Friday, May 16, 2003
Written by Steve Clay


MEDFORD -- Senior Jon Lee (Manhasset Hills, NY/Herricks), whose consistently marvelous Tufts pitching tenure culminated with his career-record-breaking 29th win on May 4, was today named the New England Small College Athletic Conference's (NESCAC) 2003 Pitcher Of The Year, winning the award for the second time in three years.

Lee also joined senior outfielder Evan Zupancic (Lake Oswego, OR/Lakeridge) on the All-NESCAC First Team. Senior pitcher Dave Martin (Arlington, MA/Arlington) was named to the All-NESCAC Second Team.

The New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association announced its All-New England teams on Friday. Lee was one of four pitchers named to the First Team. Zupancic joined junior DH Greg Hickey (Medway, MA/Medway) and junior P Randy Newsom (Cincinnati, OH/St. Xavier) on the Third Team. Lee and Zupancic will play in the New England College Baseball All-Star Game at Fenway Park in Boston on May 29.

In addition to breaking Bud Niles' 53-year-old mark for career wins, the other highlights of Lee's 2003 campaign (9-3, 2.20 ERA) included his second career no-hitter, against Bates on March 29, and his impressive feat of winning both ends of the Jumbos' doubleheader against Bowdoin on April 12. Lee tied for the league lead in wins, finished a hair behind teammate Randy Newsom (2.15) for the league ERA title, held opponents to a skimpy .218 batting average, and led the NESCAC in strikeouts with 55. He was a two-time NESCAC Player Of The Week during the regular season.

Zupancic became the Jumbos' all-time home run leader on April 6, when he hit his 20th career round-tripper in a game at Wesleyan. He finished the season hitting .369, with five home runs (for a career total of 22) and a .631 slugging percentage. He also stole 12 bases in 14 attempts, finishing among the NESCAC leaders in that category, and turned in another season of outstanding defensive play in center field. He was the NESCAC Player Of The Week for April 28, when he hit .647, including a game-winning home run against Bentley on April 23.

Martin, who would often face a conference opponent's top pitcher in game one of a weekend series, finished 6-2 with a 3.59 ERA, and three complete games, including a two-hit shutout in the Jumbos' 1-0 win over Apprentice on March 22. Hickey, who also caught several games for the Jumbos, was the team's leading hitter all season. He finished at .394 with four home runs and 31 runs batted in. Newsom led NESCAC with a .189 batting average against and five saves. He went 4-1 and struck out 37 batters in 46 innings.

Tufts finished 21-10 overall and 9-3 in the NESCAC East Division. They qualified for their third straight conference tournament, but were eliminated after losses to Amherst and Williams. The Jumbos defeated #1 in the nation and defending national champion Eastern Connecticut, 10-1, at Huskins Field on April 28, ending the Warriors' school-record 23-game winning streak.