May 27, 2014
LONG BEACH, Calif. – Freshman Garrett Hampson was selected as the 2014 Big West Freshman Field Player of the Year, the Big West Conference announced on Tuesday along with its annual All-Big West Teams. Hampson was also selected to the All-Big West First Team along with Richard Prigatano and Josh Frye. Senior Ino Patron and sophomore Ty Provencher earned second team nods while Andrew Rohrbach was honorable mention.
Hampson, Prigatano and Frye became the first Dirtbag trio to earn a first team selection since 2007. Hampson is just the second Freshman of the Year for Long Beach State, joining current Major Leaguer Danny Espinosa as the only other Dirtbag with the honor.
Hampson’s nod as a first teamer marks the first time a Dirtbag freshman has earned first team honors since Jason Giambi hauled in the honor in his first year at the Beach in 1990. Hampson started every game at shortstop for Long Beach State this year and primarily hit second in the lineup. He led the team with a .316 batting average and 71 hits. His 41 runs scored also led the squad and ranked fourth in the conference. The Reno, Nev. native also smashed 13 doubles, two triples and a home run while driving in 16 runs.
Prigatano had a career-year all around and was rewarded with his second All-Big West honor. After being named to the second team last year, the junior from Los Gatos, Calif. established himself as one of the best run producers in the Big West this year to grab first team honors. Prigatano led LBSU and ranked third in the Big West with 45 RBI while hitting .314. His career RBI total more than doubled with his big year at the plate. He also nearly tripled his career total in stolen bases. He was 18-of-20 when swiping a base, which ranked second in the conference. His nine stolen bases in Big West games were tied for tops in the league.
Long Beach native Frye was one of the biggest surprises of the year as the career reliever jumped into the starting rotation this March on the way to a first team selection and his first career All-Big West selection. He made nine starts on the mound and turned in an undefeated 8-0 record with a slim 1.51 ERA. From the tail end of his first start through the midway point of his fifth start, Frye tossed over 30 consecutive scoreless innings in the second-longest scoreless streak in school history. The Dirtbags never lost when he started a game as he racked up 51 strikeouts and limited opponents to a .195 batting average, which ranked second in the Big West.
Patron, a senior from Livermore, Calif., caught fire late in the season to boost his batting average to .302 for the year and grab second team honors for the second year in a row. He also drove in 31 runs, which ranked second on the team. A four-year starter at LBSU, Patron’s career achievements piled up as the year went along. He broke the school record for starts in a career and currently ranks third in the record list for most hits in a career with 232. He was just the 11th player from Long Beach State to record 200 hits.
Provencher, another Long Beach product, moved up to the second team after earning honorable mention a year ago. The sophomore reliever started one game but moved back into the bullpen and made 22 relief appearances. He had a 1.90 ERA with a 5-5 record this season in 42.2 innings pitched. He also recorded four saves and struck out 26 batters.
Rohrbach moved into the Friday night role in the middle of the season and flourished with a 6-2 record on the mound and a 2.13 ERA to earn All-Big West Honorable Mention. He threw three complete games with two of those being complete game shutouts. His 101.1 innings pitched made him the first Dirtbag to throw over 100 innings since 2008. The sophomore transfer from Valencia also led the pitching staff with 67 strikeouts and held opponents to a .227 batting average.
Long Beach State beings postseason play on Friday when they take on North Carolina in the first game of the Gainesville Regional at 10 a.m. (PT).
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