2012 Graduate Aaron Klinec Signs Professional Baseball Contract
WASHINGTON, Pa. – 2012 Washington & Jefferson College graduate Aaron Klinec (North Olmsted, Ohio/St. Ignatius) signed a professional baseball contract with the Lake Erie Crushers of the independent Frontier League on Monday.
Klinec is the second W&J player under Head Coach Jeff Mountain to sign a professional contract with a Frontier League franchise. In June of 2007, Sam Mann ’07 was signed by the Kalamazoo (Mich.) Kings. He also spent time with the Washington Wild Things in 2008.
“Aaron worked very hard for four years and deserves this chance,” said Mountain, whose Presidents have averaged 27 wins per season during his 10 years. “Our program has come a long way in 10 years. Sam and Aaron are student-athletes that we can point to for our current guys and future recruits. They were both excellent students and leaders. We hope to attract players similar to them in our program each year.”
Klinec became the Presidents’ first-ever ABCA/Rawlings NCAA Division III Baseball National Gold Glove Award winner this spring and is known for his defensive prowess.
A 2012 Second Team All-Mideast Region and First Team All-PAC choice, Klinec moved to shortstop after starting his first three years at second base. He made only six errors in 231 chances for a .974 fielding percentage and finished his career as a .966 fielder after committing just 27 errors in 798 career chances.
His defense helped W&J rank among the national leaders in fielding percentage (.967, 21st ranked) and double plays (41, 28th ranked). The Presidents finished ranked 20th in the final D3baseball.com national poll and recorded the nation’s 11th-best winning percentage (36-10, .783). The 36 victories set a new school record.
Klinec also had a career-best year at the plate in 2012 with a .325 batting average. He scored 49 runs (2nd in PAC and 39th in NCAA Division III), drove in 27 and stole 16 bases. Klinec, who tied for 23rd in the nation with six sacrifice flies, recorded 125 career hits and knocked in 58 runs. He stole 39 bases and scored 106 runs.
With Klinec in the Presidents’ infield, Washington & Jefferson made its first three appearances in the NCAA Division III Tournament, including this year’s squad which earned the No. 2 seed in the Mideast Regional. The Presidents posted a 122-57 record (.682) during the past four seasons with Klinec appearing in 170 of those games (5th in school history).
The Lake Erie Crushers play their home games at All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon, Ohio. The Crushers, who will be in Washington, Pa., starting Friday for a three-game series with the Wild Things, are currently third in the Frontier League’s East Division with a 36-30 record.