RICHMOND, Va. – College of Charleston, which captured the CAA Baseball Championship and advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals in its first season as a league member, was a unanimous choice to repeat as champion in 2015 according to a vote of the league’s head baseball coaches.
The Cougars received all eight possible first-place votes (coaches can’t vote for their own team) and finished atop the poll with 64 points. Perennial power UNCW got the remaining first-place vote and was picked second with 52 points, while defending regular-season champion William & Mary was chosen third with 51 points. Conference newcomer Elon was the fourth-place choice with 43 points, followed by Northeastern (37 points) and Delaware (29 points). Hofstra and James Madison tied for seventh with 19 points and Towson garnered 10 points.
CofC posted a 44-19 record in 2014 and became just the fourth No. 4 seed to advance to the NCAA Super Regionals after sweeping through the Gainesville Regional with victories over SEC champion Florida and Long Beach State. The Cougars are ranked No. 25 in Collegiate Baseball’s preseason poll after finishing last year at No. 16. CofC returns its top two starting pitchers in sophomore Bailey Ober, who went 10-3 with a 1.52 ERA and earned NCBWA Freshman Pitcher of the Year honors, and junior Taylor Clarke, who was 10-4 with a 2.51 ERA and received second-team All-CAA accolades. The Cougars have six starters back, including second-team All-CAA third baseman Carl Wise (.295, 54 RBI’s), second baseman Blake Butler (.282, 48 R) and outfielder Morgan Phillips (.247, 14 doubles).
UNCW, which has won 30 or more games in 15 of the past 16 seasons, welcomes back five starters from last year’s 30-27 squad. Topping the list of returnees are senior first baseman Corey Dick (.315, 6 HR, 38 RBI), second-team All-CAA designated hitter Luke Dunlap (.305) and sophomore outfielder Casey Golden (.269, 35 R), who received Freshman All-America honors. Junior right-hander Ryan Foster (2-3, 3.47 ERA) is back on the mound along with senior Jordan Ramsey (2-4, 5.80 ERA) and junior Nick Monroe (1-4, 4.23 ERA).
William & Mary claimed its first CAA regular-season title in 2014 and has four starters returning from its 34-22 squad of a year ago. The Tribe features a pair of first-team All-CAA selections in junior catcher Ryan Hissey (.313, 8 HR, 39 RBI) and junior designated hitter Charley Gould (.333, 7 HR, 42 RBI), and CAA All-Rookie shortstop Tim Hoehn (.262, 33 RBI) is also back. On the mound, senior left-hander Jason Inghram (10-2, 2.71 ERA) is a two-time All-CAA selection, while junior closer Joseph Gaouette (3-1, 4 svs., 1.84 ERA) made the All-CAA first team in 2014.
Elon brings a tradition of success to the CAA, having won at least 30 games in 14 of the past 15 seasons. The Phoenix are led by senior infielder Casey Jones (.418, 7 HR, 53 RBI), who earned Southern Conference Player of the Year honors in 2014 and was selected to the Louisville Slugger Preseason All-America first team. Also back is sophomore third baseman Nick Zammarelli (.284, 22 RBI), who made the SoCon All-Rookie squad. Senior pitchers Lucas Bakker (7-3, 3.81 ERA) and Jake Stalzer (5-4, 3.97) will anchor Elon’s starting rotation.
The conference also announced its preseason all-conference team, with Elon’s Jones receiving preseason Player of the Year honors.
2015 CAA BASEBALL PRESEASON PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
- College of Charleston (8 first-place votes) 64
- UNCW (1 first-place vote) 52
- William & Mary 51
- Elon 43
- Northeastern 37
- Delaware 29
- Hofstra 19
James Madison 19
- Towson 10
2015 PRESEASON ALL-CAA BASEBALL TEAM
Player, School Pos. Cl. Hometown 2014 Stats
Ryan Hissey, William & Mary C Jr. West Chester, Pa. .313, 8 HR, 39 RBI
Corey Dick, UNCW 1B Sr. Albemarle, N.C. .315, 6 HR, 38 RBI
Zach Lopes, Delaware 2B Sr. Wilmington, Del. .320, 1 HR, 29 RBI
Chad Carroll, James Madison SS Jr. Oakton, Va. .389, 3 HR, 55 RBI (’13 stats/inj. ’14)
Carl Wise, College of Charleston 3B Jr. Lexington, S.C. .295, 3 HR, 54 RBI
Norm Donkin, Delaware OF Sr. Folsom, Pa. .316, 3 HR, 30 RBI
Joe Giacchino, Delaware OF Sr. West Chester, Pa. .314, 2 HR, 23 RBI
Casey Golden, UNCW OF So. Siler City, N.C. .269, 4 HR, 29 RBI
Kevin Husum, James Madison OF Sr. Panama City, Fla. .309, 0 HR, 20 RBI
Casey Jones, Elon UT Sr. Midlothian, Va. .418, 7 HR, 53 RBI
Charley Gould, William & Mary DH Jr. Lake Forest, Ill. .333, 7 HR, 42 RBI
Jason Inghram, William & Mary SP Sr. Chesapeake, Va. 10-2, 2.71 ERA, 91 K’s
Bailey Ober, College of Charleston SP So. Huntersville, N.C. 10-3, 1.52 ERA, 85 K’s
Joseph Gaouette, William & Mary RP Jr. Reston, Va. 3-1, 4 svs., 1.84 ERA, 54 K’s
CAA Preseason Player of the Year: Casey Jones, Elon
Honorable Mention: Rob Fonseca, 1B, Northeastern; Blake Butler, 2B, College of Charleston; Michael Foster, IF/RP, Northeastern; Peter Bowles, SS, Towson; Dalton Rouleau, SS, Hofstra; Morgan Phillips, OF, College of Charleston; Luke Dunlap, OF/DH, UNCW; Lucas Bakker, SP, Elon; Taylor Clarke, SP, College of Charleston; Dustin Hunt, SP, Northeastern