Fillebrown, Duffy, Geel, Villoria
(PRESQUE ISLE, ME) -- To win the most games in program history, the University of Maine-Presque Isle baseball team needed to have some pretty talented student-athletes don the blue and gold in 2013. That reasoning was confirmed on Monday when the NCAA Association of Division III Independents released its "All-Independent" Team for baseball in 2013 and 5 Owls received special distinctions.
1B Carlos Villoria (Sr./Caracas, Venezuela) was named "Player of the Year" while SP Jake Fillebrown (Sr./Stoneham, ME) is your Co-Pitcher of the Year. The two veterans also were place on the "First Team" roster.
Finally, Owls head coach Leo Saucier (9th year) was awarded one of two "Coach of the Year" honors as well.
By now, Villoria's stellar 2013 season has been well documented. Earlier in May he was named a USCAA All-American Honorable Mention. The left-handed hitter demonstrated a smooth swing all year to the tune of 62 hits and a .446 average. Both those marks set new standards in UMPI baseball history. Additionally, Carlos led the team with 16 doubles, 34 RBI, and 14 stolen bases. He had 22 multi-hit games.
Said Saucier of Villoria: "Carlos had an exceptional year. When he came to bat, we just about expected him to hit a double in the gap. Hitting .450 at any level is quite an accomplishment. He earned it."
Fillebrown was 3-5 with a 3.76 earned-run average. That ERA becomes an even more impressive 2.36 if you take out a 3IP/9ER performance late in the season against NCAA Division I University of Maine. He also had four complete games and two shutouts, and he struck out 42 in 52.2 innings of work.
Says Saucier: "Jake gave us a chance to win no matter who he was pitching against. Several opposing coaches said to me he was one of the best D3 pitchers they ever saw. I just wish we could have scored another run or two in his starts. He was always in command on the mound."
Sometimes overshadowed by the accomplishments of his fellow infield teammate, Duffy managed to "quietly" put up some monster offensive numbers of his own. Duffy hit .379 in 2013 with an on-base percentage of .451. He scored a team-high 30 runs and drove in 20 all while holding down the most demanding position on the infield.
Put Saucier in the camp of people that appreciated Duffy's glove as well as his bat: "Jordan had another exceptional year at the plate and opened eyes with his fielding abilities at SS. More than a couple of coaches mentioned how smooth he was in the field and how he was always in the right position to make the difficult throws."
A newcomer to the Owls this season, Geel felt right at home on the mound. Geel finished the season with a team-best amongst starters 3.46 ERA. The rookie right-hander seemed to get stronger as the year went on, picking up 2 wins and giving up only 4 runs in his final 18 innings pitched spanning three starts.
Although he finished the season with a 2-4 record, Saucier thinks those numbers are misleading: "could have easily been 4-2 instead of 2-4. An earned run average in the mid 3's is outstanding considering the strength of schedule we play. He could easily set UMPI pitching records if he continues to develop."
Having officially announced his resignation earlier this month, Saucier leaves the program on a high note. The 16 wins Presque Isle compiled in 2013 is the most in program history. A master of fundraising and recruiting, Saucier's teams consistently play some of the best programs on the east coast in NCAA Division III. Not only does he have no fear of scheduling those teams, but he plays them all on the road as Maine's unforgiving spring weather make pre-May home games a near impossibility.
And to play those teams, Saucier recruits tirelessly, this season alone putting together a roster that included players from California, Texas, Canada, and Venezuela.
The Association of Division III Independents consists of 10 Division III independent institutions that have joined together to recognize student-athletes at independent institutions, and to provide exempted postseason championship competition. The Association recognizes outstanding athletic achievements of its student-athletes on a weekly, monthly and annual basis. The Association provides statistical services for its members in seven sports. In addition, it will announce All-Independent teams at the conclusion of eight other sports this year.