STATEN ISLAND, NY – Saint Peter's baseball starting ace, Willie Krajnik has been selected to the All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Second Team, announced by the league tonight during the annual Baseball Awards Show.
Krajnik becomes the first player under second year head coach Danny Ramirez to earn all-league honors.
"I'm very happy for Willie," said Ramirez. "I think it's great that the MAAC acknowledged him as one of the better pitchers in our conference. When he took the mound for us he always gave us a quality start and kept us within striking distance. It didn't matter what we had done in the previous game, when he took the mound, he expected to win. His heart and desire to be the best are second to none and I am thrilled that he was able to end his college career with this award."
Krajnik, a 6-3 right-handed pitcher, was a force on the mound for the Peacocks this season, earning both decisions for the team during the 2018 season. He pitched a total of 80.2 innings for the Peacocks, striking out 84 batters and averaging 9.37 strikeouts per game; both stats ranking third amongst all pitchers in the conference during the year. Krajnik's 80.2 innings are tied for sixth best in the MAAC for total innings pitched and his four complete games are tied for third best in the conference when stacking up against all other starting pitchers.
A native of Lyndhurst, NJ, Krajnik was the clear leader on the mound for the Peacocks as he posted a team-low earned run average (ERA) of 4.69, walked the least amount of batters per innings, and was the lone Peacock to win multiple contests and pitch multiple complete games in 2018. Krajnik also earned MAAC Pitcher of the Week and MAAC Pepsi Male Student-Athlete of the Week honors during the week of May 14, becoming the lone baseball player this season to earn a MAAC weekly award.
"Krajnik will be sorely missed," added Ramirez. "He was our captain and no doubt the hardest worker on the team. Our other guys worked hard but Willie took it to another level. Win or lose, his desire to get better and his work ethic never faltered. It didn't matter what time we got back in from a road trip, he would always get his work done to be able to bounce back on short rest and several times he took the ball on three days' rest. He's a fierce competitor when he is out on the mound and it doesn't change between starts. When he's not pitching, he's always stressing to his teammates how important good energy and body language are, cheering his teammates on or helping the younger pitchers to develop a new pitch or hold runners. It was just like having another coach on the team. He is one of those guys that everyone wants on his team. We spoke to our younger players several times this year and asked them to pay attention to how diligent Willie was about his preparation, and hopefully they took notes because a player like Willie Krajnik doesn't come along often. Congratulations to Willie on this award and to his family for raising a top-notch ballplayer and person. I wish him well in all his future endeavors."
Krajnik becomes the first player to make an all-conference team since his former teammate, Rob Moore, earned first team honors in 2015-16 at the utility position. Krajnik is the first Peacock pitcher named to a MAAC team since 1998-99, when Frank Brooks secured a spot.