BOSTON – Suffolk baseball senior captains Matt Brenner and Chuck Gibson have been selected to represent the Rams at the 2017 New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) All-Star Game, which will be held Friday, June 2 at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
The NEIBA All-Star game features the top senior talent from NCAA Division I, II and III programs based in New England. The 'College Division' All-Star squad is made up of DII and DIII student-athletes, while the 'University Division' team consists of DI players. An award ceremony will be held prior to the start of the 43rd Annual NEIBA Joe Walsh All-Star contest featuring the induction of the inaugural class of the NEIBA Hall of Fame, with first pitch to follow at 12 p.m.
Brenner and Gibson join an elite few Rams to play in the senior all-star game, following in the footsteps of the last Ram to take the NEIBA all-star diamond, Mike Cunningham in 2013. The Suffolk twosome are one of only two teammates pairs to make the Division III portion of the college division team with the All-GNAC selections being joined by fellow conference member Taylor Black of Saint Joseph's (Maine).
A two-time All-GNAC pick during his Suffolk career, Brenner was also a first team all-region selection in 2017 by both D3Baseball.com and the NEIBA in conjunction with the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and Rawlings after having a standout senior year. In the most appearances by a Suffolk catcher in a single-season (45), the senior captain put together a .333 average (53-for-159) at the plate, while contributing 36 runs, 39 RBI, 10 doubles, four triples and two round trippers. In the field, the first-team All-GNAC selection put together a .993 percentage with 238 putouts, 37 assists and caught 12 runners swiping bags. He added academic accolades to his student-athlete resume, which includes three GNAC Tournament Team selections (2014, 2015, 2017), an all-conference second team nod in 2015 and Most Outstanding Player accolades at the 2014 ECAC Championship with a spot on the 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-District Team as a double-major in Finance and Global Business with a 3.6 GPA.
Gibson, meanwhile, threw together an 8-1 record on the hill for the Rams in nine starts and 12 appearances. The GNAC Pitcher of the Year, GNAC Tournament MVP and all-conference first-teamer was crucial in Suffolk's third straight conference crown, dealing a 1-0 win over Johnson & Wales, a complete-game, three-hit, no-walk, eight-strikeout day. In regionals, the righty from Malden, Massachusetts, put together an impressive five-hit, three-walk, career-high, nine-strikeout, 4-0 shutout over #22/18 St. John Fisher to push Suffolk into the winner's bracket for the first time in program history. Gibson collected wins over nationally ranked Saint Joseph's (Maine) and the Cardinal of St. John Fisher on the bump for Suffolk. He worked five complete games, which ranks 10th in New England and is tied for 20th in the nation with his eight wins landing fourth on Suffolk's single-season list and third in the region. The senior captain boasts a 1.77 ERA in his senior season, good for seventh on the Rams' single-season list and eighth in New England, and owns a 2.61 career ERA good for fifth all-time in Suffolk history.
Brenner and Gibson are among 16 DIII student-athletes to be invited to participate in the NEIBA All-Star Game, and two of the three from GNAC institutions, along with Taylor Black of Saint Joseph's (Maine).
The Rams' pair are a part of the seventh-winningest four-year class in Suffolk baseball history with 106 victories, 44 GNAC wins, three GNAC titles and three NCAA Regional appearances with the first-ever win into the winner's bracket at the Big Dance and first-ever appearance on Championship Sunday at the regional's.
NEIBA ALL-STAR SQUAD COLLEGE ROSTER
C – Andrew Jaehnig, Jr. Assumption
C – Stephen Octave, Jr. Franklin Pierce
1B – Cam Desarcina, Sr. Merrimack
2B – Stephen DiNicola, Jr. Bridgeport
3B – Zach Goldstein, Grad. SNHU
3B – Jack Zagaja, Sr., Southern Connecticut
UT (1B/3B) – Greg Zullo, Sr. Southern Connecticut
OF – Nick Lamberti, Sr. Southern Connecticut
DH (1B) – Ryan Sullivan, Jr. SNHU
SP – David Palmer, Jr. New Haven
SP – Mitchell Powers, Jr. SNHU
SP – Tim Kennedy, Jr. New Haven
SP – Cody McPartland, Sr. Franklin Pierce
C – Matt Brenner, Sr. Suffolk
3B – Taylor Black, Sr. St. Joseph's (Maine)
OF – Alex Zachary, Sr. Eastern Connecticut
P – Speros Varinos, Sr. Tufts
P – Chuck Gibson, Sr. Suffolk
P – Devin Hayes, Sr., Castleton State
OF – Yanni Thanopoulos, Sr. Amherst
DH – Adam Berry, Sr. Worcester State
P – Matt Nunes, Sr. Westfield State
1B – Taylro Cacciola, Sr. UMass Dartmouth
SS – Nick Comei, Sr. WPI
SS – Mike Kochiss, Sr. Endicott
UT – Dan Mantoni, Sr. UMass Boston
2B – Tom Petry, Tufts
OF – Zach Goodwin-Boyd, Wheaton
OF – Ezekial Sanchez, UMass Dartmouth