HOPEWELL — The FLCC baseball team turned heads this past season.
The Lakers ended with a 39-22 overall record and a 16-2 conference record to advance all the way to the NJCAA Region III Championship game.
The 2019 season provided myriad significant moments for the Region III runner-ups.
It included an 11-game win streak, a stretch of six games in which they scored 10 or more runs, a 20-0 win against conference rival Corning and 26 of their 39 wins came by mercy rule, in which a game will conclude if a team is up by 10 or more runs after five or seven innings.
It was truly a season to remember.
Even though the last game concluded over a month ago, the Lakers are still receiving praise for their play this past season.
Sophomore catcher Aaron Shoemaker was recently named to the 2019 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Gold Glove Team.
The Gold Glove team is comprised of the best defensive player in the country at each position.
Head Coach Sean Marren said, “As a staff we are very happy for Aaron. He did a great job this season handling the pitching staff while controlling the running game. On top of the stellar job as our catcher, he was also on the Dean’s List.”
By just looking at the numbers, Shoemaker’s defense play was more than deserving of this high honor.
The Henrietta-native led the Lakers in both Total Chances and Putouts with 368 and 340, respectively. He had 159 more chances than the next player on the team and the most putouts on the team by a staggering 215.
Not many runners were brave enough to run on Shoemaker either.
Throughout the season, only 24 base runners attempted to steal second while Shoemaker was behind home plate. 19 of them were caught stealing.
Out of the three divisions of junior college baseball, Shoemaker had the best fielding percentage and was one of five other Gold Gloves in DIII to have a perfect fielding percentage.
As the season heated up towards May, Shoemaker played some of his best defense. In the first round of the postseason throughout a three-game series against SUNY Adirondack, Aaron was unflappable.
Throughout the three games, the FLCC catcher had a combined 41 total chances with 36 putouts and five assists, which was a key factor in FLCC winning that tight series two games to one.
On top of his off-the-charts fielding numbers, Shoemaker was a big contributor on offense as well.
He had one of the highest on-base percentages on the team with .391, earning the second most walks on the team with 32, despite having the eighth most at-bats.
Aaron certainly will leave big cleats to fill as he heads to Ithaca College to play for the Bombers next in the fall season of 2019.