher of the Year, had another brilliant spring on the hill. He went 6-1 with a 3.25 ERA and ranked 12th in the country with 11.3 strikeouts per game. Groh was even more impressive in conference play, with a 4-0 mark and 2.43 ERA. Against America East opponents, he had a gaudy strikeout-to-walk ratio of nearly 6-to-1 (47 strikeouts and just 8 walks).

Earning second team all-star honors were junior closer Khalid Afify (Binghamton, N.Y.) and freshman center fielder Henry Dunn (Rockville Centre, N.Y.). Afify hasn't been scored on by a conference opponent in nine appearances this spring, and racked up five wins and a BU record-tying six saves overall. His saves total ranked second in the conference. Dunn put together an outstanding freshman season and also was named to the All-Rookie Team. He started 36 games in center field and used his speed both offensively and defensively. Dunn hit .292 and drove in 10 runs in 16 conference games.

Joining Dunn on the All-Rookie Team was freshman left fielder Joe Charron (Schaghticoke, N.Y.). Charron belted a team-high six home runs, which ranked fifth in the America East. He hit .283 and was one of nine BU players with 15 or more RBI (15).

Hitchcock, Smucker and Afify were also selected to the America East Baseball All-Academic Team, giving Binghamton the most honorees on that team as well.

The Bearcats open tournament play against fourth-seeded Maine Thursday at noon.

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