CLEARWATER, Fla. - UConn freshman left-hander Mason Feole has been named American Athletic Conference Rookie Pitcher of the Year, the league announced on Monday (May 22) afternoon. Feole highlights six UConn players that received honors from the conference.
In addition to Feole, a first team All-Conference selection, Tim Cate garnered first team honors. Representing UConn on the second team are right-handed starting pitcher Wills Montgomerie, shortstop Anthony Prato, reliever John Russell and third baseman Willy Yahn.
In his freshman season, Feole ranked sixth in the conference, and tops among freshman, with a 3.10 ERA. The lefty has pitched 78.1 innings and leads the Huskies with seven wins on the year. Feole ranks top 10 in the conference in both those categories. Feole has struck out 72 batters and allowed opponents to hit just .252 against him.
Cate earns a spot on the first team after winning American Conference Pitcher of the Week earlier in the day. Cate is coming off his first career complete game shutout performance against East Carolina on May 18. The left-hander allowed just five hits and struck out eight. Cate now ranks fifth in the league in ERA (2.94) and fourth in strikeouts (98). Cate is one strikeout away from the 200th of his career and two punch-outs shy of 100 for the season. Cate would become the first UConn pitcher to record multiple triple-digit strikeout seasons.
Montgomerie, who leads the conference with 109 strikeouts, secured second team honors. Montgomerie is the seventh UConn pitcher to eclipse the century mark in strikeouts in a single-season and collected his 200th career punch-out a couple weeks ago. The right-hander is 6-3 with a 3.55 ERA in a team-high 83.2 innings pitched.
Anthony Prato has put together a solid freshman season and earned second team recognition. Prato leads the team in runs scored (44) and stolen bases (15). The shortstop has recorded 59 hits and is hitting .282 on the year. He has contributed eight doubles, two triples, one home run and 26 RBIs for the Huskies.
Russell leads The American in saves with 14 on the year. The Glastonbury native moved into the UConn record books with a record-breaking 14th save against USF on May 19. The save set a single-season save record, previously held by Kevin Vance (13) in 2011. Russell has recorded a 3.12 ERA in 34.2 innings. He has notched 61 strikeouts and leads the Huskies with 16.05 strikeouts per nine innings.
Yahn leads the Huskies with a .316 average, recording 56 hits in 44 games. The third baseman has registered 17 multi-hit performances, logged 10 doubles, two triples and 21 RBIs. He leads the conference in toughest to strikeouts with just 12 strikeouts this season, with 14.3 at bats between strikeouts.
The Huskies begin postseason action on Tuesday, May 23 at noon when they challenge sixth-seeded Cincinnati in The American Championship.