May 8, 2007
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Navy baseball infielders Michael Garcia (Sr./Kailua, Hawai'i) and Thomas Hamilton (Jr./Houston, Texas) each earned First-Team All-Patriot League honors to highlight a group of five Midshipmen selected to all-league teams, it was announced by the league office on Tuesday afternoon.
Navy's five all-league members are the most since the 2003 season, when the Midshipmen combined for seven players on the First- and Second-Team All-Patriot League lists.
Garcia was named a first-team selected at second base, while Hamilton earned first-team all-league kudos at first base. Mitch Harris (Jr./Mt. Holly, N.C.) was selected Second-Team All-Patriot League as both a starting pitcher and a designated hitter, JD Melton (Fr./Myrtle Beach, S.C.) earned second-team all-league recognition as a relief pitcher and Drew Lydon (Fr./White Plains, Md.) was honored as a second-team selection at third base.
In Patriot League contests this season, Garcia led the league with a .414 (29-for-70) batting average and a whopping .539 (48-for-89) on-base percentage. The Navy senior team captain scored 22 runs, drove in 14, stole six bases and belted two doubles and a home run.
Garcia paces the Midshipmen with a .350 (62-for-177) batting average on the year and also tops the team in on-base percentage (.445), hits (62), walks (24) and sacrifice bunts (five). Garcia's 62 base hits heading into the weekend are tied for the ninth-most in program history. Between March 25 and April 16, he strung together a team-best 14-game hitting streak, a period in which he batted .453 (24-for-53) with 21 runs scored and 11 RBIs.
Ranking second in batting average during Patriot League contests was Hamilton, who hit at a .408 (29-for-71) clip during his 20 starts in league action. Hamilton smacked five doubles and drove in 20 runs, while reaching base safely more than 45 percent of the time. He also cleanly fielded 173 of his 174 chances at first base during the league slate, good for a .994 fielding percentage.
After getting off to a slow start in the season, Hamilton has turned it on over the past seven weeks, hitting .408 (40-for-98) with seven doubles, a triple, a home run and 25 RBIs. Overall on the year, he owns a .336 (49-for-146) batting average with nine doubles, a triple, a home run, 30 RBIs and a .429 on-base percentage. The Navy junior also had a 12-game hitting streak between April 19 and May 5, the second longest stretch by a Navy hitter in 2007.
Harris became the first player in program history and the seventh player in league history to earn All-Patriot League honors at two different positions. Harris, last year's Patriot League Pitcher of the Year, owns an 8-4 record with a 2.30 ERA in 82.1 innings, including a Patriot League-record 114 strikeouts. He has averaged 12.46 strikeouts per nine innings this season, which currently stands as both the school and league record. The Navy right-hander has struck out more batters than innings pitched during all of his 13 starts in 2007.
At the plate, Harris leads the Patriot League in home runs (eight) and RBIs (47), while also tied for the league lead in triples (four). His eight round-trippers this season also ranks him third on the program's single-season list, only behind Mark Zematis' 10 long balls in 2000 and Marcus Lee's 12 four-baggers in 1993. Against Holy Cross on March 31-April 1, Harris became only the second player in school history and the first Navy hitter in Patriot League play to hit a home run in back-to-back-to-back games.
After earning Freshman All-America honors last season at Wofford, Melton earned second-team all-league distinction this season with a 3-2 record and nine saves with a 2.45 ERA in 19 appearances. His nine saves and 19 appearances are the most by Navy freshman, while his saves total is just one short of matching the school record and two away from tying the Patriot League single-season mark and Navy's career record. The Navy right-hander did not allow a run over 16.0-consecutive innings between Feb. 23 and April 9, a span of nine relief appearances.
Lydon is the only rookie in the league to earn All-Patriot League honors at any position this year, as he hit .314 (44-for-140) and guarded the hot corner for much of the latter half of 2007. During Patriot League contests, the Navy freshman batted .347 (26-for-75) with four doubles and 10 runs scored. He boasted the longest hitting streak by a Navy freshman this season, as he recorded a base knock in eight-straight contests between March 31 and April 11. Lydon also flashed the leather, taking away many hits with spectacular diving catches.
The Midshipmen (35-19), ranked third in this year's Patriot League Tournament, will take on second-seeded Army (23-21-1) in an elimination game on Saturday at 12 noon at Lafayette's Class of 1978 Stadium. The winner of that game will advance to take on the top-seeded Leopards (30-17) in a best-of-three championship series on Saturday and Sunday. The winner of the Patriot League Tournament earns an automatic spot in the NCAA Tournament, which begins on June 1.