Sophomore outfielder Connor Harding (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal) of The University of Scranton baseball team enjoyed a record-setting season this spring, leading the Royals back to the Landmark Conference playoffs for the second year in a row. For his efforts, he has been named the Landmark Conference Player of the Year while also collecting First Team All-Conference honors as the league announced its year-end award winners on Monday.
Harding became just the second player in program history to be named the Landmark Conference Player of the Year, matching the feat accomplished by Chris Bligh in 2010.
Harding started all 39 games for Scranton this season and batted .464 with a .517 on-base percentage and a .695 slugging percentage. He racked up 70 hits, 20 of which went for extra-bases including eight doubles, nine triples, and three home runs.
Harding, who set new Scranton single-season records for both hits and triples this spring, also scored 46 runs and collected 34 RBI. He also walked 20 times and stole 14 bases on the season while being thrown out just three times.
Harding's batting average was the third highest in Scranton history and he tied for the sixth-most runs scored in a season. He also drove in the 13th most runs in a year for the Royals and tied for the 12th most stolen bases.
This season, Harding led the Landmark Conference in batting average, on-base percentage, hits, and triples, was second in slugging percentage and stolen bases, and finished fifth in RBIs and tied for sixth in home runs.
Harding, who was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team last week for combined excellence on the field and in the classroom, ranks fourth in all of NCAA Division III in triples, sixth in batting average, 21st in hits, 27th in sacrifice flies, and 46th in slugging percentage.
Defensively, he posted a .972 fielding percentage with 101 putouts and four outfield assists. He had just three errors in 108 chances and was a part of three double plays from his position in centerfield, where save numerous extra-base hits and runs with his tremendous range.
Scranton finished the 2019 season with a 17-22 overall record and advanced to the Landmark Conference championships as the fourth seed with a 9-9 mark in conference play.
The Royals saw their season end with a pair of one-run losses at this weekend's championship tournament played at Scranton's Volpe Field, falling 6-5 to eventual champion Susquehanna on Friday before dropping a 5-4, 10-inning heartbreaker to Catholic on Saturday.
To view a complete list of the 2019 All-Landmark Conference baseball awards, click here.