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2011 CBD Season Preview: Atlantic Sun

The 2010 Atlantic Sun regular season saw Florida Gulf Coast dominate the conference with a 25-5 conference mark as second place Mercer finished six games back with a 16-11 record. East Tennessee State finished a game behind the Bears with a 15-12 record. North Florida and Jacksonville finished tied for fourth place with a 14-12 record. Stetson rounded out the qualifiers for the Atlantic Sun postseason tournament with a 14-13 record. Belmont at 13-13, Kennesaw State at 12-15, Lipscomb at 9-17, and Campbell at 8-19 were on the outside looking in at the postseason tournament while USC-Upstate went 8-19 as they were not eligible for the A-Sun tournament as they are undergoing an NCAA Reclassifying period.

The postseason tournament was not kind to Florida Gulf Coast as they opened with a 9-4 victory over Stetson before dropping their next two games against North Florida 13-2 and East Tennessee State 12-10 to end their season. The Mercer Bears ended up going a perfect 4-0 to win the Atlantic Sun postseason tournament and advance to the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

The biggest story entering the 2011 season will be the battle between East Tennessee State’s Paul Hoilman and Mercer’s Jacob Tanis for the top player in the conference. Both players are expected to be mentioned as the best players in the country and we should see how each team does as they battle it out on the field.

Belmont (27-27 overall, 13-13 A-Sun)

Key Returnees
Jr. OF Dylan Craig (.382 BA, 3 HR, 36 RBI)
Sr. IF Derek Hamblen (.366 BA, 7 HR, 42 RBI)
Sr. RHP Jon Ivie (3-1, 10 saves, 3.93 ERA, .241 BAA)

Key Losses:
Packy Elkins (.327 BA, 15 HR, 32 RBI)
Mark Noth (.318 BA, 4 HR, 33 RBI)

Campbell (28-27 overall, 8-19 A-Sun)

Key Returnees
Sr. OF Cameron Nelson (.396 BA, 6 HR, 29 RBI, 15-18 SB)
Sr. INF Ellis Lowe (.382 BA, 3 HR, 47 RBI)
Jr. INF Josh Holskey (.356 BA, 6 HR, 37 RBI)
Jr. RHP Frank Zier (4-8, 5.61 ERA)

Key Losses:
Chris Bangi (.417 BA, 32 RBI, 26-31 SB)
Jeff Rydman (3-3, 4.59 ERA, 68.2 IP)
Logan Davis (6-3, 5.50 ERA, 90.0 IP)

East Tennessee State (32-28 overall, 15-12 A-Sun)

Key Returnees
Sr. IF Paul Hoilman (.421 BA, 25 HR, 84 RBI)
Jr. IF Bo Reeder (.357 BA, 20 HR, 61 RBI)
Sr. RHP Bo Burton (9-6, 5 SV, 4.22 ERA, 31 APP (4 Starts)

Key Losses:
Chas Byrne (.351 BA, HR, 31 RBI, 12-18 SB)

Florida Gulf Coast (38-20 overall, 25-5 A-Sun)

Key Returnees
Sr. IF Mikel Alvarez (.409 BA, 5 HR, 39 RBI, 11-13 SB)
Sr. IF Zach Maxfield (.366 BA, 11 HR, 59 RBI)
Sr. SS Stephern Wickens (.359 BA, 1 HR, 34 RBI, 18-22 SB)
Str. RHP Richie Erath (7-4, 4.42 ERA, .268 BAA)

Key Losses:
Chris Sale (11-0, 2.01 ERA)
Josh Chester (.344 BA, 3 HR, 57 RBI)

Jacksonville (27-29 overall, 14-12 A-Sun)

Key Returnees

So. OF Dan Gulbransen (.391 BA, 8 HR, 46 RBI)
So. 1B/OF Adam Brett Walker (.313 BA, 16 HR, 58 RBI)
Sr. RHP Chris Kaminski (5-5, 7 SV, 2.38 ERA, .236 BAA)

Key Losses
Alex Martinez (.333 BA, 9 HR, 51 RBI)
Jamaal Hawkins (.332 BA, 8 HR, 50 RBI)
Matt Loosen (3-4, SV, 5.88 ERA)

Kennesaw State (24-32 overall, 12-15 A-Sun)

Key Returnees
So. C Ronnie Freeman (.365 BA, 9 HR, 47 RBI)
R-SO IF Peyton Hart (.293 BA, 3 HR, 37 RBI)
Sr. RHP J.B. Johnson (5-2, 4 SV, 4.12 ERA, .255 ERA)

Key Losses
Josh Whitaker (.336 BA, 6 HR, 31 RBI)
Brad Long (4-4, 3 SV, 4.45 ERA)
Ryan Rodebaugh (4-6, 4.67 ERA, .281 BAA)

Lipscomb (19-36 overall, 9-17 A-Sun)

Key Returnees
So. OF Lee Wilson (.339 BA, HR, 28 RBI, 12-13 SB)
Sr. RHP Chad Fromm (2-6, 4 SV, 4.96 ERA, 4 SV)
Jr. M. L. Williams (.317 BA, 2 HR, 26 RBI, 19-22 SB)

Key Losses
Tyler Wilson (.331 BA, 6 HR, 39 RBI, 40-50 SB)
Ryan Wilkens (.319 BA, 10 HR, 49 RBI)

Mercer (38-24 overall, 16-11 A-Sun)

Key Returnees
Jr. 3b. Jacob Tanis (.388 BA, 22 HR, 88 RBI)
Jr. OF Billy Burns (.381 BA, 2 HR, 25 RBI, 30-34 RBI)
So. RHP Matt McCall (7-2, 4.79 ERA, .259 BAA)

Key Losses:
Michael Langley (.392 BA, 6 HR, 49 RBI)
David Teasley (6-1, 5 SV, 4.67 ERA, .244 BAA)

North Florida (30-28 overall, 14-12 A-Sun)

Key Returnees
Jr. Ath Andrew Karmeris (.382 BA, 10 HR, 47 RBI)
Sr. OF Michael Smith (.341 BA, 4 HR, 47 RBI)
Sr. RHP George Lott (7-3, 3 CG, 4.96 ERA)

Key Losses
Preston Hale (.391 BA, 12 HR, 63 RBI)
Justin Preckajlo (.350 BA, 17 HR, 41 RBI)
Michael Kelly (5-8, 4.65 ERA)

USC-Upstate (19-37 overall, 8-19 A-Sun)

Key Returnees
Jr. OF Tyler Cook (.315 BA, 4 HR, 34 RBI)
Jr. IF Austin Liput (.309 BA, 4 HR, 18 RBI)
Philip Brannon (4-7, SV, 5.28 ERA)

Key Losses
Jimmy Tanner (.364 BA, 6 HR, 38 RBI)
Matt Branham (6-3, 4.20 ERA)
Tyler Oliver (2-2, 6 SV, 5.24 ERA)

Stetson (27-31 overall, 14-13 A-Sun)

Key Returnees

Sr. OF Jeff Simpson (.398 BA, 28 RBI, 18-23 SB)
RS-Jr. Spencer Theisen (.373 BA, 3 HR, 43 RBI)
Lindsey Caughel (4-2, SV, 6.61 ERA)

Key Losses
Aaron Crittenden (.279 BA, 7 HR, 49 RBI)
Jacob deGrom (4-5, 2 SV, 4.48 ERA)

Projected Order of Finish

1. Mercer *
2. East Tennessee State
3. Florida Gulf Coast
4. Stetson
5. Belmont
6. Jacksonville
7. North Florida
8. Kennesaw State
9. Campbell
10. Lipscomb
11. USC-Upstate

*NCAA Tourney Team

Projected Player of the Year: Paul Hoilman, East Tennessee State
Projected Pitcher of the Year: Chris Kaminski, Jacksonville
Series to Watch: East Tennessee State at Mercer (May 19th-21st)