LACONIA, NH - Iona College baseball rising junior Matt Byrne was selected to the 2014 New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) All-Star Game, as announced Sunday by the league office. Byrne - a member of the Laconia Muskrats - will start at second base for the North Division All-Star team on Sunday, July 20 at MacKenzie Stadium in Holyoke, MA.
Byrne is second on the Muskrats and sixth in the NECBL in hitting with 27 hits in 79 at bats for a .342 batting average. In 24 games played he has scored 14 runs, drove in 10 others and stolen 10 bases while holding a .402 on-base percentage. Byrne appeared in just two games for the Gaels during the 2014 season before suffering a season-ending injury. He was an All-MAAC Second Team selection after his rookie season in 2013.
For the third time in the last four years, the Gaels will have a representative in the NECBL All-Star Game. In 2013, graduate Joe Torres was named the game's Most Valuable Player. Torres came off the bench, singled in his only plate appearance and scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning. In 2011, graduates Chris Burke and Justin Wileyboth appeared in the NECBL All-Star Game. Wiley earned the start, using seven pitches in a 1-2-3 one inning stint while Burke reached base via a walk and lined out to centerfield in his two plate appearances. Burke, Torres and Wiley all represented the Laconia Muskrats.
Byrne and teammate Mariano Rivera are members of the Muskrat squad for the 2014 season. Rivera has appeared in six games with five starts posting a 2-2 record with a 4.04 ERA in a team-high 33.1 innings pitched. Other Iona and Laconia alumni include: Torres (2012, 2013), Burke (2011) and Wiley (2011), James Beck (2011), Eddie Macaluso (2013), and Thomas Kriss (2012).
The 2014 NECBL All-Star Game takes place at MacKenzie Stadium in Holyoke, MA, the home of the Valley Blue Sox on Sunday, Jul. 20. Gates open at 12:00 pm for the league’s annual All-Star Game Skills Competition which includes an Outfield Throwing Accuracy Contest, a 60-Yard Dash and Home Run Derby. First pitch of the main event is schedule for approximately 5:05 pm.