05/23/2012 2:52 PM
Front: Ben Klimesh (courtesy MySanAntonio.com). Above: Esteban Meletiche (courtesy Keystone athletics)
- Four players from teams in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League have been named to the 2012 D3baseball.com All-America team. Keystone College senior infielder Esteban Meletiche (Cooperstown 2011) and Trinity University senior pitcher Ben Klimesh (Albany 2009) were both selected All-America first team. Marietta College junior outfielder Aaron Hopper (Elmira 2011) and St. John Fisher College sophomore pitcher Justin D’Amato (Newark 2011) were chosen third team All-America. Three of the four All-Americans played in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League last summer. The full D3baseball.com All-America team can be found here
Esteban Meletiche (Cooperstown 2011)
was D3baseball.com’s 2012 Mid-Atlantic Region Player of the Year. Meletiche, a three-time Colonial States Athletic Conference Player of the Year, led the Keystone Giants to a 37-win season that included a conference championship and an appearance in the NCAA regionals. Meletiche topped the LaPlume, Pa., school in nearly every offensive category including batting average (.370), runs scored (48), hits (68), doubles (17), triples (three), runs batted in (47), total bases (100), slugging percentage (.553) and stolen bases (36). The senior ranked among the top 25 nationally in stolen bases and top 50 in overall hits. He was the Most Valuable Player of the 2012 CSAC tournament.
Ben Klimesh (Albany 2009)
was D3baseball.com’s West Region Pitcher of the Year. The senior, twice named the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year, was the NCAA Division III national leader this spring with 154 total strikeouts and 13 victories. He ended the season among the top 10 nationally in complete games (nine) and innings pitched (110.2). Klimesh set new Trinity University and SCAC records for strikeouts in a single season and a career. He graduated with 31 mound victories, the most for any pitcher in school history. Klimesh’s 31st win, which came in the NCAA tournament, broke a near 40-year-old school record. The Wilmette, Ill., native went 13-3 with a 1.71 earned run average over 17 appearances with 15 starts. He pitched two complete game shutouts and held opponents to a .194 batting average. Against SCAC opponents, Klimesh accumulated a 7-1 mark to go along with 81 strikeouts.
Aaron Hopper (Elmira 2011)
is a starting outfielder for the Division III World Series-bound Marietta College Pioneers. He was named D3baseball.com All-Mideast Region first team. The run-producing slugger leads the ‘Etta Express with 55 RBI and 21 doubles. He averages over one RBI per game. Hopper, a two-time selection to the All-Ohio Athletic Conference team, has a .362 batting average with four home runs and 55 RBI. He has totaled 71 hits, 43 runs scored, 108 total bases, a .551 slugging percentage, a .433 on-base percentage and six sacrifice flies. Heading into the World Series, Hopper is tied for 12th nationally in RBI, tied for 21st in overall hits and tied for 49th in RBI per game. The junior was named to both the OAC and NCAA Mideast Regional All-Tournament teams.
Justin D’Amato (Newark 2011)
is a starting pitcher for the St. John Fisher College Cardinals. The sophomore is a two-time Empire 8 Pitcher of the Year and was chosen for the D3baseball.com All-New York Region first team. D’Amato finished the season ranked sixth in NCAA Division III with 11.61 strikeouts per nine innings. He tied for eighth nationally in wins (11) and his 97 strikeouts in 75.2 frames are the 10th-most in the country. The second-year starter was undefeated this spring at Fisher. He went 11-0 with 2.14 earned run average over 13 appearances. D’Amato tossed two complete game shutouts and held opposing hitters to a .228 batting average. The sophomore fanned at least eight batters in eight appearances and he struck out a season-high 14 in a complete game five-hit shutout at Westminster (Pa.) on Mar. 18. The durable southpaw lasted at least five innings in all but two of his starts.