Hampden’s Lee gets hot at the right time for St. Joseph’s

Posted May 20, 2011, at 10:53 p.m.

Ian Lee, the former Hampden Academy hockey and baseball star, has had a stellar career at Saint Joseph’s College in Standish.

And he is doing his best to extend it.

The senior catcher went 5-for-14 (.357) in St. Joe’s first three games this week in the NCAA Division III New England Regional Tournament in Harwich, Mass., with three important RBIs.

St. Joseph’s took a 2-1 record into a late Friday night game against Wheaton College.

Lee had an RBI single in the ninth inning of the Monks’ 4-2 win over Wheaton in their opening-round game and rallied them to a 4-3 victory over Tufts with a two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the 11th in their first game Friday.

“I’m excited to get up in big situations,” said Lee, who struggled early in the season but has been on a tear of late and upped his average from .280 to .297 with a homer and 24 RBIs.

He has been the full-time catcher for the whole season and has really enjoyed it. He caught just seven games last year due to arm trouble and 21 the previous year. He spent 14 games as the designated hitter and 10 in left field last season and 21 as the DH the previous year.

“I’ve really enjoyed being able to catch again,” said Lee. “It’s fun working with the pitching staff.”

Lee has been outstanding behind the plate, committing just one error this season and sporting a .994 fielding percentage.

“Even though I hadn’t been hitting as well as I could have, it was real important that I didn’t bring it behind the plate with me,” said Lee.

He said an adjustment in his mental approach to hitting got him out of his slump.

“I wasn’t as mentally tough as I should have been. I got frustrated because it was my senior year and I wanted to go out with my best year,” said Lee, who hit .333, .475 and .341 in his previous three seasons. He is a two-time Great Northeast Athletic Conference second-team all-star and was the GNAC Rookie of the Year his first season.

“I also did a few things to my stance,” said Lee.

He graduated with a degree in business management earlier this month and said he has cherished his time at St. Joseph’s.

“I’ve really enjoyed myself. Baseball has been a huge part of my life and I couldn’t have asked for anything better,” said Lee.

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