Springfield, Mass. - May 7, 2019 - The Springfield College baseball team had three student-athletes honored for their impressive play during the 2019 season, as the trio garnered All-Conference recognition from the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), announced on Tuesday afternoon.
Graduate student Mark Joao (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.) and senior Brian Johnson (East Haddam, Conn.) were both named the the First Team, while Brandon Russo (Lisbon, Conn.) collected Second-Team recognition. This marks seven All-Conference honors for the Springfield College baseball team over the past two seasons, including Joao and Johnson, who both earned the conference accolades in 2018 as well. This is the first time that Russo has been named an All-Conference student-athlete in his career.
Joao, a graduate student studying Physical Therapy at Springfield College, had a monster year at the plate as he batted .380, producing 41 hits in 108 at bats, while also driving in 23 runs, scoring 26 and driving four home runs, four triples and six doubles. Joao's career batting average of .347 is No. 2 all-time in the history of the Springfield College baseball program, as Joao will also leave Alden Street No. 2 all-time in runs scored with 109. In the field, Joao was as solid as they come at second, as he finished the year with a fielding percentage of .970, limiting himself to just four errors on the year.
Johnson, a senior Sport Management major at Springfield College, had a stellar senior campaign for the maroon and white, as he finished the year with 61 strikeouts, pushing his career total to 167, which was just 21 shy of the all-time program record of 188, set by Tom Badcock in 1970. Johnson had an earned-run average of 2.76 in 2019, as he finished 2-2 on the mound for the Pride. Johnson's best game of the season came in a 6-3 win over Clark, as the senior pitched 9.0 innings with a career-best 12 strikeouts.
Russo, a senior Sport Management major at Springfield College, stepped into the lead-off role for the Pride this season, and had quite the year as he batted .287 with 37 hits in 129 at bats, which included seven triples, tying the single-season record for the Pride. Russo's seven triples pushed his career total to 11, which is a Springfield College baseball program record for triples in a career. Russo also had a career-best 27 stolen bases in 2019, which led the NEWMAC, as he also scored 35 runs and had 10 RBI.
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