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Baseball Tops SAC Preseason Poll

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ROCK HILL, S.C. (TheSAC.com) -- Catawba has been selected as the South Atlantic Conference favorite for the 2018 baseball season. It is the sixth consecutive year the Indians have received the top spot, as voted on by the league’s head baseball coaches. Catawba had nine first place votes and a total of 99 points. The Catawba Indians have also been voted third in the preseason NCBWA Southeast Region Poll.

Luke Setzer, the reigning SAC Player of the Year, along with Kyle Smith and Hunter Shepherd were named first team preseason All-SAC and to the NCBWA first team All-Southeast Region squad. Chance Bowden was a preseason All-SAC second team pick.

Setzer, a senior outfielder that may see time behind the plate in 2018, had a monster year in 2017. He batted .415 with 102 hits, 18 home runs and 57 RBI. Smith, a senior outfield, batted .345 with eight homers, 36 RBI and 60 runs scored.

Shepherd, a sophomore pitcher posted an 8-0 record on the mound with a 3.49 ERA. He logged 67 innings and fanned 50. Bowden, a senior first baseman hit at a .355 clip with 11 home runs and a team-high 20 doubles.
 
The South Atlantic Conference baseball season gets underway on Thursday, Feb. 1. Catawba opens the season that same day, in Florida, against Nova Southeastern at 6 pm. The 2018 Pilot Flying J South Atlantic Conference Baseball Championship is scheduled for April 26-30 at Smokies Stadium in Kodak, Tenn.
 
2018 SAC Baseball Preseason Poll
1. Catawba (9), 99
2. Lincoln Memorial (1), 90
3. Newberry, 73
4. Tusculum, 72
5t. Carson-Newman, 58
5t. Mars Hill, 58
7. Wingate, 48
8. Coker, 40
9. Lenoir-Rhyne, 34
10. Anderson, 22
 
2018 SAC Baseball Preseason All-Conference
All-SAC First Team
OF – Luke Setzer, Catawba
OF – Logan Augustine, Lincoln Memorial
OF – Brett Brubaker, Mars Hill
1B – Timmy Wages, Lincoln Memorial
2B – Kyle Smith, Catawba
SS – Tyler Adams, Lincoln Memorial
3B – Brett Langhorne, Carson-Newman
C –   Matt Honeycutt, Mars Hill
DH – Ben Herring, Newberry
SP – Hunter Shepherd, Catawba
SP – Zac Brown, Mars Hill
SP – Evan Estridge, Newberry
RP – Griffin Hollifield, Coker
 
All-SAC Second Team
OF – William Thomas, Anderson
OF – Mason Ewers, Lincoln Memorial
OF – Ty Andrus, Wingate
1B – Chance Bowden, Catawba
2B – Daulton Martin, Tusculum
SS – Tyler Miller, Anderson
3B – Christian Stampler, Mars Hill
C –   Andrew Llewellyn, Wingate
DH – Bradley Brown, Wingate
SP – Jared Mathewson, Mars Hill
SP – Will Gardner, Carson-Newman
SP – Hunter Hamilton, Wingate
RP – Dominic Morabito, Lincoln Memorial


NCBWA Southeast Region Top 10 – Preseason (1/24/2018)
1. Mount Olive (3), 88
2. North Georgia (5), 86
3. Catawba (2), 84
4. UNC Pembroke, 62
5. USC Aiken, 54
6. Georgia College, 48
7. Belmont Abbey, 46
8. Lincoln Memorial, 39
9. North Greenville, 23
10. Columbus State, 10
Others Receiving Votes: Flagler (4), Tusculum (4), Newberry (2)

NCBWA Preseason All-Southeast Region Team
1st Team
C - Brandon Purcell, Georgia College
1B - Mason McClellan, Columbus State
2B - Kyle Smith, Catawba
3B – Cal Gentry, Georgia College
SS - Tyler Adams, Lincoln Memorial
OF - Nick Beinlich, Belmont Abbey
OF - Luke Setzer, Catawba
OF -  Logan Augustine, Lincoln Memorial
DH - Bill Leroy, North Georgia
UT - Ethan Crout, Flagler
SP - Daniel McCrary, North Georgia
SP - Tucker Burgess, North Greenville
SP - Hunter Shepherd, Catawba
RP - Griffin Hollifield, Coker

2nd Team
C - Brian Parreira, USC Aiken
1B - Drew Ellis, Mount Olive
2B - Daulton Martin, Tusculum
3B - Chase Allen, Limestone
SS - Zach Piazza, Limestone
OF - Logan Mattix, Georgia College
OF - Jose Bonilla, USC Aiken
OF - Roberto Rivera, UNC Pembroke
DH - Ben Herring, Newberry
UT - Jarratt Mobley, UNC Pembroke
SP - Anthony Burke, UNC Pembroke
SP - Steven Bower, North Georgia
SP - Michael Livingston, Young Harris
RP - Cole Hinnant, Francis Marion

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