St. Mary's Baseball Season Getting Near as CAC Preseason Poll Announced

St. Mary's Baseball Season Getting Near as CAC Preseason Poll Announced

For Immediate Release · By Nairem Moran · nmoran@smcm.edu

Fredericksburg, Va. – St. Mary's College of Maryland found itself ranked ninth in the 2018 Capital Athletic Conference Baseball Preseason Coaches Poll as published by Assistant Commissioner Tim Mowrer Friday afternoon.

WATCH: CAC Baseball Webcast · READ: CAC Baseball Season Preview Article

Two-time defending CAC champion Salisbury University edged Christopher Newport University for the top spot in the preseason poll. The Sea Gulls totaled six first-place votes and 78 points to narrowly edge out CNU (75 points, 4 first-place votes) in a vote among the conference head coaches.

Marymount (Va.) University finished third in the voting with 62 points, followed by Frostburg State University (54) and the University of Mary Washington (46) in the top five. Wesley College and York College of Pennsylvania were deadlocked in a sixth-place tie with 40 points apiece. The CAC Tournament will once again feature six teams in 2018.

Penn State Harrisburg took eighth place with 27 points, with St. Mary's (18) and Southern Virginia (10) rounding out the voting in ninth and 10th, respectively.

The CAC Tournament will feature a new format in 2018, with the six-team postseason event spread across two weekends. The opening weekend (May 4-5) will feature a pair of three-team, double-elimination pods hosted by the top two seeds. The winners of those pods will square off the following weekend (May 11-12) at the highest remaining seed's field.

The 2018 season begins this weekend as Southern Virginia will compete in a three-game series with William Peace University. CNU and Salisbury begin play on Feb. 10, with the majority of CAC teams opening their seasons in late February. CAC play begins on March 21.

2018 CAC Baseball Preseason Coaches Poll

1. Salisbury (6 first-place votes)

78 points

2. Christopher Newport (4 first-place votes)

75 points

3. Marymount (Va.)

62 points

4. Frostburg State

54 points

5. Mary Washington

46 points

6. Wesley

40 points

6. York (Pa.)

40 points

8. Penn State Harrisburg

27 points

9. St. Mary's (Md.)

18 points

10. Southern Virginia

10 points

St. Mary's finished the 2017 campaign with a 9-22 (3-15 CAC) overall record, splitting the conference series with Mary Washington, Marymount, and Southern Virginia.

The Seahawks are looking forward to taking the diamond in two weeks' time under the second-year leadership of Bernie Stratchko. St. Mary's put down solid ground work for a winning program last season and is excited about building upon that framework. This year's squad features 17 letterwinners and 11 newcomers. Red-shirt sophomore infielder Jay Hammett (Colton's Point, Md./Chopticon) leads a contingent of four starters back from last season's team. Hammett led the team in hitting as he finished his first season as a Seahawk hitting .345 with 10 doubles while posting a .996 fielding percentage at first base.

Top Returners

  • Jay Hammett (R-So., 1B, 6-1, 225, Colton's Point, Md./Chopticon) – Led team in hitting (.345), at-bats (110), hits (38), RBI (28), doubles (10), home runs (3) … Tied for second with 19 runs … Tied for third with eight walks … Posted .996 fielding percentage, .536 slugging percentage and .402 on-base percentage
  • Lucas Kraft (Jr., OF, 5-8, 170, Boyds, Md./Clarksburg) – Led the Seahawks with 10 stolen bases … Second on the team in at-bats (106), runs (19), walks (9) … Third with 28 hits and six doubles … Fourth with 13 RBI and .264 average … Tallied .953 fielding percentage and .340 slugging percentage
  • Dan McCann (Sr., 3B/SS/P, 5-10, 170, North Laurel, Md./Atholton) – Second for the Seahawks with nine walks eight stolen bases … Fifth on the team in at-bats (89), hitting (.258), and runs (12)
  • Holden Marshall (Jr., OF, 6-2, 189, Towson, Md./Friends School of Baltimore) – Tied for fourth with three doubles

Top Newcomers

  • Andy Collins (Fy., IF, 5-9, 190, Arlington, Va./Washington-Lee) – 2017 Arlington Better Sports Club Baseball Player of the Year … 2016 and 2017 Second Team All-National District Northern Region … 2015 Honorable Mention All-National District Northern Region … Hit .360
  • Connor Coursey (Fy., SS, 6-1, 150, Silver Spring, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel) – 2017 First Team All-Washington Catholic Athletic Conference … Batted .400 as a senior
  • Griffin Honse (Fy., 3B/P, 6-1, 145, Annapolis, Md./Broadneck Senior) – Second Team All-Anne Arundel County … Averaged .354 at the plate with 18 RBI
  • Nick Manzoni (Fy., OF, 5-9, 150, Towson, Md./Dulaney) – First Team All-Baltimore County … MSABC Futures Game … Team Maryland North player … Team captain as a senior … Batted .330 with 19 RBI … Posted .506 on-base percentage … Scored 39 runs … Stole 15 bases

Key Losses

  • Matt Bieler '17 (C) – Second for the Seahawks in hitting (.282), hits (29), and RBI (15) … Third on the team in at-bats (103) … Tied for fourth with three doubles … Notched .957 fielding percentage, .359 slugging percentage, and .348 on-base percentage
  • Zach Rowe '17 (IF) – Led the Seahawks with 15 walks … Second on the team in runs (19) and stolen bases (8) … Fourth with 100 hits … Fifth with 23 hits and 11 RBI … Posted .973 fielding percentage and .333 on-base percentage
  • Brandon Snow (IF) – Led the Seahawks with 20 runs … Second on the team with eight stolen bases and seven doubles … Third with 14 RBI and .276 average … Fourth with 24 hits … Registered .379 slugging percentage and .344 on-base percentage
  • Zach Thompson (RHP) – Led pitching staff with 63.0 innings pitched, 56 strikeouts, and four wins

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