MOUNT VERNON – Cornell senior shortstop Zach Rogers has been named the 2013 Midwest Conference South Division Baseball Co-Player of the Year, gathering first team all-MWC accolades with junior teammate Joe Gerace.
Rogers and Gerace represent the Rams on the 14-player first unit in the South Division. Both were second team picks last spring in the Iowa Conference.
Rogers, a Cedar Rapids Washington graduate, shared the Player of the Year award with Knox senior outfielder Caleb Weaver. Gerace, of Oak Park, Ill., was among three outfielders chosen to the first team in the South.
Leadoff man Gerace and No. 3 hitter Rogers finished tied atop the program's list for most runs scored in a season with 43. Rogers racked up 62 hits – one shy of the school mark – and Gerace tallied 60. They are the first Cornell teammates to collect 60 hits in the same season.
Rogers also established single-season school records for most triples (7) and RBIs (50). He ranked second in the school annals for batting average (.473), on-base percentage (.558) and total bases (104) in a season. Rogers compiled a hefty .794 slugging percentage with 10 doubles and six home runs. He drew a team-high 20 walks and was hit by pitch five times.
Statistically, Rogers was in a league of his own in the 10-team MWC. He finished as the conference's regular-season leader in nine offensive categories: batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, runs, hits, RBIs, triples, home runs and total bases. Rogers' slugging percentage was more than .200 higher than the next-best player in that category.
Rogers posted 19 multi-hit games, nine in which he tallied at least three hits. He had 13 games with at least two RBIs, including a pair of five-RBI contests.
Rogers had a remarkable run of 135 consecutive starts to end his career. A career .372 hitter, Rogers is the program's all-time leader with 12 triples. He wound up second on the career list for total bases (258) and walks (56), while ranking fourth in hits (173) and RBIs (89), sixth in runs (91), and seventh in doubles (28) and home runs (11).
Gerace enjoyed a strong second season at Cornell. He was among the MWC leaders in batting average (.426, second), on-base percentage (.484, third), runs (43, first), hits (60, second) and total bases (74, fifth). Gerace slugged .525 with five doubles, three home runs and 14 walks.
Gerace reached base safely in 33 of 34 games this spring. He posted 18 multi-hit games, including five four-hit performances. Gerace recorded a .990 fielding percentage with just one error in 103 chances.
Gerace, a career .380 hitter, has started all 74 games as a Ram. He already ranks ninth in career runs with 85. Gerace is 12th on the program's all-time hits list with 111.
Coach Seth Wing's up-and-coming Ram squad finished 12-22 overall, 7-8 in the MWC South. The team came up one-half game short of a potential postseason berth. The Rams dropped 11 games by two runs or less.
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