Prior to the 2016 Alumni game on Sunday, Jim Penders and the rest of the coaching staff gave out awards for the 2016 season. Three players from last year’s team received the five awards; Anthony Kay, Ryan Radue and Bryan Daniello.
Anthony Kay was a first round selection by the New York Mets in June’s MLB Draft and was the ace for the Huskies all year in 2016. He won both the Lawrence R. Panciera MVP Award and the James Allen Pitching Award.
His junior season was one of the best by a pitcher in UConn history. He made 17 starts, tying the single-season record that was previously held by Matt Barnes, Anthony Marzi and Greg Nappo. Kay was two innings off from the single season innings pitched record, throwing 119 innings. Kay also had 111 strikeouts, fourth in Husky history. He also had a 1.14 WHIP and struck out 8.4 batters per nine innings.
Ryan Radue was the other Husky who took home two awards at the ceremony, winning the Donald E. Rowe Scholar Athlete Award and the Hirschhorn Family Foundation Award.
If you don’t recall hearing about Radue during the season, that would be because he did not throw a single pitch for UConn in 2016 after making 14 appearances in 2015. Last year, doctors found lymphoma in his knee and neck. He went through weeks of chemotherapy and radiation. He spent the 2016 season regaining all the muscle that he lost going through treatment, finally throwing off a mound in mid-May.
While going through treatment for cancer he was able to graduate a semester early and is now taking graduate classes and has one more year of athletic eligibility remaining.
Bryan Daniello took home the final award, the Mrs. Mary Dropo Unsung Hero Award. Daniello fits the description of the award very well. The stats weren’t always impressive, but behind the scenes he was doing all the right things, evidenced by the team voting him a captain during this year’s AAC Tournament.
Daniello hit .289/.353/.415 this season, including .483/.467/.621 during the AAC and NCAA Tournaments. He was one of two Huskies to start in all 63 games and was 13-for-22 on stolen base attempts, giving him second on the team in steals. Daniello was third on the team in hits, with 71 and had two triples, which was also good for third.