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Mullen Earns Third All-Big 5 Honor; O’Keefe Tabbed for Second Straight Season

PHILADELPHIA – Five members of the Saint Joseph’s baseball team have earned spots on the 2013 All-Philadelphia Big 5 Baseball Team, it was announced on Monday.  Seniors Anthony Cirillo (Freehold, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) and Kyle Mullen (Berwyn, Pa./St. Joseph’s Prep), juniors Chris Hueth (Spring Lake, N.J./St. Rose) and Jimmy Yacabonis (Matawan, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy), and sophomore Brian O’Keefe (Albany, N.Y./South Colonie) were named to the All-Big 5 Team, while junior Jordan Carter (Collegeville, Pa./Methacton) was tabbed for the Big 5 All-Academic Team.

Mullen earned his third consecutive All-Big 5 nod after being named the organization’s Pitcher of the Year in 2012.  He graduates as Saint Joseph’s all-time leader in wins, strikeouts, and innings pitched, and also holds or shares the school’s single-season records in those categories as well.  Mullen was 8-4 this season with a 3.16 earned run average, lowering his career ERA to 3.66, which ranks eighth in school history.  His 77 strikeouts led all Atlantic 10 pitchers during the regular season.

One of two Hawks to record over 200 strikeouts and one of two SJU pitchers to eclipse 300 innings pitched for his career, Mullen is the only pitcher in Saint Joseph’s history to surpass both marks; he is also the only Hawk to reach 20 victories in his career.

Mullen is a seven-time Big 5 Pitcher of the Week, including April 16 and May 14 of this year, and was named the Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Week four times over the last three seasons.  He was named the Hawks’ Most Outstanding Player the last two seasons and received Saint Joseph’s Class of 1950 Award as the most outstanding senior male student-athlete in the graduating class.

O’Keefe played in all 52 games this season and made 51 starts, including 49 of them behind the plate.  A 2012 All-Big 5 honoree as well, he led the Hawks in at bats (212), hits (62), home runs (six), runs batted in (37), and total bases (95).  He posted three four-hit games and 18 multi-hit games in all, and led the squad with 11 multi-RBI games, including a pair of four-RBI performances.  He also threw out 25% of runners attempting to steal over the course of the season.

O’Keefe hit three home runs over a four-game stretch in late March and early April, helping him earn Big 5 Player of the Week honors of April 2.

Cirillo started every game this season and led the team in batting average and on-base percentage.  He tied a school record, getting hit by a pitch 16 times, to lead the team in that category.  He also ranked third in the conference in on-base percentage during the regular season.  Cirillo set career highs in games played, at bats, runs, hits, doubles, RBI, slugging, on-base percentage, and stolen bases as well.

He was also one of six Hawks to reach the 100-hit plateau for his career this season, singling on April 12 against La Salle.  His 122 career hits tie him for 42nd on the all-time list.

Hueth also started every game in left field, playing all but eight innings on the season.  He led the squad with 39 runs scored, 15 doubles, four triples, 12 stolen bases, a .481 slugging percentage, and 20 multi-hit games.  Hueth also ranked second on the team in batting average (.312), hits (59), and total bases (91) while tying for second in runs batted in (29).  He also added three home runs on the season, with all of them coming in league play.

He was named the Philadelphia Big 5 Baseball Player of the Week on April 9, and notched his 100th career hit with an eighth-inning double on May 18.

Yacabonis set a new Saint Joseph’s record for saves in a season with 10; the old record of seven was set back in 2001.  The 10 saves also rank Yacabonis second all-time in the category as well.  He ranked second in the league in saves and tied for third in appearances with a career-high 26.  He earned a victory this season as well, pitching the final three innings of a 10-inning win at Temple on March 23.

The hard-throwing righthander earned his first two career saves in the Hawks’ first two games of the season at Stetson; for his efforts, he was named the Big 5 Pitcher of the Week and the Atlantic 10 Co-Pitcher of the Week.

Carter was named to the Saint Joseph’s Athletic Director’s Honor Roll for both the fall and spring semesters this year and earned the baseball team’s Scholar-Athlete Award.  He was a member of the starting rotation this season, earning three victories.  He notched seven quality starts on the year, including three outings of eight innings or more, and recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts against Xavier on May 4.

On March 28, Carter fanned eight and held Fordham to one unearned run on six hits as he posted the first complete game of his career.  On April 2, he was named the Big 5 Co-Pitcher of the Week.

Ryan Dietrich of Penn and Pat Christensen of La Salle were named the Big 5 Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively, in the same vote.  Christensen was also voted the Student-Athlete of the Year, while Penn’s Mike Vilardo was tabbed as the Rookie of the Year.  Mike Lake of La Salle earned Coach of the Year honors, while the Explorers were named the Team of the Year.

Comprised of the Philadelphia region's five Division I universities that field baseball programs – La Salle, Penn, Saint Joseph's, Temple, and Villanova – Philadelphia Big 5 Baseball was formed with the mission of promoting collegiate baseball in the Philadelphia area. The Big 5 recognizes a Player and Pitcher of the Week every week throughout the season and awards All-Big 5 honors, as well as naming a Player, Pitcher, Rookie, Student-Athlete, Coach, and Team of the Year, at the end of the year.  Voting for weekly and end-of-season awards is conducted among the head coaches and sports information offices of the five member institutions.