January 25, 2016
Baseball Starts Season as Preseason SAC and Region Favorite
Catawba, who finished as the 2015 Division II National runner-up, tops both the preseason South Atlantic Conference Baseball Coaches’ Poll and the NCBWA Southeast Region media poll. It is the fourth straight year the Catawba Indians were chosen for the number one spot in the SAC, earning 10 first-place votes which is the most possible in the poll. The Indians also start the year ranked #2 in the ABCA poll, one spot behind reigning national champion Tampa.
Will Albertson (Sophia, N.C./Randleman/Campbell) and Shaefer Shepard (Boca Raton, Fla./Boca Raton/Francis Marion) were preseason picks by both the SAC and NCBWA. Albertson earned NCAA II National Position Player of the Year honors a year ago when the senior belted 26 home runs and collected 91 RBI which were both school and conference records. He led the nation with a .467 average.
Shepard toed the rubber 18 times during the season and notched a team-high 11 wins. Over his 98 and a third innings, the junior fanned 80 batters and posted a 3.94 ERA. He completed four of his 17 starts and combined on a shutout.
The SAC baseball season gets underway on Friday, Jan. 29. Catawba begins play that evening against Barry in Miami Shores, Fla. The home opener for the Indians will be a doubleheader with Shippensburg on Saturday, Feb. 20.
The 2016 SAC Baseball Tournament will take place April 28 - May 2 at Smokies Stadium in Kodak, Tenn. Tickets for the SAC Baseball Championships will be available at the link provided below and will also be provided on the conference’s Championships page along with other tournament information. The All Tournament pass rates are as follows:
- Adults Pre-Sale Online - $25 + small ticket fee
- Adults Walk Up Rate - $30
- Youth, College, Senior, Military Online - $15 + small ticket fee
- Youth, College, Senior, Military Walk Up Rate - $20
SAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. Catawba (10) 110
2. Tusculum (1) 99
3. Newberry 87
4. Wingate 85
5. Lincoln Memorial 71
6. Lenoir-Rhyne 66
7. Carson-Newman 56
8. Anderson 51
9. Mars Hill 38
10. Brevard 28
11. Coker 24
C- Will Albertson, Catawba
1B – Steven Cooper, Anderson
2B – Shane Billings, Wingate
SS – Ryan Perkins, Lenoir-Rhyne
3B – Matthew De la rosa, Lenoir-Rhyne
OF – JoJo Bradley, Newberry
OF – Rayshelon Carolina, Mars Hill
OF – Wes Neiderland, Lincoln Memorial
DH – Bradley Brown, Wingate
RP – Devan Watts, Tusculum
P – Shafer Shepard, Catawba
P – Placido Torres, Tusculum
P – Vince Apicella, Carson-Newman
C- Jack Leech, Coker
1B – Hunter Donaldson, Brevard
2B – Jeovanny Tolentino, Tusculum
SS – Evan Rogers, Mars Hill
3B – John Topoleski, Tusculum
OF – Colby Barnett, Wingate
OF – Bill Krebs, Wingate
OF – Marcus Shoemaker, Lenoir-Rhyne
DH – Dalton Eisenbath, Mars Hill
RP – Daniel Nations, Newberry
P – Ethan Carpenter, Tusculum
P – Hunter Hamilton, Wingate
P- Brandon Jean, Lincoln Memorial
NCBWA PRESEASON ALL-SOUTHEAST REGION POLL
1. Catawba (10) 116
2. Mount Olive (2) 100
3. North Georgia 90
4. Armstrong State 65
5. UNC Pembroke 48
6. Tusculum 35
7. Flagler 34
8. Wingate 32
9. Georgia College 30
10. USC Aiken 29
Others Receiving Votes: Columbus State (25); Lander (24); Newberry (11); North Greenville (7); Belmont Abbey (5).
NCBWA PRESEASON ALL-SOUTHEAST REGION TEAMS
SP: Placido Torres, Tusculum
SP: Mike O’Reilly, Flagler
SP: Matt Kelley, Francis Marion
RP: Tyler Graham, Armstrong State
C: Will Albertson, Catawba
1B: Joe Koehler, Mount Olive
2B: Shane Billings, Wingate
3B: Matthew De La Rosa, Lenoir-Rhyne
SS: Ryan Perkins, Lenoir-Rhyne
OF: Clint Hardy, Augusta
OF: J.D. Crowe, Francis Marion
OF: Rayshelon Carolina, Mars Hill
DH: Mike McLellan, Columbus State
Util: Will Jones, Lander
SP: Vince Apicella, Carson-Newman
SP: Shafer Shepard, Catawba
SP: Brandon Agar, North Georgia
RP: Devan Watts, Tusculum
C: Sam Tidaback, North Georgia
1B: Steven Cooper, Anderson
2B: Zak Orrison, Mount Olive
3B: Nick Nunziato, Belmont Abbey
SS: Evan Rogers, Mars Hill
OF: JoJo Bradley, Newberry
OF: Ryan Whitt, King
OF: Sam Cothran, Erskine
DH: Drew Taylor, Augusta
Util: Bradley Brown, Wingate
Volleyball @ Wingate 0-3
Soccer (W) vs. WINGATE 2-1
Soccer (M) vs. WINGATE 1-5
Swimming Men @ Gardner-Webb 92-170
Volleyball @ Anderson 0-3
Volleyball @ Newberry 3-2
Football vs. ALBANY STATE 21-35
Soccer (M) vs. SHAW 3-0
Soccer (W) vs. SHAW 6-1
Tennis (M) vs. BLUEFIELD ST. 3-4
Tennis (W) vs. BLUEFIELD ST. 7-0
Golf (W) in RENDLEMAN INV - Day 1 (CC of SALISBURY)
Golf (W) in RENDLEMAN INV - Day 2 (CC of SALISBURY) 10th of 18
Tennis (W) vs. WINSTON-SALEM ST, ppd. 5 p.m.
Volleyball @ Coker 1-3
Soccer (W) @ Mars Hill 1-0
Cross Country Royals Challenge M-15th;W-19th
Swimming Women @ Converse Invite (Day 1)
Volleyball vs. TUSCULUM 2-3
Swimming Women @ Converse Invite (Day 2) 1st of 5
Volleyball vs. LINCOLN MEMORIAL 0-3
Football @ Wingate 25-35
Soccer (M) vs. COKER 1-2
Soccer (W) vs. COKER 5-0
Golf (W) @ Noble Memorial - Day 1 (Achasta GC)
Golf (M) @ Donald Ross Inv. - Day 1 (Mimosa Hills CC)
Golf (M) @ Donald Ross Inv. - Day 2 (Mimosa Hills CC) 9th of 14
Golf (W) @ Noble Memorial - Day 2 (Achasta GC) 9th of 14
Volleyball vs. QUEENS 2-3
Soccer (M) @ Lenoir-Rhyne 1-4
Soccer (W) @ Lenoir-Rhyne 1-4
Volleyball vs. LENOIR-RHYNE 0-3
Football vs. TUSCULUM 1:30 p.m.
Volleyball @ Mars Hill 2 p.m.
Soccer (W) vs. ANDERSON 5 p.m.
Soccer (M) vs. ANDERSON 7:30 p.m.
Golf (W) @ Flagler Fall Slam - Day 1 (Marsh Creek CC)
Golf (W) @ Flagler Fall Slam - Day 2 (Marsh Creek CC)
Soccer (W) vs. CHOWAN 2 p.m.
Soccer (M) vs. BELMONT ABBEY 7:30 p.m.
Tennis (W) vs. Newberry 2 p.m.
Tennis (M) vs. Newberry 2 p.m.
Volleyball @ Carson-Newman 7 p.m.
Basketball (W) @ UNC Wilmington (Exhib.) noon
Football vs. LIMESTONE 1:30 p.m.
Volleyball @ Tusculum 2 p.m.
Soccer (W) @ Carson-Newman 5 p.m.
Soccer (M) @ Carson-Newman 7:30 p.m.
Soccer (W) SAC Tournament (1st Round)
Basketball (M) @ Wichita St. (Exhib.)
Volleyball vs. COKER 6:30 p.m.
Mouse over the red calendar dates to display events on those days. Click to open the full-size calendar.