Baseball Tabbed to Repeat as SAC Champions


ROCK HILL, SC -- Defending SAC baseball regular-season champion Catawba has been picked by the league’s coaches as the favorite to win the title again in 2012, the conference office announced on Wednesday.  The Catawba Indians went 41-15 a season ago and earned a selection to the NCAA Division II Baseball Championship and received eight of the 10 first-place votes.

Catawba will be led by four preseason All-SAC players – all of which are on the first team.  Pitchers Nick Lomascolo (Mooresville, NC/Lake Norman HS) and JJ Jankowski (McMurray, PA/Peters Township HS/Miami, OH), who were both All-Conference selections last season, will combine to form one of the league’s top rotations.  Lomascolo, a junior, was the 2011 SAC Pitcher of the Year after posting a 9-3 record with a 2.78 ERA.  Jankowski, a senior, went 8-2 with a 2.95 ERA.  He led the league with 118 strikeouts in 97 and two-thirds innings.

They will be joined by preseason All-SAC First Team selections Chris Dula (Troutman, NC/S. Iredell HS) – the 2011 SAC Freshman of the Year -- at third base and Garrett Furr (Gold Hill, NC/Mt. Pleasant HS) at designated hitter.  Both players earned first team All-Conference honors last season as well.  Dula hit for a .377 average with nine homers and 62 RBI.  Furr, a junior, hit .298 with a dozen homers and 56 RBI.

Wingate got the other two first-pace votes and is second in the 2012 preseason coaches’ poll after winning the 2011 Food Lion SAC Tournament title.  2011 SAC Player of the Year and Tino Martinez Award finalist Dodson McPherson returns to lead the Bulldogs.

No. 3 in the preseason poll is Tusculum.  The Pioneers finished tied for third in the 2011 SAC standings with Lincoln Memorial, which was picked fourth in the 2012 preseason coaches’ poll.   

2012 SAC Baseball Preseason Coaches’ Poll

Team, Points (1st-place votes)
1. Catawba, 96 (8)
2. Wingate, 91 (2)
3. Tusculum, 79
4. Lincoln Memorial, 59
5. Newberry, 55
6. Carson-Newman, 54
7. Mars Hill, 41
8. Anderson, 31
9. Lenoir-Rhyne, 29
10. Brevard, 15

2012 SAC Baseball Preseason All-Conference Team

First Team
C – Nate Reid, Tusculum
P – Nick Lomascolo, Catawba
P – JJ Jankowski, Catawba
P – Craig Goodman, Tusculum
RP – Tyler Sturkie, Newberry
1B – Brian Yeung, Wingate
2B – Chris Vazquez, Wingate
SS – Michael Bueker, Mars Hill
3B – Chris Dula, Catawba
OF – Dodson McPherson, Wingate
OF – Stephan Arcieri, Lenoir-Rhyne
OF – Alexi Colon, Tusculum
DH – Garrett Furr, Catawba

Second Team
C – Mason Guymon, Carson-Newman
P – Austin Johnson, Lincoln Memorial
P – Justin Somers, Wingate
P – Dylan Hochevar, Tusculum
RP – Josh Karr, Wingate
1B – Randy O’Dell, Brevard
2B – Andy Vogel, Newberry
SS* – Joseph Horsely, Lincoln Memorial
SS* – Thomas Padro, Anderson
3B – Matt Henricksen, Tusculum
OF – Cody Baker, Lincoln Memorial
OF – Casey Allison, Wingate
OF^ – Kramer Clark, Brevard
OF^ – Lucas Mohon, Carson-Newman
DH – Gelson Perez, Lincoln Memorial

* Tie for second team SS
^ Tie for final second team OF spot

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