RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Felician College freshman Matthew Facendo (Hazlet, NJ/Raritan) was named the 2012 New Jersey Collegiate Baseball Association Division II/III Rookie Pitcher of the Year, according to voting released by the NJCBA last Wednesday. Facendo and three teammates were voted onto the NJCBA all-state teams. All 17 head coaches of the non-Division I four-year baseball programs in the state were eligible to vote.
Facendo was also named the First Team relief pitcher. Joining him on the D-II/III All-NJCBA First Team was junior outfielder Joe Petosa (Spotswood, NJ/Spotswood). Senior pitcher Brian Dudzinski (Lincroft, NJ/Middletown South) was chosen for the Second Team, and freshman pitcher Chet Godfrey (Millville, NJ/Millville) made the NJCBA All-Rookie squad.
The NJCBA is made-up of all baseball-playing senior colleges in New Jersey. The complete 2012 D-II/III all-state teams can be viewed at http://www.njcugothicknights.com/documents/2012/5/9/2012_Division_II___III_ALL-STATE_TEAM.pdf?id=1067.
Facendo emerged as the Golden Falcons' closer halfway through his freshman campaign. In 21 appearances, he had a 1-0 record, a 1.73 earned-run average, and a school-record eight saves. Facendo struck out 35 batters and walked seven in 26 innings. He was also named to the all-Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Second Team.
Petosa was the Golden Falcons' leading hitter at .352, good for seventh in the CACC, and his .462 on-base percentage was second in the league. He also topped Felician in triples (4), home runs (3), runs scored (38), runs batted in (33), and stolen bases (14). Felician, as a member of the Division II Northeast Region, uses wood bats for virtually all of its games. Petosa was also an All-CACC First-Team Selection and a Capital One Academic All-District First-Teamer.
Dudzinski, in his first season with Felician after transferring from Furman University, went 5-5 with a 2.39 ERA and one save. The 6-foot-6 right-hander is among the top ten pitchers nationally in Division II in hits allowed per nine innings (5.27), had an opponent batting average of .166, and set a Felician single-season record with 76 strikeouts in 71 2/3 innings. Dudzinski was also chosen for the All-CACC First Team and the CACC All-Tournament Team.
Godfrey posted a 5-5 record, a 3.79 ERA, and one save while leading Felician with 73 2/3 innings pitched (T-7th in the CACC). He allowed 63 hits, struck out 53 batters and walked 21.
Felician won the CACC regular-season championship with a 16-4 league record and finished as the runner-up in the conference tournament. The Golden Falcons' overall 2012 won-lost record of 27-24 marked their fifth consecutive non-losing season and their seventh straight of at least 20 victories.