St. Mary's Baseball Predicted to Finish Ninth in CAC Preseason Poll

St. Mary's Baseball Predicted to Finish Ninth in CAC Preseason Poll

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

York, Pa. – The release of the 2017 Capital Athletic Conference Baseball Preseason Poll signals the start of a new era of St. Mary's College of Maryland baseball. St. Mary's was picked to finish ninth in this year's preseason vote among the conference head coaches.

2017 CAC Baseball Preseason Article

2017 CAC Baseball Preseason Webcast

2017 CAC Baseball Preseason Coaches Poll

1. Salisbury (6 first-place votes)

77 points

2. Frostburg State(1 first-place vote)

69 points

3. Marymount (2 first-place votes)

68 points

4. Christopher Newport (1 first-place vote)

61 points

5. Mary Washington

41 points

6. Penn State Harrisburg

39 points

7. Wesley

37 points

8. York

29 points

9. St. Mary's

16 points

10. Penn State Harrisburg

13 points

The 2017 CAC baseball season will likely feature another tight race for the conference crown, as evidenced by four CAC teams receiving first-place votes. Salisbury University, Frostburg State University, Marymount (Va.) University, and Christopher Newport University each received at least one first-place nod in the 2017 CAC Baseball Preseason Poll.

Salisbury is ranked in both the D3baseball.com and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper preseason national polls. The Sea Gulls are No. 24 in the D3baseball.com poll and No. 30 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll. Frostburg State is receiving votes in both polls, while CNU is also receiving votes from D3baseball.com. 

Overview
The Seahawks are under new management this season as first-year head coach Bernie Stratchko takes over the reins. Stratchko inherits a Seahawk program which missed the CAC playoffs the last two seasons.

He is no stranger to the conference as he spent the last five seasons at Frostburg State, helping the Bobcats to their first-ever NCAA Division III Mideast Regional title and made their first appearance in the NCAA Division III College World Series in 2015. FSU also captured a pair of CAC regular-season titles in 2015 and 2016 as well as the 2015 CAC tournament title.

This year's 30-man roster features 11 talented newcomers and nine seniors. Stratchko will look to the newcomers to provide depth at various positions while the seniors bring valuable experience and leadership.

Senior infielder Zach Rowe (Davidsonville, Md./Calvert Hall) returns as St. Mary's offensive leader after hitting .314 last year with 13 RBI and four doubles. Senior LHP Nick Raimondo (Davidsonville, Md./South River) paced the pitching staff in 2016 with four wins and a second-best 28 strikeouts in a third-best 46.0 innings pitched. 

2017 Seahawk Baseball Schedule
This year's 35-contest schedule features three teams who earned berths in the 2016 NCAA Division III Baseball Championship in Frostburg State, Randolph-Macon College, and Salisbury.

In addition, St. Mary's has the potential to face five nationally-ranked opponents during the season according to two national preseason polls. Randolph-Macon ranks eighth in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll while coming in 10th in the D3baseball.com/NCBWA poll. University of Mary Washington received votes in Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

The Seahawks will open up the new campaign on Saturday, February 11 when St. Mary's travels to Ashland, Virginia, to take on nationally-ranked Randolph-Macon in a doubleheader starting at 12:00 p.m.

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