Westfield State senior baseball player Alex Lafayette (Ludlow, Mass.) has been named to the 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-America Team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Lafayette was selected as the designated hitter on the third team. In total, 33 players were named to the team from the 390 schools nationwide which compete at the NCAA Division III level in baseball.
The Owls' slugger finished the year with a .329 batting average, leading the team with 57 hits. He rapped 13 doubles and six home runs, driving in 35 runs and scoring 30 while playing in all 42 of the Owls' games.
Lafayette helped Westfield State to a 24-18 overall record, which included a 10-4 mark in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference, a MASCAC regular-season title and a MASCAC Conference title. The Owls also made their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2010 and were ranked in New England.
"He's a model student-athlete, and he takes pride in both his athletics and academics," said Owls head coach Nathan Bashaw. "He approaches both with a level of detail, and puts the time in. He's been a good example to our younger guys, so much that they nicknamed him "professor' for the last two years. Alex is very cerebral in his approach to hitting, and three hours before practice he'd be in the student lounge in the Woodward Center hammering out his school work. He has great balance and embodies what we want in a student-athlete."
Lafayette graduates from Westfield State with a 3.60 GPA in business management, after transferring to Westfield from NCAA Division II American International after his sophomore season.
"As a transfer student, he came in and stayed on pace academically and had a big impact on our program on the field," said Bashaw.
Over his four year collegiate career, Lafayette played in 144 games, totaled 141 hits in 478 at bats for a .294 average, and hit 25 doubles, 14 home runs with 75 runs batted in.
Lafayette is the eighth Westfield State University athlete to earn Academic All-America Honors from CoSIDA since the program began in 1952. Softball player Lisa Liebecki was honored in both 1986 and 1987, men's basketball player George Bent in 1987 and softball player Cheryl Bassett in 1988. Rachel Dionne for lacrosse in 2011, Amanda Gricus for track and field in 2012, women's soccer standout Sarah Sypek in 2014 and track and field javelin national champion Travon Godette in 2016.
Release and photo courtesy of Westfield State Sports Information