CUA opens new slate this weekend, picked first in conference poll
WASHINGTON – The Cardinals have been selected as the 2013 Landmark Conference preseason favorites, after the preseason poll was announced on Thursday. CUA garnered 48 points and two first place votes in the poll, following a season in which it won 24 games and qualified for its fifth consecutive conference tournament.
CUA has won at least 20 games in five straight seasons, culminating with a 2011 trip to the NCAA Tournament.
The Cards return two All-Conference performers from a season ago in Marc Hanna and Andrew Carroll. Hanna hit .319 with 43 hits and 30 runs batted in, totaling 14 multi-hit games.
Carroll is CUA's top returning hurler, recording a 6-4 record in 2012, to go along with a 3.66 earned run average and 39 strikeouts.
In addition to Carroll, the Cardinals also bring back Robin Mowatt (12 appearances, 40.2 innings), Brian Cahill (6 appearances), Chris Nee (13 strikeouts in 14 appearances), Colin Kelly (1-0, 8 appearances), Rob Steinkopf (9 appearances), John D'Alessandro (3.38 ERA), and Kevin Farley (2-1, 12 appearances) to give Head Coach Ross Natoli a strong contingent of pitchers.
Hanna is joined by Dan Hinchcliff (.273, 22 runs scored), Kory Smigocki (21 assists, 19 putouts), Mark Kalokitis (.327, 35 hits, 25 RBI) Chris McCloud (73 putouts), Pat DeToro (.286), Wes Stonelake (.400, 12 hits), Brendan Breslin (.305, 32 hits, 17 runs), and Michael Parco (15 games) as veterans in the infield and outfield.
Natoli also welcomed in a large and skilled group of newcomers, many of whom will have a chance to contribute from the start.
The Cards also have a new-look coaching staff with former Cardinals Bobby Picardo, Bernie Dennis and Kevin Sweeney returning to Washington to assist Natoli.
Following CUA in the poll are Moravian, Scranton, USMMA, Drew, Susquehanna and Juniata.
CUA's 2013 season gets underway this weekend when the Cardinals welcome Randolph-Macon to Talbot Field on Saturday for a noon start.
2013 Landmark Conference Preseason Baseball Poll
School, Points (#first place votes)
1. Catholic, 48 (2)
2. Moravian, 45 (3)
3. Scranton, 36 (2)
4. USMMA, 31
5. Drew, 26
6. Susquehanna, 18
7. Juniata, 13