LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell senior right-hander Connor Van Hoose earned the 2018 Patriot League Pitcher of the Year award on Wednesday, and three other Bison also garnered All-Patriot League spots as the team prepares to start postseason play this weekend. Van Hoose was also a First Team All-Patriot League selection, while senior outfielder Chuckie Scales, junior catcher Evan Klugerman, and freshman designated hitter Dominic Toso all picked up Second Team citations.
Van Hoose is the fifth Bison to earn Patriot League Pitcher of the Year honors, and the first since Ryan Ebner in 2011. Kevin Miller (2003), Mike Anders (1998) and Mike Tomko (1996) were the others. While the senior from Alexandria, Virginia earned his first career major award, he did repeat as a First Team All-Patriot League selection, making him the first Bucknell starting pitcher ever to be a two-time First Team honoree in the Patriot League era (since 1991).
Van Hoose is in the midst of another terrific season for the Bison, and he has cemented his status as the program’s top strikeout artist since Hall-of-Famer Don Richards in the 1950s. In 2018, Van Hoose is 7-4 with a 2.54 ERA, and in seven Patriot League starts he is 6-1 with a microscopic 0.57 ERA. League opponents are hitting just .151 against him, and he has 66 strikeouts in 47 innings pitched.
For the full season, Van Hoose has punched out 97 hitters, which matches his own total from the 2017 season as the second-most in Bucknell history. Van Hoose’s 227 career strikeouts also rank second in team history, trailing only Richards’ 354 from 1954-56. His 12.91 strikeouts per nine innings this season ranks 11th nationally.
Van Hoose’s 15 career wins are tied for ninth-most in school history, his 11.0 strikeouts per nine innings rank second, and his 2.63 ERA ranks fifth.
Dating back to the start of Patriot League play on March 17, Bucknell’s No. 1 starter has been nearly unhittable. In fact, on Apr. 21 against Lehigh, he was literally unhittable, as he pitched the fifth no-hitter in school history, and the first since eventual Major Leaguer Matt Daley no-hit Lehigh in 2004.
That headline performance is part of a seven-start stretch in Patriot League play where Van Hoose has conceded a total of only three earned runs. He defeated each of the other league teams at least once, and his only loss in league play was a 1-0 setback to Army, in which he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning.
Van Hoose has posted double-digit strikeout totals five times this season, with a high of 14 in a win at West Point on March 31. His five double-digit strikeout performances this season and the seven in his career are both the highest totals since Richards more than 60 years ago.
Klugerman has been on the receiving end of Van Hoose’s MVP performance. The junior from Weston, Florida not only caught Van Hoose’s no-hitter, but he ended it with a pickoff throw at first base. Klugerman is hitting .248 with a strong .382 on-base percentage this season. He has a home run, seven doubles, and ranks second on the team with 22 runs batted in. Klugerman has been even better against league competition, where he is hitting .274 with a .427 on-base percentage. His 19 RBIs in league games rank fourth in the league.
Earlier in the season, Klugerman had a career-high four RBIs in a win over Navy, and he went 3-for-5 with a home run at Duke back in February.
Scales has been a key table-setter for the Bison, even though he has hit out of the No. 9 spot in the batting order for much of the season. After getting off to a slow start in 2018 while playing through an injury, Scales has been terrific in Patriot League play. In conference games, he leads the league in hitting at .387 and ranks second in both on-base percentage (.465) and stolen bases (14).
Scales picked up a Patriot League Player of the Week award two weeks ago after going 5-for-6 with five runs scored in a doubleheader at Lafayette and 8-for-13 over the course of a four-game weekend. Scales had a four-hit game against Army on March 31, and his season average is all the way up to .289 after a 2-for-29 start. The West Mifflin, Pennsylvania native has also played a terrific center field for the Bison, using his blazing speed to make a number of outstanding catches in the alleys.
Toso has been a welcome addition to the Bison lineup as a freshman. He spent a good chunk of the season hitting leadoff, and more recently he has been in the cleanup spot. Toso is hitting .281 on the season with a .460 slugging percentage.
Toso ranks fifth in the Patriot League in doubles with 14 and fourth in triples with four. He leads the Bison with 29 runs scored and has a solid .374 on-base percentage. The rookie from Philadelphia has played in 41 of the team’s 42 games this season, primarily as a designated hitter. An infielder by trade, Toso has also done well in recent games filling in for the injured JohnPaul Bell in left field.
Toso hit his first collegiate home run at Holy Cross on Apr. 14, and he has nine multi-hit games on the season. He was one of only three freshmen to earn All-Patriot League honors this season, joining First Team third-baseman Anthony Giachin of Army and Second Team relief pitcher Jared Leins of Navy.
Army West Point catcher Jon Rosoff was picked as the Patriot League Player of the Year, and his teammate Giachin was tabbed as the Rookie of the Year. Navy second-baseman Zach Biggers was selected as the Defensive Player of the Year, and Navy’s Paul Kostacopoulos was picked as Coach of the Year.
Bucknell is 16-25-1 overall and 13-11-1 in the Patriot League. The Bison are the No. 3 seed in the Patriot League Tournament, which begins with the semifinal round this Saturday and Sunday. Bucknell will play a best-two-of-three series at No. 2 Army, starting with two games on Saturday. All of the action can be seen on the Patriot League Network at PatriotLeague.tv.
2018 Patriot League Baseball Major Awards
Player of the Year: Jon Rosoff, Army West Point, Sr., C
Pitcher of the Year: Connor Van Hoose, Bucknell, Sr., RHP
Rookie of the Year: Anthony Giachin, Army West Point, Fr., 3B
Defensive Player of the Year: Zach Biggers, Navy, So., 2B
Coach of the Year: Paul Kostacopoulos, Navy
First-Team All-Patriot League Team%
SP: Connor Van Hoose, Bucknell, Sr.*
SP: Noah Song, Navy, Jr.
RP: Danny Barlok, Holy Cross, Jr.*
C: Jon Rosoff, Army West Point, Sr.*
1B: Christian Hodge, Navy, Jr.*
2B: Zach Biggers, Navy, So.
SS: Chris Rinaldi, Holy Cross, So.
3B: Anthony Giachin, Army West Point, Fr.
3B: John Marti, Lafayette, So.
OF: Logan Knowles, Navy, Sr.
OF: Luke Robinson, Lafayette, Sr.
OF: Jacob Hurtubise, Army West Point, So.
OF: Austin Masel, Holy Cross, So.
DH: Liam Lowery, Navy, Jr.*
Second-Team All-Patriot League Team^
SP: Daniel Burggraaf, Army West Point, Jr.
SP: Tyler Giovinco, Army West Point, Jr.
RP: Cam Opp, Army West Point, Jr.
RP: Jared Leins, Navy, Fr.
C: Jeff Shanfeldt, Lehigh, Jr.
C: Evan Klugerman, Bucknell, So.
1B: Tony Gallo, Lehigh, So.
2B: Josh White, Army West Point, Jr.
SS: Michael Coritz, Navy, So.
OF: Stephen Born, Navy, Sr.
OF: Chuckie Scales, Bucknell, Sr.
OF: Drake Titus, Army West Point, So.
DH: Dom Toso, Bucknell, Fr.
* - Unanimous first-team selection
% - 14 players on the first-team due to ties in voting
& - 13 players on the second-team due to ties in voting
^ - No 3B on the second-team due to a tie in voting for the first-team