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Van Spronsen Named 2012 Team MVP
Senior right-handed pitcher Ryan Van Spronsen (Brantford, Ontario / Assumption College) has been named the 2012 Wagner Baseball Team MVP as announced by head coach Jim Carone.
The baseball MVP award is sponsored by the Brotherhood of the Delta Nu Fraternity. It is named in honor of Lt. Robert Gall, a captain of the Seahawk baseball team who was killed in action in Vietnam.
Van Spronsen, who also garnered Second Team All-NEC accolades, had one of the top pitching seasons in school history, going 8-1 with seven complete games, a 2.07 ERA with 65 strikeouts over a school-record 100.0 innings of work.
The Canadian native, who was recently named as the Wagner College Con Edison Male Scholar Athlete of the Year Award, helped the Seahawks to wins in nine of his 12 starts.
Jim Carone enters his fourth year as head coach at Wagner College in 2015 and oversees all aspects of the program.
No stranger to Seahawk nation, Carone was the pitching coach of the 2006 Green & White team that featured two-time American League (AL) All-Star and current Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Andrew Bailey as well as former Washington National and Baltimore Oriole farmhands Joe Testa and Andrew Huebner.
Last season, he helped Wagner return to the postseason following a four-year drought thanks to a pair of wins at two-time NEC Champion Bryant in the final series of the regular season. Under his watch, Chris Smith also repeated on the All-NEC Second Team after batting .302 with a team-leading 29 runs, 14 doubles, five home runs and a .485 slugging percentage. Additionally, on the mound his pitching staff lowered its ERA by over a full run to 4.76 - the lowest by a Wagner team since the 2009 NEC Regular Season Championship squad recorded a 4.74.
In 2013, Carone helped tutor Paul Mammino to one of the finest seasons by a rookie pitcher in school history. The crafty lefthander was named as a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball after going 6-2 with 41 strikeouts and a 3.53 ERA over 71.1 innings of work. Mammino also fell just two outs short of hurling a no-hitter against Central Connecticut en route to being named College Baseball Insider Louisville Slugger National Pitcher of the Week.
Former North Carolina standout and seven-year professional Josh Horton is in his first year as an assistant coach at Wagner in 2015 and is responsible for the Seahawk hitters and infielders while also serving as the program's recruiting coordinator.
Horton ascends on Grymes Hill after spending the 2014 season as an undergraduate assistant coach at UNC while finishing up his degree. In his lone season as an assistant, he helped the Tar Heels to a 35-27 record and a spot in the Gainesville Regional while serving as the North Carolina Defensive/Infield coordinator and assistant hitting coach.
Prior to returning to Chapel Hill, Horton spent seven years in the minor leagues after being selected by the Oakland A's in the Second Round of the 2007 Major League Baseball (MLB) First-Year Player Draft. During his professional career, Horton hit .277 while reaching Triple-A with the A's before finishing up his career in 2013 with the Baltimore Orioles' organization.
Former Wagner standout Eddie Brown begins his third year on staff and his first as an assistant coach after serving as the team's director of operations the previous two seasons.
He will work with the Green & White hitters and outfielders while assisting with the program's recruiting efforts. Additionally, he will continue to help coordinate team travel and work the Seahawk Baseball Clinics.
Brown played two years on Grymes Hill by batting a team-best .314 as a senior in 2012. The Garden State native also added team-highs with 15 doubles, three home runs and 36 RBI, while swiping 22 stolen bases over 49 games as the Wagner shortstop. A two-year starter after transferring from Seton Hall, Brown graduated with a degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing and is pursuing his master's degree in education at Wagner.
Volunteer Assistant Coach
Former Monmouth student-athlete Chris Greco is in his first season on staff as the team's volunteer assistant coach and will assist with the hitters, catchers and infielders after spending the past summer as the head coach of the NJ Twins travel organization
While with the Twins, he was involved with all elements of the team and had been involved with the organization since June of 2008. No stranger to the Northeast Conference (NEC), Greco played two seasons for Monmouth, serving as the Hawks' team captain as a senior in 2013. He transferred to West Long Branch after a year at Brookdale Community College and played his freshman season at Hofstra.
Greco, who holds a black belt in the art of Okinawan Shorin Ryu Karate Do, graduated from Monmouth with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health and Physical Education.