WALTHAM, Mass. – Senior infielder Mike Samko (Arlington/BB&N) and junior right fielder Brandon Grover (Rocky Hill, Conn./Rocky Hill HS) head a list of five Bentley University players who were selected for 2018 All-Northeast-10 Conference honors in baseball.
Samko and Grover were both voted to the All-Northeast-10 first team by the conference coaches while the third team included a pair of sophomores, Max Troiani (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Mendon HS) and Ryan Berardino (Sudbury/Lincoln-Sudbury Reg. HS). In addition, sophomore shortstop Chris Hopkins (Malden/Malden Catholic HS) was named to the All-Rookie team.
Samko leads the Northeast-10 in hitting with his .374 average the best by a Bentley player since 2010 and the second best in the last 20 seasons. A second baseman who also saw time at third, Samko finished with 67 hits, tying for seventh most in program history, and 40 runs scored.
Samko, whose string of 34 consecutive games reaching base ended with the Falcons' loss in the NE10 playoffs on Tuesday, batted .416 against East Region opponents and a sizzling .509 (27-53) with runners on base, including 6-for-8 with the bases loaded.
Grover's .566 slugging percentage is fourth best in the Northeast-10 and the .337 hitter is also sixth in the conference in home runs (7) and total bases (94). He led the Falcons in RBI (38), was third in the NE10 in extra base hits (22) and boosted his batting average more than 100 points from 2017.
Grover finished the season with an 11-game hitting streak, a stretch in which he hit .381 with 15 RBI.
Troiani was second on the team in hitting with his .351 average an improvement of 116 points over his rookie season. He scored 32 runs, drove in 20 and had 13 extra base hits, including ten doubles. The outfielder was also seventh in the conference in stolen bases with 17 in 20 attempts.
Berardino, a second-team All-Northeast-10 selection as a designated hitter in 2017, finished with a .289 average with 36 RBI, 46 hits and five home runs. The Falcon first baseman and 2017 NABC East Region Rookie of the Year owns a .316 career batting average.
Hopkins, who didn't see any game action last spring at Stetson University, batted .271 during his first Bentley season with 11 doubles, one triple and two homers among his 42 hits. His 128 assists ranks fourth in the conference and he is fifth in the NE10 in double plays turned with 32.
Bentley finished the year with a 20-21 record, an improvement of 8.5 games from last season.