Speights, Bashelor dominate Big Green baseball awards

by Kate Mulley | 5/24/05 5:00am

Dartmouth's baseball team celebrated its successes last Wednesday evening, as Jeff Speights '05 and Will Bashelor '07 each garnered two Dartmouth baseball awards.

Speights, who led the team with 14 doubles and 33 RBIs this year, won the Teammate of the Year award and the James Henry Cooke award, which is given to the member of the squad who has done the most for the Big Green.

Speights drove in 133 runs during his four years at Dartmouth, tying him for third on the team's all-time list.

The graduating superstar picked up an All-Ivy honorable mention this season, as well.

Not to be outdone, Bashelor picked up the Most Valuable Player and Best Offensive Player awards.

In a record-breaking season, Bashelor led the team with a .352 batting average, 35 runs, three triples and a .547 slugging percentage. His 30 stolen bases broke a 64-year old record, and he was named to the All-Ivy first team.

Pitcher of the Year went to closer Nick Peay '05 after a season in which he held opposing batters to a .164 average, picked up three saves and posted a 1.96 ERA.

Peay's 14 career saves puts him at the top of the program's record books, and he is tied for most pitching appearances with 56.

Jeff Wilkerson '07 picked up the Most Improved Player award in a season when his record of 1-5 did not reflect his abilities.

Wilkerson churned out a 3.62 ERA, and four of his five losses came in one-run games. He allowed only seven walks in 37 1/3 innings and pitched two complete games.

The gritty sophomore's 2005 numbers stand in stark contrast his freshman campaign.

In 2004, Wilkerson went 2-1 with one save in 12 games. He made three starts and had a 10.09 ERA.

Rookie of the Year was awarded to Damon Wright '08, who led the team with four homeruns, becoming the first freshman since 1997 to do so.

Wright hit .250 with 14 RBIs in 18 games played.

The first-year's season also saw him move from his high school position at catcher to right field, where he made three outfield assists over the season.

Though the Big Green failed to live up to the high expectations it set for itself following a strong 2004 season, Dartmouth was able to celebrate the individual achievements and improvements that players made throughout both the season and off-season.

With awards evenly split between graduating seniors and underclassmen, the Big Green appears poised to make another swipe at the Ivy Championship next year.

With the hope that starters Josh Faiola '06 and Stephen Perry '07, who both picked up awards after the 2004 season, will continue to stifle opposing batters and lead the Big Green to victories, the Dartmouth is hungry for another shot.

The Big Green will suffer from the loss of a talented graduating class, boasting both power and experience. Fortunately, though, the team can expect to see leadership emerge from the rising seniors.

Come 2006, look for a rejuvenated and driven Big Green squad to take back the Ivy Championship.

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