Palumbo Selected CAA Defensive Player of the Year

Posted: June 3, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

George Mason junior shortstop Jeff Palumbo has been selected as the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Defensive Player of the Year, and he joins teammates senior left fielder Evan Howard, junior third baseman Nick Shimer, and sophomore first baseman Chris Looze in receiving All-CAA honors.

Shimer earned first-team All-CAA accolades, while Howard, Palumbo, and Looze each were named to the all-conference second team. Howard was selected to the All-CAA second team for the second straight year, while the honor was the first for each of the other players.

Palumbo was chosen as the league’s best defensive shortstop in a preseason coaches’ poll by Baseball America and he did not disappoint. He committed only seven errors in 225 chances for a .969 fielding percentage, and he made just one error in 95 chances in 17 CAA games (.989 percentage). Offensively, the switch-hitter has had another solid season as he hit .302 with 2 home runs and 25 runs batted in (RBI).

Shimer had a breakout year both offensively and defensively for George Mason. He posted career highs with a .337 average, 6 home runs, and 36 RBI, and he led the Patriots with 17 doubles. Defensively, he had just six errors in 167 chances for a .964 fielding percentage.

After being George Mason’s top hitter in 2002 with a .348 average and tying the school record with 25 doubles, Howard started this season in a slump and was hitting just .192 at the end of March. But in the 25 games since then, he hit .404 to raise his season average to .309. He also had 11 doubles, a career-high 5 home runs, 33 RBI, and 7 stolen bases.

Looze came to George Mason this season as a transfer from South Florida Community College and has settled right in to the Patriot lineup. He hit .341 on the season and led the Patriots with 44 runs, 12 home runs, 47 RBI, and a .619 slugging percentage.

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