Connor Panas Named District II Player of the Year by NCBWA
Canisius baseball player Connor Panas received another national award as the former Golden Griffin was named the 2015 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) District II Player of the Year. Panas is one of 10 student-athletes to be honored by the NCBWA nationally this year, and he is the first Canisius player and just the second player from a MAAC school to receive for this award.
The 2015 MAAC Championship MVP, Panas closed out his senior season by hitting .372 with 17 doubles, seven triples, 11 home runs, 68 RBI and 65 runs scored as the Blue and Gold secured its second trip the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship in the last three seasons. An All-MAAC First-Team selection, the Toronto, Ontario native led the conference in five different offensive categories and he became the second player in Canisius history to be named the MAAC Championship MVP after he hit .500 (13-for-26) with three extra-base hits, 10 runs scored and 12 RBIs in six games May 20-24 in Fishkill, N.Y.
For the season, he posted a .632 slugging percentage, a .472 on-base percentage and he ended the year ranked fifth in the MAAC with his 19 stolen bases on 24 attempts. Last weekend at the NCAA Springfield Regional, Panas became the first Canisius player in school history to hit a home run in an NCAA Tournament game when he went yard in the first inning against No. 8 Missouri State, and on Thursday Panas became the second player in program history to earn CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-America status for the second time in his career.
The other 2015 NCBWA District Players of the Year are District I: 2B Mike Garzillo (Lehigh); District III: SS Dansby Swanson (Vanderbilt) & SP Carson Fulmer (Vanderbilt); District IV: SP Mike Shawaryn (Maryland); District V: RP Tyler Jay (Illinois); District VI: SP Michael Freeman (Oklahoma State); District VII: OF Andrew Benintendi (Arkansas); District VII: 2B Ryan Howell (Nevada); District IX: RP David Berg (UCLA).
Panas joins with former Manhattan first baseman Matt Rizzotti as the only two players in league history to be named the NCBWA District II Player of the Year. Rizzotti, who played pro in the Minnesota, Philadelphia and Oakland minor league systems, was named the District II Player of the Year in 2005.