CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Miami outfielder Jake Romano has been named Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year in a vote of league coaches, the league office announced today on the eve of the 2013 Baseball Championship.
Romano is the second straight RedHawk to win the award, joining 2012 winner Matt Honchel in the starting outfield.
Romano leads Miami with a .374 batting average, registering 43 hits in 115 at-bats. He has four extra-base hits -- two doubles and two triples -- and holds a .443 on-base percentage. A native of Algonquin, Ill., he has played in 31 of Miami's 53 games, but missed 14 games with a knee contusion suffered during the spring trip to Florida in March.
In league play, Romano hit .323 with one double and one triple. He was successful on five of eight stolen base attempts and did not make an error in 43 chances.
Romano was feature on ESPN SportsCenter during the year, making a diving catch against Dayton that ranked fourth on the Top Ten Plays of the Day.
Later Tuesday, Honchel and senior right-handed pitcher Brooks Fiala were voted onto the all-conference teams. Honchel, a first-team pick for the second straight year, ranks second on the team with a .342 batting average. He has scored a team-best 50 runs and stands third on the club in doubles. He has also stolen a team-best 17 bases and has a team-high 23 multiple hit games.
Fiala, a two-time East Division Pitcher of the Week was a second-team selection. He is 6-5 with a 3.04 ERA and has been the opening starter in each weekend series. He ranks tied for 45th in the country with 90 strikeouts, twice reaching double figures, while walking just 22 batters. Opponents are hitting .260 against him.
Miami opens MAC Tournament play Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. against Ball State.