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Courtesy: Mike Janes
2014 co-captains Jeff Keller (left) and Dustin Selzer

Baseball Hands Out Team Awards, Names Captains for 2014

Courtesy: Dartmouth
Release: 05/24/2013
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HANOVER, N.H. — The Dartmouth baseball team awards were handed out at the annual end-of-year team banquet with Jeff Keller taking two of the seven awards as the team MVP and the Offensive Player of the Year. Head coach Bob Whalen also announced that Keller, a rising senior, will return to serve as a co-captain once again along with classmate Dustin Selzer.

Keller, a first-team All-Ivy outfielder this spring, led the league with 21 doubles, four triples, 41 RBIs, 39 runs scored, 99 total bases and a .702 slugging percentage, the last of which puts him sixth in the nation. The Atherton, Calif., product also hit .369 (third in Ivy League) with six home runs and a .453 on-base percentage. An honorable mention selection a year ago, Keller twice was named the Ivy Player of the Week and broke a 25-year-old school record with those 21 two-baggers in just 40 games, which currently makes him the nation’s leader in doubles per game (0.53). His 31 extra-base hits are also a Dartmouth record, and he was perfect in eight attempts stealing bases.

The Pitcher of the Year was awarded to senior Michael Johnson from Georgetown, Mass., who posted a perfect 7-0 record in nine starts and was third in the Ivy League with a 1.82 ERA. The first-team All-Ivy performer held opponents to a paltry .208 average over 59.1 innings, striking out 47 against just 13 walks. Currently the southpaw is among the top 40 in the nation in ERA (34th), fewest hits allowed per nine innings (6.52, 43rd) and WHIP (0.94, 23rd). Back in March, he was recognized as the league’s Pitcher of the Week after defeating both North Dakota State and Bradley, fanning a career-high 12 batters against the former in a 6-0 victory. Johnson finished his career with a record of 15-2 for an .882 winning percentage, the second-best in Dartmouth history.

Freshman Joe Purritano was tabbed as the Rookie of the Year after quickly developing into one of the Ivy League’s top hitters during his first season in Hanover. The native of Woodcliff Lake, N.J., finished the season with a .343 average, five home runs and 30 RBIs in 108 at-bats to earn a spot on the All-Ivy First Team as the designated hitter. In conference play, he led the league with a .719 slugging percentage and tied for top honors with all five of his four-baggers while tying for second with 18 RBIs and finishing fourth with a .368 average. Four of his long balls came in one weekend against Brown as he was named a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball, the first known Big Green player to earn the honor.

Earning the Most Improved Player award was sophomore outfielder Bo Patterson. The two-sport athlete from Charleston, S.C., spends the fall catching passes as a wide receiver for the Big Green football team, then saw marked improvement in his game this spring while starting 29 games at the three outfield positions, 23 in center. He hit .255 for the season with 15 runs, a .355 on-base percentage and six stolen bases in eight attempts. In the field, Patterson tracked down just about everything that came his way with 65 putouts and a pair of assists.

Ennis Coble, a product of Atlanta, Ga., was the deserving winner of the James Henry Cooke Award, given to the four-year letterwinner who has done the most for Big Green baseball during his career. A first-team All-Ivy outfielder this spring, he was also a second-team selection as a utility player as a sophomore and a first-teamer last year at designated hitter. A consistent performer throughout his four years, the lefty swinger hit .325 this season with 12 doubles, a triple and two homers while scoring 33 runs and driving in 22. He was perfect on the base paths, swiping 11 bases in 11 attempts, and did not commit an error in left field in 58 chances. Coble ranked among the Ivy League’s top 10 in eight offensive categories, the highest being third in runs scored. For his career, he hit .328 with 182 hits (ninth all-time at Dartmouth), 37 doubles, 10 triples and five homers.

Finally, senior catcher Chad Piersma was named as the Teammate of the Year. The backstop put in countless hours throughout his four seasons with the club catching pitchers in the bullpen, working hard to improve himself and his teammates. The native of Sioux City, Iowa, did whatever was needed to help the team succeed, which it did often throughout his career as his class finished their careers with more victories than any other in Dartmouth baseball history (111). This season he started four games behind the plate and another at first base, swatting a double in each of those starts. Piersma hit .346 in 26 at-bats this year with five doubles and eight RBIs.
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