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Piantek Named National Player of the Year, Drafted By Detroit Tigers
Trinity Players and Coach Collect Post-Season Baseball Honors

Hartford, Conn., June 17 - Trinity College senior co-captain Kurt Piantek (Wallingford, Conn.) was named the 2003 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Division III National Player of the Year, and was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 44th round of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft on successive days last week. Piantek was also an American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings Division III All American First Team selection, the NCBWA New England Region Player of the Year, a New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) Division III All-New England First Team selection, an Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England First Team All-Star, and both the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Player of the Year and an All-NESCAC First Team selection.

Bantam junior right-hander Kevin Tidmarsh (Meriden, Conn.) was an ABCA/Rawlings Second Team All-American, an NEIBA All-New England First Team honoree and an All-NESCAC First team pick. Trinity senior Robert Dolliver (Norwich, Conn.) and sophomore Jeff Natale (Hamden, Conn.) were both NEIBA All-New England Second Team selections, ECAC Honorable Mention All-Star honorees, and All-NESCAC First Team selections. Dolliver was also chosen as a Verizon Academic All-District honoree. Bantam senior Jayme Dorr (Osterville, Mass.) graced the All-NESCAC Second Team, while Head Coach Bill Decker (Greenfield, Mass.) was chosen as the 2003 NESCAC Coach of the Year.

The Trinity baseball squad finished the 2003 regular season with a 19-9 record and a 9-3 mark to finish atop NESCAC East Division standings. The Bantams qualified for their third straight NESCAC Championship Tournament, defeating Amherst twice on the last day to earn their second league title and earn the conferenceís automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament. In their fourth appearance in the tourney, Trinity won five out of six games to win the New York Regional Championship title, and advanced to its first NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament in Wisconsin. The Bantams lost a pair of hard-fought games in the World Series to close the season at 27-12 (new College record for wins).

Piantek, who was an All-NEIBA (FirstTeam), All-ECAC (honorable mention), and All-NESCAC (FirstTeam) selection in 2002, was taken in the 44th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Detroit Tigers. Piantek set a new Trinity record with a .514 batting average in 39 games at first and second base. He posted team-highs in hits (71 was new Trinity record), runs (tied Dorr with 50 for new Trinity record), home runs (18 was new Trinity record), RBI (62 was new Trinity season record), and total bases (135 was new Trinity season record), along with 10 doubles. For his career, he batted .386 (175-for-453) with 128 runs, 28 doubles, a College record 38 home runs, a College record 155 RBI, and a College record 319 total bases for a College record .704 slugging percentage. Piantek received 58 votes in the National Player of the Year voting, including four first place votes, two second place, and two third place votes. Two players finished second in the voting with 52 votes apiece.

Tidmarsh appeared in 11 games (10 starts) on the mound with a team-best 9-1 record. He led Trinity in complete games (three), innings pitched (72.1), and strikeouts (57) with a 2.86 ERA, along with one shutout and just nine walks. Tidmarsh earned the win in relief against Amherst in the NESCAC Championship Tournament on one day's rest this spring.

Dolliver started all 39 games at catcher, first base, and DH for Trinity, batting .375 (57-for-152) with 40 runs, 10 doubles, 10 homers, 46 RBI, and 99 total bases. Also an Academic All-District selection last spring and a NESCAC All-Academic honoree this spring, Dolliver finishes his career with 135 hits in 368 at-bats for a .367 batting average, 90 runs, 30 doubles, 15 home runs, 89 RBI, and 212 total bases for a .576 slugging percentage.

Natale played in 33 games (32 starts) after missing all of pre-season and the first few games while starring for Trinity in the NCAA Division III Menís Ice Hockey Championship Tournament. He played second base and outfield for the Bantams, batting .412 (56-for-136) with a team-high 14 doubles, 48 runs, eight homers, and 37 RBI. Dorr started all 39 games at 3B, batting .331 (56-for-169, new Trinity record for at-bats), a College record 50 runs, 11 doubles, 10 home runs, 40 RBI, and 97 total bases. Dorr, who was a NESCAC All-Academic selection a combined four times in baseball and football at Trinity, finished his career with 144 hits in 433 at-bats for a .333 batting average. He notched 109 runs, 35 doubles, 18 home runs, 108 RBI, and 233 total bases for a ,538 slugging percentage.

Decker has taken the Trinity baseball program to unprecedented heights in his 13 years as head coach. With a 268-132 record (.670), Decker had helped Trinity post one of the 30 best records in all of Division III baseball since 1990. Trinityís all-time winningest baseball coach, Decker was the NEIBA/ABCA New England Coach of the Year in 1999.

 

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