Etta Express lands seven on 2008 All-OAC Baseball Teams
Cimino and Knowlton both earn first team recognition this spring
May 12, 2008
AUSTINTOWN, Ohio — The Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) office released its 2008 Baseball All-OAC Teams and Special Award Winners on Monday (May 12) morning and seven Marietta College student-athletes were among the 45 to receive recognition.
Junior pitcher T.J. Knowlton (Greenwich/Mapleton) and junior third baseman Cameron Cimino (Boardman) both earned first team honors. In addition, senior first baseman Dom Winters (Washington, Pa.), junior outfielder Justin Merryman (New Philadelphia) and sophomore catcher Danny Jones (Lima/Shawnee) picked up second team honors, while senior Tony Piconke (Clinton Township, Mich./Clintondale) and junior pitcher Chris Stewart (Dublin/Coffman) received honorable mention.
Marietta, under the direction of fifth-year Head Coach Brian Brewer, finished second in both the OAC regular season and the OAC Tournament, just missing a bid to the NCAA Division III Mideast Regional Championship. The Pioneers, who played arguably the toughest schedules in their 118-year history, ended the year 23-20 overall and 13-5 in the OAC.
Knowlton led Marietta and the OAC in wins with a 9-2 record. The right-hander tied for the team-lead in appearances (16) while leading the Pioneers in earned run average (3.04), games started (14), complete games (5), shutouts (1) and innings pitched (83.0). Opponents batted just .265 against Knowlton, who earned All-OAC second team honors in 2007.
Cimino, who started 38 of his 40 games played, had a breakout season at the plate in 2008. The third baseman, which also saw time as the designated hitter, led the Pioneers in hits (47), doubles (11), triples (3), RBI (39), slugging percentage (.622) and walks (26). Cimino also finished second on the team in home runs (5) and third on the squad in batting average (.370). He tied for the team lead in multiple-hit games (14) and was second in multiple-RBI games (11), which included a seven RBI performance against Mount Union.
Winters, one of Marietta’s two seniors, batted .356 (47-for-132), which ranked fourth on the team. The cleanup hitter tied for the team lead in hits (47) while pacing the Pioneers in home runs (6) and putouts (239) this spring. He also finished second in RBI (35) and third in runs scored (34). Winters, who started all 37 games that he played, led Marietta in both multiple-hit games (14) and multiple-RBI games (13). Winters closed his 116-game career as a .308 hitter with the Etta Express. He also finished with 19 doubles, two triples, seven home runs, 52 runs scored and 63 RBI.
Merryman, who started 27 games in the field and nine more on the mound, was the leading hitter for the Etta Express after batting .390 (39-for-100) this spring. The outfielder finished also with 10 doubles, 24 runs scored and 21 RBI as well as 104 putouts. The 2007 All-OAC honorable mention pitcher also went 3-6 with a 6.42 ERA and team-high 56 strikeouts in 54 2/3 innings this spring.
Jones, in his second year as the Pioneer’s primary catcher, started 36 of the 38 games that he played. The sophomore batted .308 (37-for-120) with seven doubles, four home runs, 30 runs scored and 21 RBI. Jones, who record 159 putouts, threw out 43.2% (19-of-44) of runners trying to steal base against him in 2008.
Piconke, the other of Marietta’s two seniors, finished 46-for-157 (.293) in his final year in the pinstripes. The 2005 and 2007 All-OAC first team honoree, who also earned All-Mideast Region first team honors in 2007, led the Pioneers in runs scored (40) and stolen bases (9) while finishing second in hits (46) and adding eight doubles, four home runs and 32 RBI. Piconke finished his career with 691 at-bats, which is the second most in both school and OAC history. In 188 career games, he batted .327 with 47 doubles, nine triples, 18 home runs, 171 runs scored and 144 RBI.
Stewart, who transferred from Rio Grande this fall, proved to be a reliable left-handed arm no matter the situation and finished 6-2 in 2008. He tied for the team lead in appearances (16) and led Marietta in saves (3). Stewart, who started five games, struck out 27 and posted a 3.60 ERA in 50 innings of work this spring.