TRENTON, N.J. – Junior Jon Fitzsimmons was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Co-Relief Pitcher of the Year while freshman Alex Godzak was named the MAAC Rookie of the Year at the MAAC Postseason Awards Banquet on Wednesday evening. Six Golden Griffins were voted to All-MAAC teams. Junior starting pitcher Garrett Cortright, outfielder Jesse Kelso and first baseman Jimmy Luppens earned All-MAAC First-Team honors while Godzak, senior catcher Brooklyn Foster and junior shortstop Ronnie Bernick were named to the All-MAAC Second Team.
Fitzsimmons became the second player in league history to win the MAAC Relief Pitcher of the Year award in back-to-back seasons. In 19 appearances, the London, Ontario native is 3-0 with a league-best 10 saves and a 0.33 earned run average. Fitzsimmons has 33 strikeouts in 27.1 innings.
Godzak becomes the fourth Golden Griffin to be named MAAC Rookie of the Year in the last seven seasons and wins the award for Canisius for the second consecutive, joining teammate and sophomore Devon Stewart. In 14 appearances, Godzak is 8-3 with a 2.78 ERA, ranking second in the MAAC in earned run average and third in victories.
Cortright, a preseason All-MAAC selection, is named to the All-MAAC First Team for the first time in his career after earning Second-Team honors as a sophomore. Cortright is 10-3 and leads the MAAC with a 2.44 ERA in 14 starts while posting 65 strikeouts. Kelso is hitting .317 in 53 games, recording 43 runs scored, nine doubles, four triples, four homers, 35 RBI and 31 walks with 11 stolen bases. Luppens ranks second in the MAAC in batting average (.378), third in slugging (.528), first in on-base percentage (.472) and third in RBI (47).
In 37 games (30 starts), Foster is hitting .349 with 11 doubles, a .528 slugging percentage and a .463 on-base percentage. He has thrown out 33 percent of attempted base stealers. Bernick is hitting .277 in 42 games with 25 RBI and 21 walks. The Pittsburgh native has a .948 fielding percentage on the season. Godzak is the first Canisius freshman to earn All-MAAC honors since Shane Davis in 2008.
In the past six seasons, Canisius has had 16 players earn All-MAAC First-Team honors and 15 players earn All-MAAC Second-Team honors.
Thirteen Golden Griffins were named to the MAAC All-Academic Team, matching Niagara and Saint Peter's for the highest total in the conference. Seniors Manny Hernandez, Chris Gruarin and Jason Rubinstein, juniors Ryan Coppinger, Fitzsimmons and Kelso, and sophomores Mike Booth, Aaron Casper, Mike Krische, Connor Panas, Rohn Pierce, Stewart and Eric Stolzenburg were recognized. To be eligible for the MAAC All-Academic Team, a student-athlete must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale and be in his second year at an institution.
Canisius (39-15) will be the No. 3 seed in this week’s MAAC Championship (May 23-26 in Trenton, N.J. at ARM & HAMMER Park). The Golden Griffins open play against No. 2 seed Marist College at 3 p.m. on Thursday. Fans can watch on MAAC.TV or listen to a free, audio broadcast on GoGriffs.com.