altavillaDan Altavilla, a junior pitcher for the Mercyhurst Lakers, has been named the winner of the inaugural Brett Tomko Award. The honor goes to DII college baseball’s most outstanding pitcher.

Altavilla finished 2014 with a 9-1 record with an incredible NCAA-leading five shutouts -one of which was a no-hitter. He had a 1.23 ERA, which was fifth in the nation, and tied for tops in the country with 129 K’s in just 80.1 innings of work. In nine of his 12 starts, Altavilla fanned at least 10 batters, highlighted by a 19 -strikeout performance against West Chester in only 7.2 innings in the opening game of the Pennsylvania State Athletics Conference tournament. His presence on the mound helped Mercyhurst to a 30-15 record and the Lakers advanced to the NCAA Atlantic Regional Tournament.

In addition to capturing the first Tomko Award, Altavilla has been named a First Team All-American from Daktronics and the National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s Association. He was also the Atlantic Region Pitcher of the Year from the ABCA/Rawlings, Daktronics and the NCBWA. With a 3.70 GPA in sports medicine and pre-physical therapy, Altavilla was also named a Capital One Academic All-American.

Altavilla won an extremely close vote to win the award, just barely besting West Florida’s Jordan DeLorenzo and St. Edward’s Brannon Easterling who finished second and third respectively.

About Brett Tomko
In 1995, Brett Tomko had a spectacular season pitching for the Florida Southern College Moccasins which was full of both incredible individual and team success. Tomko compiled an incredible 15-2 record with a 1.35 ERA and amassed 154 strikeouts in just 126.3 innings. He also threw seven complete games, three of which were shutouts, and also added a pair of saves.

Tomko led the Mocs to the Division II Championship and threw a complete-game shutout to give FSC its eighth national title. He was named the outstanding player of the Division II Championship and was the Sunshine State Conference Pitcher of the Year and Male Athlete of the Year. Tomko earned the distinct recognition of being the first athlete ever to be awarded both the NCAA Division II Player and Pitcher of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association.

Following Tomko’s historic season in Lakeland, the Cincinnati Reds drafted him in the second round of the Major League Amateur Draft. He made his big league debut with the Reds two years later and went on to win one hundred MLB games in 14 seasons. Five times Tomko reached the double-digit win plateau while pitching in the big leagues and he was also able to accrue over 190 innings on the mound five times as well.

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