Baseball Proves Right Choice For Drexel's Doiron

Posted: May 15, 1996

Hockey's loss has been Drexel baseball's gain.

Kris Doiron was an outstanding high school hockey player in Toronto. But after playing a few junior B preseason games, the 5-7, 165-pound Doiron decided baseball provided a better chance of survival and success. Drexel is grateful for that decision.

As the Dragons (12-8, 24-18) pack their parkas for the North Atlantic Conference tournament, held at the University of Maine starting tomorrow, Doiron holds Drexel career batting records for RBI (165), hits (246) and runs scored (139).

The righthander also is in the Drexel pitching record book for most victories (25), strikeouts (192) and innings pitched (237 2/5).

This season, Doiron is the Dragons' leading batter (.365) and RBI producer (38). His pitching record is 5-3.

When Doiron arrived on the Drexel campus, he had no plans to set all those records.

``I didn't know the talent level here,'' he said. ``But after a couple games, I realized it wasn't much different from playing at home.''

Doiron started Drexel's Canadian connection. Pitcher-outfielder Matt Sperling, a junior, is batting .308 and has a 3-3 pitching record. Junior first baseman Jason Gold (.309, 32 RBI) has set the school season record for home runs with nine. Both Sperling and Gold are junior-college transfers.

Doiron's reason for choosing Drexel was basic: ``It was my only [scholarship] offer.''

While Doiron is the school's all-time strikeout king as a pitcher, he almost always makes contact as a hitter. He has struck out just 12 times in his collegiate career.

``I've always had the ability to put the ball in play,'' said the finance major. ``A lot of it comes from hockey, where you need hand-eye coordination.''

Good hockey genes run in Doiron's family. His uncle, Gary Sabourin, played in the NHL for 10 seasons.

With a six-game winning streak, the Dragons feel confident heading into the NAC Tournament. A few weeks ago, however, Doiron said the team wasn't sure it would qualify for the trip to Maine.

``We went into a huge downward spiral,'' he said. ``But then we got some key players back and started to jell.''

One of those players is senior shortstop Mike Harris, from Audubon (N.J.) High. In 21 games, Harris is batting .403 with 14 RBI. He was sidelined after he broke a wrist sliding into second base.

In the opening round, Drexel faces Hofstra (12-12, 25-22), which was 4-2 vs. the Dragons during the regular season.

SHANNON IVY'S BEST The University of Pennsylvania's Mike Shannon is the school's first Ivy League Player of the Year.

Shannon, a senior from Montoursville, Pa., led the league in batting (.469). His overall batting average was .444. Shannon tied for the league lead in doubles (18) and was runner-up in hits (63).

Shannon also compiled a 3-0 pitching record.

Princeton's Ivy League champions placed three players on the first team: catcher Michael Ciminiello, second baseman Dave Ekelund and third baseman Tommy Hage.

Earning second-team All-Ivy honors were three Penn players: shortstop Mark DeRosa, outfielder Sean Turner and designated hitter Mark Nagata; Harvard outfielder Brett Vankoski, from Strath Haven High; and Yale first baseman Bryan Hobbs, from Wilmington's Tower Hill School.

MACK SETS MARK Millersville University's Gerald Mack, a junior from Roxborough High, set a school and Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference record with a 10.26-second clocking in the 100-meter dash at last weekend's conference championships.

Mack also won the 200-meter dash in 21.69 seconds.

Millersville's men finished fifth; Kutztown finished first. The Marauders women won their division.

JACKSON A NET GAIN Central High graduate Lamar Jackson helped Millersville University reach the final 16 of the NCAA Division II men's tennis tournament.

The bad news is, Millersville (20-4) was smoked by three-time defending champion Lander (S.C.), 5-0, in a first-round match of the national tournament last week at Oak Tree Country Club in Edmond, Okla.

Jackson, a junior, plays No. 3 singles and No. 1 doubles. His singles record was 24-6. In doubles, he and Cory Rowcliffe were 18-8.

Lander defeated Rollins (Fla.) for its fourth consecutive championship.

URSINUS TRIO CHOSEN Ursinus, which won its first baseball championship since 1962, placed three seniors on the All-Centennial Conference first team. Ursinus, coached by Brian Thomas, compiled a 16-2 league record, 27-9 overall.

Leading the Bears were first baseman Brian McTear (Malvern Prep, .406); outfielder Dan Tomlinson (Archmere, .386) and designated hitter Aaron Rychling (.352, 20 RBI). Tomlinson also was a first-team selection a year ago.

Other area players chosen on the first team are outfielders Patrick Straub from Swarthmore and Tower Hill, and Joe Cordova, Gettysburg and Haddonfield, N.J., third baseman Scott Quinn, Washington (Md.) and St. Mark's (Del.), and Franklin & Marshall pitcher Tim Sheridan, Downingtown.

Straub led the conference in hits with 30, Quinn led in home runs (six, runner-up in RBI with 21) and Cordova batted .446 with 16 RBI. Sheridan was the repeat choice as Pitcher of the Year (1.34 ERA, 5-1, six complete games, 42 strikeouts).

Western Maryland shortstop Brian Van Deusen was named conference Player of the Year (.458, four homers).

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