2010 CAA Preview

A new season of CAA baseball is already underway, with every team except James Madison and Northeastern having played thus far.

The conference had adopted a new playoff format as a way to cut costs, reducing the number of playoff teams from six to four, which is a shame since only two teams went into the final weekend last season having locked up playoff spots.

Here’s a brief rundown of the conference and pre-season teams, courtesy of the CAA

James Madison, which returns its entire starting lineup from a year ago, has been picked to win CAA baseball championship in 2010 according to a vote of the league’s head baseball coaches.

The Dukes received nine first-place votes and finished atop the poll with 99 points. Perennial power UNC Wilmington got the other two first-place votes and was picked second with 91 points. Defending CAA champion Georgia State was chosen third with 75 points and Old Dominion was fourth with 66 points. Delaware was tabbed to place fifth followed by George Mason, Towson and VCU (tied for seventh), Northeastern, William and Mary and Hofstra.

JMU welcomes back all eight everyday starters and 11 of its 13 pitchers from last year’s 30-24 squad. Among the returnees are five players who received All-CAA honors in 2009 – outfielders Matt Townsend (.390, 17 HR), Matt Browning (.376, 59 RBI) and Alex Foltz (.351), infielder/pitcher Trevor Knight (.377, 55 RBI) and second baseman Mike Fabiaschi (.328, 32 RBI). JMU also returns a pair of all-conference pitchers in junior starter Turner Phelps (8-2, 5.33 ERA) and junior closer Kevin Munson (3-3, 9 svs., 2.85 ERA).

UNCW returns all 14 members of its pitching staff and eight of nine everyday starters from last year’s 31-23 club. Leading the Seahawks’ mound corps are starters Daniel Cropper (5-2, 5.46 ERA) and Tyler McSwain (2-1, 3.80 ERA) and relievers Steven Davis (5-2), Stephen Harrold (4-1) and Bryan Booth (2-1, 6 svs.). Expected to lead UNCW offensively are junior catcher Cody Stanley (.332, 56 RBI) senior shortstop Mike Rooney (.341, 43 RBI), senior outfielder Grayson Evans (.314, 47 RBI) and senior infielder Robbie Monday (.277, 12 HR).

Georgia State is coming off the most successful season in school history with a 39-22 overall record and its first CAA championship. Topping a group of six returning everyday starters are senior first baseman Bradley Logan (.309, 49 RBI), who earned CAA Tournament Most Outstanding Performer honors, and infielders Carl Moniz (.261) and Brandon Williams (.310). The Panthers’ pitching staff should be strong with senior Ryan Moore (7-2, 4.41 ERA), junior Aidan Francis (5-1, 4.15 ERA) and sophomore closer Justin Malone (1-0, 7 svs, 1.35 ERA).

Old Dominion returns 19 of 24 lettermen from a year ago. The Monarchs will be led offensively by senior All-CAA third baseman Jake McAloose (.413, 44 RBI), junior outfielder Donnie Corsner (.323) and sophomore first baseman Josh Wright (.263, 49 RBI). Back on the mound for ODU are a pair CAA All-Rookie selections in Brett Harris (6-4, 4.95 ERA) and Ben Tomchick (5-3, 3.51 ERA) as well as senior Chris Boggs (5-2, 3.20 ERA).

2010 CAA BASEBALL PRESEASON PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

1. James Madison (9 first-place votes) 99
2. UNC Wilmington (2 first-place votes) 91
3. Georgia State 75
4. Old Dominion 66
5. Delaware 61
6. George Mason 54
7. Towson 42
VCU 42
9. Northeastern 40
10. William and Mary 24
11. Hofstra 11

James Madison junior infielder/pitcher Trevor Knight was selected as the 2010 CAA baseball preseason Player of the Year in voting by the league’s head coaches.

Knight batted .377 with 14 home runs and 55 RBI for the Dukes last season. He was also tied for the team lead with 60 runs scored and stole 15 bases in 18 attempts. The junior, who earned first-team All-CAA and second-team All-East Region honors, ranked among the top 10 in the CAA in batting average, hits, runs, home runs and total bases. Knight also posted a 3-2 record and a 4.32 ERA in 13 appearances on the mound.

Knight was one of five JMU players chosen to the preseason All-CAA baseball team. He was joined by junior shortstop David Herbek (.370, 54 RBI), senior outfielder Matt Browning (.376, 59 RBI), senior outfielder Matt Townsend (.390, 17 HR, 59 RBI) and junior relief pitcher Kevin Munson (3-3, 9 svs., 2.85 ERA).

George Mason, Georgia State and UNC Wilmington each had a pair of players selected to the squad. Representing the Patriots were senior second baseman Ryan Soares (.318, 42 RBI) and senior starting pitcher Kevin Crum (8-4, 4.64 ERA). Making the squad from the Panthers were senior first baseman Bradley Logan (.309, 49 RBI) and senior starting pitcher Ryan Moore (7-2, 4.41 ERA). Named to the team from the Seahawks were junior catcher Cody Stanley (.332, 56 RBI) and senior designated hitter Robbie Monday (.277, 12 HR, 37 RBI).

Rounding out the preseason All-CAA team were Old Dominion senior third baseman Jake McAloose (.413, 44 RBI) and Towson senior outfielder Kevin Collins (.335, 14 HR, 56 RBI).

2010 PRESEASON ALL-CAA BASEBALL TEAM

Player, School Pos. Cl. Hometown 2009 Stats
Cody Stanley, UNC Wilmington C Jr. Clinton, N.C. .332, 12 HR, 56 RBI
Bradley Logan, Georgia State 1B Sr. Augusta, Ga. .309, 10 HR, 49 RBI
Ryan Soares, George Mason 2B Sr. Harwich, Mass. .318, 11 HR, 42 RBI
David Herbek, James Madison SS Jr. Haymarket, Va. .370, 10 HR, 54 RBI, 18 SB
Jake McAloose, Old Dominion 3B Sr. Virginia Beach, Va. .413, 6 HR, 44 RBI
Matt Browning, James Madison OF Sr. Mystic, Conn. .376, 9 HR, 59 RBI
Kevin Collins, Towson OF Sr. Gaithersburg, Md. .335, 14 HR, 56 RBI
Matt Townsend, James Madison OF Sr. Lorton, Va. .390, 17 HR, 59 RBI
Trevor Knight, James Madison P/IF Jr. Charlottesville, Va. .377, 14 HR, 55 RBI/3-2, 4.32 ERA
Robbie Monday, UNC Wilmington DH Sr. Elkin, N.C. .277, 12 HR, 37 RBI
Kevin Crum, George Mason SP Sr. Haymarket, Va. 8-4, 4.64 ERA, 56 K’s
Ryan Moore, Georgia State SP Sr. Kennesaw, Ga. 7-2, 4.41 ERA, 64 K’s
Kevin Munson, James Madison RP Jr. Roanoke, Va. 3-3, 9 svs., 2.85 ERA

Honorable Mention: Chris Forsten, C, William and Mary; Ryan Cuneo, 1B, Delaware; Mike Fabiaschi, 2B, James Madison; Chris Wychock, 2B, Towson; Nick Natoli, SS, Towson; Mike Rooney, SS, UNC Wilmington; Carlos Alonso, 3B, Delaware; Grayson Evans, OF, UNC Wilmington; Austin Harclerode, 1B/OF, Towson; Shane Davis, DH, George Mason; Turner Phelps, SP, James Madison; Rich O’Donald, SP, Delaware; Stephen Harrold, RP, UNC Wilmington, Justin Malone, RP, Georgia State