Rua and James Earn Spots on All-ICAA Team

PAINESVILLE, OHIO - Lake Erie College shortstop Ryan Rua (Amherst, Ohio/Amherst) and outfielder Brandon James (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) were selected to the All-Independent Collegiate Athletic Association (ICAA) baseball team, recognizing their achievements during the 2009 season.

Rua was named to the first team while James was a second-team pick.

"I was excited for both Ryan and Brandon to be recognized and very pleased  to see that the ICAA had recognized the tremendous years they had for us," said head coach Brian McGee. "Many times an individual player's season accomplishments can go unrecognized for those universities who compete as an independent institution and don't have the opportunity to receive such awards as all-conference team."

The ICAA, in baseball, consists of Columbia Union College, Chowan University, Flagler College, Lake Erie College, North Greenville University, Oakland City University, Palm Beach Atlantic University, Saint Michael's College and Urbana University. The team was selected by ICAA Director Mike Bond.

Rua hit .320 with a team-leading 11 home runs and 47 runs batted in for the Storm as a freshman last season.  His 37 runs scored, three triples, 98 total bases and .653 slugging percentage also topped the team.

Then-sophomore James batted .345 with 51 hits to rank second on the team in both categories. He played in 49 games- making 48 starts- and finished with a team-leading 13 doubles and 13 stolen bases while driving in 32 runs.

"This is a major accomplishment not only for these young men, but for our program as well.  It speaks volumes about the type of athletes we have here and the direction this program is going in," said McGee. "Our assistant coaches have played a big part in helping develop the talents in this program to earn these types of awards.  I was proud of Ryan and Brandon before this announcement, but now I am even more thankful to have them with us now and the future."

As a team, the Storm posted the second most wins in school history in its first season as a member of NCAA Division II.  Lake Erie opens its final season as an independent on February 20 and will join the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) next year.

Earning ICAA Player of the Year honors were Justin Bagbey of Chowan and Jordan Baker of Urbana. Bagbey also took home the Freshman of the Year award. Pitcher of the Year went to Robert Butts of Columbia Union. Nathan Heggestead of Columbia Union was tabbed as the Coach of the Year.

First-team All-ICAA:

Starting Pitchers: Robert Butts (CUC); Ryan Bradshaw (CU); Dustin Lacy (UU).

Relief Pitcher: Steve Sitter (CUC).

Catcher: Keith Clabaugh (PBA).

Infielders: Justin Bagbey (CU); Jordan Baker (UU); Pete Estes (SMC); Ryan Rua (LEC).

Outfielders: Matt Beaulieu (SMC); John Kellett (CU); Michael Taylor (CU).

Designated Hitter: Derek Fulmer (NGU).
 

Second-team All-ICAA:

Starting Pitchers: Casey Cosgrove (CUC); Austin Donmoyer, (FC); Bryan Hill (CU).

Relief Pitcher: Chris Guess (OCU).

Catcher: Zac Caito (CU).

Infielders: Richard Arciniega (CUC); Russ Chambers (UU); Vasilios Mila (PBA); Cale Owen (FC).

Outfielders: Brandon James (LEC); Zach Roll (UU); Randy Stegall (NGU).