The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Sports

May 22, 2012

MAC honors Roberts

Named conference player of the year

JOHNSTOWN — Forest Hills graduate and former Delweld MVP George Roberts was named Mid-American Conference (MAC) Player of the Year in baseball on Tuesday.

A junior first baseman for Kent State University, Roberts batted .363 and helped the Golden Flashes win their 11th MAC regular-season crown.

“It means a lot to me. I really didn’t expect to get this honor,” Roberts said during a telephone interview. “I thought our senior shortstop (Jimmy Rider) was going to get it. When they said my name I was shocked. I have a good year going so far. I just hope to continue it in the tournament and help get our team to the regional and super regional.”

Kent State finished the regular season 37-17 overall and

24-3 in the MAC. The Golden Flashes closed with 13 consecutive victories and will take the No. 1 seed into today’s MAC Tournament opener against No. 8 Buffalo in Avon, Ohio.

“It’s really exciting. Coming into this year we lost a lot of guys,” said Roberts, who played in 52 games. “We rebounded really well and put up some real good numbers. We’re at the top of categories like hitting and pitching. We’re on a winning streak. Hopefully we can keep it going into the regional and super regional.”

Roberts got a hit in his first at-bat this season. He said that single removed a lot of pressure and contributed to a productive first half of the season. The slugging first baseman built from there.

“The start helped out a lot,” said Roberts, who began the 2011 season mired in an 0 for 23 slump before rebounding to be among the team leaders. “I worked extra hard this year after practice. I hit a lot more. I worked out a lot more. I didn’t stop lifting. I was weight training. I got into a good routine and it’s paid off so far.”

He had 74 hits in 204 at-bats and scored 37 runs. Roberts smacked 15 doubles, a triple, six homers and had 50 RBIs. His nine sacrifice fly outs led the team. He had a .534 slugging percentage and .985 fielding percentage.

Locally baseball fans know Roberts for his success at Forest Hills and in the AAABA League. He won the AAABA League MVP in 2009 and earned the Ken Horoho Award as top rookie position player in 2008. Roberts appeared in three AAABA Tournaments with Delweld.

“I’d like to thank my family – my brothers, my mom and dad – all of my family and my girlfriend and her family,” Roberts said.

“It would be tough to do what I’m doing without their support.”

 

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