PISCATAWAY, N.J. (Aug. 13, 2012) – Rutgers baseball’s senior catcher Jeff Melillo (Annandale, N.J.) won a New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) Championship as a member of the Newport Gulls on Saturday. The Gulls went 6-1 in the playoffs, winning three series. They earned the championship with two straight victories over the Danbury Westerners.
Melillo’s .404 batting average in the regular-season, which led the NECBL, was 14 points higher than the next closest player. The catcher also set a league record for on-base percentage with a regular-season mark of .548. Melillo shattered the record by 22 points, previously set by Mike Tamsin in 2008.
His walks also contributed to the high on-base percentage, taking a base on balls 26 times in 27 games. The catcher led his squad in walks and doubles (12), and was tied for the team lead with 34 runs scored. He was named an NECBL East Division All-Star, and started at catcher on July 22. Melillo hit .280 in the playoffs and hit a two-run homer in the first inning of the championship-sealing game.
As a junior at Rutgers in 2012, Melillo hit .311 with 10 doubles and 30 RBIs. The First Team All-BIG EAST catcher’s .426 on-base percentage ranked second for the Scarlet Knights. He was also named a Johnny Bench Award semifinalist, presented annually to the top Division I catcher.
The NECBL is a summer collegiate baseball league that runs from early June to early August, with each team playing a 42-game schedule. To be in the league, a student-athlete must be enrolled in an NCAA sanctioned college or university, be in good academic standing, completed one year of eligibility and have at least one year of eligibility remaining.
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