Barnstormers’ Ross Peeples voted Atlantic League Manager of the Year

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LANCASTER — Lancaster Barnstormers manager Ross Peeples was voted the Atlantic League Manager of the Year, the team announced Monday.

Peeples, who spent 10 seasons as a pitcher with the Barnstormers, earned the award in his first year as the team’s skipper. Before taking over, he spent two seasons as a bench coach and baseball operations manager.

Lancaster went 76-64 this season, tying for the best record in the league. The Barnstormers did not make the playoffs, however, because they did not earn one of the top two spots in either of the season’s halves. Lancaster had 11 player contracts purchased by Major League organizations, including four in a 72-hour span at the end of the season’s first half.

“In his first year as manager, Ross did a superb job,” said team president Rick White in a press release.  “His club lost 11 players to transfers throughout the season, yet he still led his squad to a tie for the league’s best season-long record. The ‘Stormers came within an eyelash of winning the Freedom Division title in both halves of the season, a testimony to Ross’ leadership and consistency.”

Lancaster led the league in runs scored with 710, and set a franchise record with 187 steals.  The Barnstormers never lost more than four consecutive games during the season.

In addition, the 2017 edition of the Barnstormers won nine games when they trailed entering the final inning of regulation, more than doubling the previous franchise mark, which stood at four.

“Ross has a great baseball mind,” said partner Bob Zuckerman.  “Plus, he is a true professional with a great work ethic.  He was able to keep his team motivated throughout the entire 140-game season.  This is a well-deserved recognition.  We are very proud of him.”

“Just as much of the credit for this goes to the coaching staff, players and front office,” said Peeples.  “I have been blessed just to be part of a great organization.”

In other awards announced by the league, York’s Alfonzo Harris was selected as Player of the Year; Southern Maryland’s Gaby Hernandez was named Pitcher of the Year; and New Britain’s Michael Crouse was chosen as the Rawlings Defensive Player of the Year.