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Thursday, May 8, 2008


MEDFORD -- Typically a starting pitcher for the Tufts University Baseball team, senior Jason Protano (Milford, MA) was used as a closer this past Sunday (May 4) at Babson College and recorded two saves for the Jumbos. As a result, he was named the New England Small College Athletic Conference's (NESCAC) Pitcher of the Week.

The Babson double-header featured two seven-inning games. The host Beavers have been ranked among New England's top teams for most of the season. In game one, Protano entered in the bottom of the seventh with an 8-5 lead and retired three of the four batters he faced for the save.

Protano entered into a trickier spot in game two. With a run already in and two runners on base, he came into a 2-1 ballgame and recorded the final two outs. The potential tying and go-ahead runs for Babson were left stranded on second and third.

Closing games was not new to Protano, though eight of previous nine appearances this season were starts. He saved three games for the Jumbos in 2006 as a sophomore, then recorded one save last season as a junior.

Protano is the second Tufts pitcher honored this season by NESCAC. First-year Pat O'Donnell (Worcester, MA) was selected on April 7. Protano is top 10 in the league for strikeouts with 38, including a 7.71 strikeouts per game average that is seventh. Entering this weekend's conference tournament, the 5'10", 205-pound righty is 3-2 overall.

Coach John Casey's Tufts team (18-13) will play against Williams College in the first round of the NESCAC Tournament on Friday (May 9) at Wesleyan University. The double elimination tournament continues through Sunday.