Division II / Division III Notebook

HOLDEN HIS OWN: Junior centerfielder Joe Holden became the first-ever Molloy College player selected in the Major League Baseball draft in the 13-year history of the baseball program.

Junior centerfielder Joe Holden. (Molloy)
The native of Wantagh, N.Y., was taken in the 21st round with the 629th overall pick by the New York Mets organization.

Holden batted .390 with 49 runs scored, 16 doubles, 13 home runs and 50 RBI as he also earned the first All-American honors in Molloy baseball team history. He garnered third-team ABCA/Rawlings All-America, as well being selected a second-team NCBWA All-America.

In addition to those honors, Holden was named the ECAC Division II Player of the Year, the Northeast Region Player of the Year and the New York Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year.

Holden ranked 19th in the nation with 0.30 home runs per game, and 27th in the NCAA statistics with a .744 slugging percentage. He was also the 25th toughest player in the nation to strike out in Division II.

EARNING SUCCESS: Former Division III baseball star Chris Denorfia from Wheaton (Mass.) College keeps climbing the ladder in the Cincinnati Red organization since being chosen in the 19th round of the Major League Baseball Draft in 2002.

Denorfia was promoted to the Louisville Bats, a Triple A affiliate of the Reds, on May 26. In 32 games with the Bats, the outfielder is batting .319 with six home runs, three doubles and 26 RBI, and posted a career-high five RBI in Louisville's 6-1 victory against Charlotte on June 8. He is also riding a 12-game hitting streak on the Bats' home field.

"First and foremost, we're very happy for Chris," said Wheaton head coach Podbelski. "The chance to play at the professional level is something he has aspired to since he arrived on Wheaton's campus and probably well before. The fact that he is experiencing success is of no surprise to those of us who saw him play here. His love for playing the game and the work he puts in to making himself better are traits he had at Wheaton and they will serve him well for his entire career."

Denorfia capped off his outstanding four-year career at Wheaton by earning first-team American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings All-America honors in 2002.

"We're very proud of what Chris is doing," stated Podbelski. "It goes to show that you don't have to play at a big name Division I University to get the opportunity to further your baseball career. Like we tell our recruits, go to the college that fits you best, the one that feels right, and that's the school at which you will thrive. Chris is proof of that."

PITCHER OF THE YEAR: Junior right-hander Greg Reinhard earned a prestigious individual accolade after helping lead Wisconsin-Whitewater to the NCAA Division III Championship in May.

Reinhard garnered NCAA Division III Pitcher of the Year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) after posting a 12-0 record and 1.82 ERA this season. He also ranked fourth in the nation with 12.7 strikeouts per nine innings, and held opponents to a .155 batting average this year.

With 146 strikeouts this year, Reinhard set the school and Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference season strikeout records, while walking just 20 batters in 103.2 innings pitched.

Reinhard was selected by the Tampa Bay Devils Rays in the sixth round of the MLB Draft in June.