PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The parade of annual awards for members of the Plymouth State College baseball team has begun, with a variety of honors from the Little East Conference and the College Sports Information Directors of America.
Senior Ben DuBois (Franklin, NH) and sophomore Dakota Smith (Rochester, NH) earned top honors for the Panthers, and senior Mike Bence (Warwick, RI) was also represented. In addition, Panther head coach Dennis McManus announced the recipient of the team’s annual “Most Valuable Individual” award, and for the first time in the 14 years of the award, there are co-winners – DuBois and classmate Todd Steffanides (Fitchburg, MA).
DuBois, a pitcher/first-baseman, received top honors for his performances in and out of the classroom. He was named Little East Conference Pitcher of the Year as well as earning All-LEC First Team accolades. He was also selected to the GTE Academic District 1 Team (College Division), and moves on to the national ballot for Academic All-America honors, which will be announced in early June.
Smith earned two different honors from the Little East. The second-year outfielder was named to the LEC All-Tournament Team last weekend at the LEC Tourney in Mansfield, Conn., and was selected to the All-Conference First Team for the season. Bence, a senior designated hitter, earned All-LEC First Team honors at the DH spot.
The ace of a young PSC pitching staff, DuBois led the LEC in earned run average with a 1.77 mark. He posted a 6-3 record, which was tied for second in the conference in victories. He ranked third in the LEC in strikeouts per nine innings (8.56), finishing with 58 Ks in 61 innings, and remarkably, only nine batters-walked. DuBois, who also batted .279 with 12 doubles and 23 RBI, was voted to the Academic All-District team with higher than a 3.20 grade point average as a management major.
PSC’s starting centerfielder, Smith hit .378 this season with 17 extra-base hits, including a team-high four triples and five home runs. He matched PSC single-game records last month with five hits in each end of a doubleheader. Smith earned All-Tournament Team honors last weekend after playing solid defense and cracking four hits, including a triple and two home runs.
Bence, who also played some right field in addition to his DH duties, batted .343 with 10 doubles, two home runs and 29 RBI. The left-handed hitting slugger also led the team with 30 walks, posting a .462 on-base percentage.
Steffanides was the leading hitter on the team, and ranked among the LEC leaders in batting (.395), hits (1.64/gm), runs (1.18/gm), doubles (0.44/gm) and stolen bases (0.38/gm). He set PSC single season records for hits (64), doubles (17) and runs scored (46).
These were among the key team members who helped Plymouth State to a 20-18-1 overall record, the fifth consecutive 20-win season.