Baseball Tabbed as SAC Co-Favorite


ROCK HILL, SC – Catawba was a co-#1 selection in the 2013 South Atlantic Conference preseason baseball coaches’ poll.  Six players from Catawba were named to the preseason All-SAC squad.  First team honors went to outfielder Ethan Satterfield (Madison, NC/McMichael HS), designated hitter Garrett Furr (Gold Hill, NC/Mt. Pleasant HS) and starting pitcher Nick Lomascolo (Mooresville, NC/Lake Norman HS).  Frist baseman Chris Dula (Troutman, NC/S. Iredell HS), starting pitcher John Tuttle (Kannapolis, NC/Brown HS) and relief pitcher Craig Brooks (Monroe, NC/Parkwood HS) were second team picks.

Tusculum and Catawba, which finished first and second, respectively, in last year’s SAC baseball standings, tied for the top spot each receiving five first-place votes in the poll.  The Indians are ranked No. 13 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper preseason national poll, while the Pioneers are No. 17. 

Tusculum is coming off a 2012 season in which it went 48-10 overall, including a SAC-record 24 conference wins.  In addition to the SAC regular-season title, TC also won the 2012 Food Lion SAC Baseball Tournament. 

The Pioneers, who led the conference in team batting average and team ERA in 2012, reached the regional semifinal round of the NCAA Division II Baseball Championship before being eliminated. 

Catawba, meanwhile, went 23-4 in SAC play last season before going on a historic run to reach the NCAA Baseball World Series for the first time in school history.  After earning an at-large selection to the tournament, the Indians won four elimination games in the Southeast Regional and advanced to the World Series’ third round, where they were finally eliminated by eventual national champion West Chester.

Catawba was the first SAC program to reach the World Series since Gardner-Webb in 2000.

Wingate, which was the runner-up at the 2012 SAC Baseball Tournament, is No. 3 in the preseason poll, followed by No. 4 Brevard and No. 5 Carson-Newman. 

Wingate’s .544 slugging percentage was the SAC’s best last season, Brevard’s 500 hits allowed were the league’s second-fewest, and the Carson-Newman pitching staff’s 3.48 walks per nine innings rate ranked third in the conference. 

The remaining five spots in the preseason poll mirrored the final 2012 SAC standings with Newberry at No. 6, Lincoln Memorial at No. 7, Mars Hill at No. 8, Lenoir-Rhyne at No. 9 and Anderson at No. 10.

The 2013 preseason All-SAC Team was also revealed on Tuesday, with Tusculum and Catawba leading the way with six selections apiece. 

The first-team infield consists of Wingate catcher Josh Clark, Wingate first baseman Brian Yeung, Lincoln Memorial second baseman Andre Rodriguez, Tusculum shortstop Tripper Crisson and Tusculum third baseman Cade Stallings. 

Yeung ranked second in the SAC with 21 doubles and fifth with 79 hits last season, while Stallings was second in runs scored with 64 and fourth in hits with 80.  The two players also tied for third in the conference in RBI with 63.

Crisson led the SAC with 175 assists in 2012, Rodriguez’s .494 on-base percentage ranked sixth, and Clark hit .345 while throwing out 14 runners from behind the plate.
Making up the first-team outfield are Satterfield, Brevard’s Champ Stuart and LMU’s Cody Baker. 

Stuart led the SAC with a .419 batting average in 2012, Baker’s 25 stolen bases ranked second in the league and Satterfield’s 88 hits were third. 

Furr, who hit .316 with 13 doubles and 10 home runs in 2012, is the preseason first-team DH. 

Lomascolo and Tusculum teammates Taylor Rakes and Adam Sigmon are the first-team starting pitchers, while TC’s John-Austin Shepard is the first-team reliever. 

Rakes’ 3.18 ERA ranked third in the SAC last season, Lomascolo’s 3.70 ERA was fifth and Sigmon’s 4.07 mark was eighth.  Additionally, Lomascolo led the conference in innings pitched, while Rakes ranked fifth and Sigmon was sixth.  

Shepard finished 2012 with 39 strikeouts in 30.1 innings pitched and a league-best eight saves.

On the preseason All-SAC Second Team, LMU catcher Nick Pressley, Dula, Brevard second baseman Chad Funkhouser, LMU shortstop Curt Fuqua and Brevard third baseman Eric Renegar make up the infield. 

Wingate’s Thomas Spitz, Newberry’s Wesley Camp and Lenoir-Rhyne’s Ivan Vieitez make up the second-team outfield, while Anderson’s Erick Sanderson was selected as the second-team DH. 

The second-team pitching staff consists of starting pitchers Tuttle, Olen Little of Wingate and Zeke McGranahan of Tusculum, and Brooks. 

Rodriguez, Stallings, Satterfield, Furr and Shepard were members of the 2012 All-SAC First Team, while Stuart, Lomascolo, Rakes and Funkhouser were second-team picks. 

2013 SAC Baseball Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1t. Catawba, 77 (5)
1t. Tusculum, 77 (5)
3. Wingate, 62
4. Brevard, 56
5. Carson-Newman, 46
6. Newbery, 45
7. Lincoln Memorial, 34
8. Mars Hill, 20
9. Lenoir-Rhyne, 17
10. Anderson, 16

2012 South Atlantic Conference Preseason Baseball Team

First Team
C - Josh Clark, WU
1B - Brian Yeung, WU
2B - Andre Rodriguez, LMU
SS - Tripper Crisson, TC
3B - Cade Stallings, TC
OF - Ethan Satterfield, CAT
OF - Champ Stuart, BC
OF - Cody Baker, LMU
DH - Garrett Furr, CAT
SP - Nick Lomascolo, CAT
SP - Taylor Rakes, TC
SP - Adam Sigmon, TC
RP - John-Austin Shepard, TC

Second Team
C - Nick Pressley, LMU
1B - Chris Dula, CAT
2B - Chad Funkhouser, BC
SS - Curt Fuqua, LMU
3B - Eric Renegar, BC
OF - Thomas Spitz, WU
OF - Wesley Camp, NEW
OF - Ivan Vieitez, L-R
DH - Erick Sanderson, AU
SP - John Tuttle, CAT
SP - Olen Little, WU
SP - Zeke McGranahan, TC
RP - Craig Brooks, CAT

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