MEAC Announces 2013 Baseball Preseason Predictions
The defending Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) tournament champion Bethune-Cookman Wildcats were predicted to win the 2013 southern divisional title while Delaware State was chosen to finish atop the northern division in the MEAC preseason poll, as voted on by the conference's head baseball coaches and sports information directors.
Delaware State's Ryan Haas was named Preseason Player of the Year, while Bethune-Cookman's Gabriel Hernandez earned Preseason Pitcher of the Year accolades for the second straight year.
Haas, the 2012 MEAC Player of the Year, led the MEAC with a .360 average (73-for-203). He also led the conference and was tied for 19th in the nation with 22 doubles. In addition, Haas was tied for second in the MEAC in hits (73), third in on-base percentage (.468) and fifth in slugging percentage (.483) during the 2012 season.
Hernandez posted a 6-3 win-loss record a year ago in 11 starts with 16 appearances on the mound. He was third on his team with a 2.92 ERA in 77.0 innings of play. The senior struck out 45 batters while walking 35 and posting an opposing batting average of .240. Against MEAC opponents, Hernandez was 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA in 47.2 innings.
Bethune-Cookman was a unanimous selection to win the southern divisional title. The Wildcats won their seventh consecutive MEAC crown and recorded an 18-5 mark in MEAC play last season. Bethune-Cookman led the MEAC in several categories including home runs (21), at bats (1,950), stolen bases (120), opposing batting average (.265), innings pitched (519.0) and batters retired (367).
Delaware State concluded the 2012 season with a 22-2 record in conference play. The Hornets were atop the MEAC in batting average (.306), slugging percentage (.387), runs scored (475) and hits (566). Haas helped lead Delaware State to the 2012 MEAC northern title and an appearance in the conference tournament championship game. The 2012 Hornets also tied a team record with 40 wins last season (40-17-1).
In the northern division, Norfolk State was selected to finish in second followed by Maryland Eastern Shore in third and Coppin State in fourth.
Joining Haas and Hernandez on the preseason team is Jordan Elliott (DSU), Jordan Dailey (B-CU), Todd Hagen (SSU), Luke Tendler (NCAT), Cameron Cecil (DSU), Troy Marrow (NCCU), David Lee (B-CU), Cameron Day (NSU), Luis Diaz (NCCU) and Eddie Sorondo (DSU).
The 2013 MEAC Baseball Championship tournament is scheduled for May 15-19, at the Marty L. Miller Field at Norfolk State University (Va.).