The Top 302 Teams of 2014

By Eric Sorenson. Posted on February 7th, 2014 in National stuff
 

S

Johnny Rosenblatt is my father. Annie Savoy is my mother. And I’m their bastard son.

 

Welcome StitchHeads.

 

Before we get to the business at hand, it bears noting that this is officially Year Six of this thing we call College Baseball Today dot com. Let’s give some kudos to Easton, the finest brand and the biggest fans of our sport, for letting me start this pirate ship of a college baseball site where we can have honest, critical discussion of our sport without having to cower to political correctness and formulaic writing.

 

This time around we’ve got 302 teams in Division 1 baseball to keep track of. And as you guys know it doesn’t really make sense to just rank the top 25 teams and leave out the 277 other teams who compete out there. So here is this year’s all-inclusive 302-team Power Ranking as I see it.

 

Here’s how the college baseball stars align in 2014

 

1- OREGON STATE (52-12, 24-6)

2013 ISR: 3

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Head coach Pat Casey got a gift when LHP Ben Wetzler (Phillies, 5th round) and reliever Scott Schultz (Marlins, 17th round) chose to return to campus. They’ll join weekend starters RHP Andrew Moore (14-2, 1.79) and LHP Jace Fry (5-3, 2.45 in 2012) as possibly the nation’s best pitching staff. The top four hitters return led by All Americans Michael Conforto (.328-11-47) and Dylan Davis (.335-5-61). Three incoming frosh were MLB draftees, plus I got to see C Logan Ice play in the 2012 Area Code Games. He’s legit.

When Ben Wetzler decided to return for another season in Corvallis, the Beavers' stock went way up... again.

When Ben Wetzler decided to return for another season in Corvallis, the Beavers’ stock went way up… again.

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2- SOUTH CAROLINA (49-20, 18-11)

2013 ISR: 14

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Folks, 2013 was an aberration. You see, the Gamecocks actually missed Omaha. Yikes! Their return is based on strength up the middle with C Grayson Greiner (.298-4-38), SS Joey Pankake (.311-11-42) and fleet CF Tanner English (.283), all three being All American types. Incoming RHP Wil Crowe (Cleveland’s 31st round pick) will bolster returnees Jordan Montgomery (6-1, 1.48) and Evan Beal (2-1, 4.78) on the hill.

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3- NORTH CAROLINA STATE (50-16, 19-10)

2013 ISR: 9

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

This team can go far on star-power alone. LHP Carlos Rodon (10-3, 2.99) and 3B Trea Turner (.368, 30SBs) could be the two top picks in this year’s MLB draft. Also, RHP Logan Jernigan (1-1, 1.56) and C Brett Austin (.251, 13SBs) aren’t far behind but need to live up to potential. The Pack stole 110 bases last year, which makes them fun to watch.

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4- INDIANA (49-16, 17-7)

2013 ISR: 12

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 6

Pick your jaw up off the floor, a Big 10 team is No. 4. And why not? IU finished last year in Omaha and got top-hitter Dustin DeMuth (.377-5-41) and RHP Ryan Halstead (11 saves) back after they were high MLB draftees last summer. All American power-jack Kyle Schwarber (.366-18-54) will catch for a staff which returns 40 wins and had a team ERA of 2.64.

Indiana will contend for the big brass ring again with the help of catcher Kyle Schwarber and 12-game winner Joey DeNato.

Indiana will contend for the big brass ring again with the help of catcher Kyle Schwarber and 12-game winner Joey DeNato.

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5- KANSAS STATE (45-19, 16-8)

2013 ISR: 16

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

C’mon. People are VASTLY underrating the Cats going into 2014. Five players who hit .324+ return, including SS Austin Fisher (.361) and two talents who turned down the MLB in 2B Ross Kivett (.360, 26SBs, 10th round draftee) and 1B Shane Conlon (.341-7-28, 21st round). Freshman All American Jake Matthys (9-2, 9 saves) leads a talented staff but coach Brad Hill is high on RHPs Nate Griep and Colton Kalmus, who both come off redshirt seasons.

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6- OREGON (48-16, 22-8)

2013 ISR: 8

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Pitch. Pitch. Pitch. That’s all these Ducks do. But great gosh-a-mighty, they do it well. Youthful weekend starters Cole Irvin (12-3, 2.48), Tommy Thorpe (7-5, 2.16) and Jake Reed (6-6, 3.50) are all a year older and better. Also watch for soph LHP Garrett Cleavinger (9-0, 1.24) and incoming LHP Matt Krook, the 35th overall pick of last June’s draft. Only hang-up? That .258 offense must improve as it was punchless at times last season.

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7- CAL STATE FULLERTON (51-10, 23-4)

2013 ISR: 2

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Okay sure, losing a planetary superstar like Michael Lorenzen and four other field starters isn’t easy. But the Titans were a deep squad in 2014, so plenty of serviceable talent is still around. Plus, nearly every pitcher of note returns, including Freshmen All Americans Thomas Eshelman (12-3, 1.48) and Justin Garza (12-0, 2.03). The 7th-ranked recruiting class features 10th overall draft pick RHP Phil Bickford.

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8- FLORIDA STATE (47-17, 20-10)

2013 ISR: 11

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

You know the Seminoles are top 10 material every year, so no surprise here. An embarrassment of riches on the mound with all three weekend starters back in Luke Weaver (7-2, 2.29), Brandon Leibrandt (10-4, 3.44) and Peter Miller (6-2, 3.55), plus All American RHP Mike Compton (12-2, 2.87 in ’12) returns after redshirting. DJ Stewart (.364-5-60) leads an offense capable of bettering that .287 average. Oh, and a dude named Jameis Winston will be the closer.

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9- CLEMSON (40-22, 18-12)

2013 ISR:

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 3

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

That putrid 1-7 finish still casts a pall over the Tigers. But they’ll have plenty of teeth this year with the duo of LHP Matthew Crownover (7-3, 2.19) and RHP Daniel Gossett (10-4, 2.56) back on the bump. Exciting and steady, the Tigers finished 15th nationally with 111 stolen bases (led by Shane Kennedy’s 22) and eight starters return from a defense that fielded at .972.

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10- LOUISIANA STATE (47-18, 19-11)

2013 ISR: 5

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Lots of senior leaders flew the coup after the trip to Omaha, but c’mon, it’s LSU. No freefall here. All Americans like staff ace Aaron Nola (12-1, 1.57) and SS Alex Bregman (.369-6-52) will keep them relevant in June. All seven of the returning pitchers have a 2.95 ERA or better and four of the five returning staters in the batting order hit .305 or higher. From the Don’t Forget About Dept.: RHP Joe Broussard, who was 4-1, 3.73, .234OBA in 2012 before sitting out 2013 and incoming Frosh Jared Poche, who coach Mainieri says could become Sunday starter.

Don't be shocked if Aaron Nola is back toeing the rubber at the Big Tiddy in downtown Omaha  again this June.

Don’t be shocked if Aaron Nola is back toeing the rubber at the Big Tiddy in downtown Omaha again this June.

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11- VIRGINIA (50-12, 22-8)

2013 ISR: 7

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Don’t make them angry. You won’t like them when they’re angry. Returnees like 1B Mike Papi (.381-7-57), SS Branden Cogswell (.346), 3B Nick Howard (.323-3-38), OF Brandon Downes (.316-10-59) and OF Derek Fisher (.293-7-48) are all linebacker-sized, making for the nation’s most intimidating 1-thru-9. Losing ace Scott Silverstein and closer Kyle Crockett is tough, but the nearly everyone else from the arms corps is back.

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12- VANDERBILT (54-12, 26-3)

2013 ISR: 4

Starters Returning: 2

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 6

Okay, so there were heavy losses for the Dores. Still, you could move this team into the Top 5 team if recent hyper-talented recruiting classes gel quickly. Only two starters return, but part-timers Chris Harvey (.250), Rhett Wiseman (.289) and Zander Wiel (.305) are potential studs. Kevin Ziiomek and Philip Pfeifer moved on, but RHPs Tyler Beede (14-1, 2.32) and Brian Miller (16 saves) will assure almost no dropoff.

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13- MISSISSIPPI STATE (51-20, 16-14)

2013 ISR: 10

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Anyone want to doubt these guys now? Didn’t think so. Sure, some losses here and there on the roster, but a pitching-heavy No. 2 ranked recruiting class will join CWS vets like Ross Mitchell (13-0, 1.53), Jacob Lindgren (4-3, 4.18) and Brandon Woodruff (former 5th round pick) to reload the mound staff. And don’t forget the two hulking wildmen; 1B Wes Rea (.291-7-40) and relief ace Jonathan Holder (21 saves). Their beards are itching to get back to Omaha: which is totally doable.

Dog Dynasty. The double whammy of 1B Wes Rea and RHP ___ will keep Mississippi State in national title contention again.

Dog Dynasty. The double whammy of 1B Wes Rea and RHP Jonathan Holder will keep Mississippi State in national title contention again.

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14- TCU (29-28, 12-12)

2013 ISR: 84

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

The wildly talented Frogs underachieved mightily in 2013 but will make amends with a junior-heavy team. Most of the 2.78 ERA arms staff is back, led by Preston Morrison (7-3, 1.51) and Alex Young (7-4, 2.66, 5 saves). The offense hit a boney-armed .246, so OFs Boomer White (.314), Cody Jones (.270) and Jerrick Suiter (.186) and 1B Kevin Cron (.208) all need to play to their sizable potential.

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15- FLORIDA (29-30, 14-16)

2013 ISR: 51

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 7

Look for a big Gator rebound. Although ace Jonathon Crawford and saves-man Johnny Magliozzi will be missed, 10 of the 13 pitchers return, including former 1st round pick Karsten Whitson (injured 2013). Three .300+ hitters are also back in Harrison Bader (.312), Justin Shafer (.300) and Richie Martin (.300). Coach Kevin O’Sullivan also brought in the No. 1 recruiting class, which features eight MLB draftees. So the rich get richer.

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16- UCLA (46-17, 21-9)

2013 ISR: 6

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

Don’t shed any tears for the winners of the big brass ring. The top four hitters are back lead by Eric Filia (.281), Kevin Kramer (.280) and stolen base specialist Brian Carroll (.258, 32SBs). Look for Grant Watson (9-3, 3.01) and Cody Poteet (4-6, 4.84) to blossom and All Americans David Berg (24 saves) and James Kaprelian (0-0, 1.55) lead the best bullpen in the country. SS Kevin Williams returns despite being drafted by the Marlins and incoming OF Luke Persico will be a stud.

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17- MIAMI (37-25, 14-16)

2013 ISR: 26

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

The Hurricanes could be on the rise again. Fifty-nine of 62 starts on the mound return, including stud lefties Chris Diaz (7-5, 1.64) and Bryan Radziewski (9-3, 1.78), who led a 3.38 ERA staff. But offensively, hitting .258 and 14 home runs won’t fly. The No. 4-ranked recruiting class comes in, led by four MLB draftees and strapping 6’6 1B Brad Zunica.

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18- NORTH CAROLINA (59-12, 21-7)

2013 ISR: 1

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Losing seven MLB draftees and having just four seniors, this is as close as it gets to “rebuilding” for the Heels. Super-sophs Landon Lassiter (.358), Skye Bolt (.321-6-51) and RHP Trent Thornton (12-1, 1.37) will be building blocks and RHP Benton Moss (8-1, 3.77) is an All American candidate. Freshmen like pitchers A.J. Bogucki and Chris Oakley and 1B Joe Dudek will be leaned on immediately.

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19- OKLAHOMA STATE (41-19, 13-10)

2013 ISR: 35

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Patience people, Josh Holliday is building a monster in Stillwater. The incoming class (ranked No. 5 nationally by Collegiate Baseabll) is described as being “better than great.” A trio of solid pitchers: Vince Wheeland (8-2, 1.97), Mark Robinette (6-1, 3.58) and Tyler Nurdin (5-3, 1.89), all showed flashes of greatness last season. The offense will need a jump-start, but leading hitter Tanner Krietemeier (.314-4-45) is a lead by example type.

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20- TEXAS (27-24, 7-17)

2013 ISR: 70

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

Well, well, well, look who’s back. Coach Augie Garrido needs to plant a flag this year and he’ll have the rotation of Dillon Peters (6-3, 1.97), Nathan Thornhill (3-6, 2.64) and Parker French (4-5, 2.68). Yes, the pitching pulled its weight, with a 2.63 ERA, but the offense?… oof! Mark Payton (.393) and CJ Hinojosa (.311) did their part but the team hit just .259 overall.

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21- CAL POLY (36-20, 16-8)

2013 ISR: 18

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Coach Larry Lee’s program benefitted big time when All Big West talents Reed Reilly (14 saves) and 3B Jimmy Allen (.300) turned down the MLB. Joining Allen on the infield is SS Peter Van Gansen (.253) and 1B Tim Wise (.308 in 2012) to enforce a strong defense. Pitching-wise, Matt Imhoff (7-3, 2.74), Casey Bloomquist (6-2, 5.02) and Bryan Granger (5-4, 5.37) combined for 40 starts.

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22- LOUISIANA (43-20, 19-11)

2013 ISR: 27

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Oh man, you’ve gotta love seeing the Cajuns getting some preseason pub this year. After going to the Regional finals, the Cajuns are ready for their closeup. Experience-heavy, the rotation of Austin Robichaux (9-2, 3.05), Ryan Wilson (6-4, 3.25) and Cody Boutte (8-4, 5.30) returns, along with closer Matt Hicks (11 saves). Also, six batters who hit .319+ come back to the order, led by SS Blake Trahan (.319, 13SBs), 3B Tyler Girouard (.360-7-41) and powerstick Caleb Adams (.339, 16HRs).

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23- ALABAMA (21-34, 9-21)

2013 ISR:

Starters Returning:

Weekend Starters:

Mid-Week Starters:

Key Relievers (15+inns.):

The Tide made the NCAAs despite being brutally young last year. Expect more consistency from super sophs SS Mikey White (.287), 2B Kyle Overstreet (.270) and CF Georgie Salem (.270), who are all outstanding gloves. Eight of the nine pitchers back have ERAs under 3.66, including ace LHP Spencer Turnbull (4-3, 3.70) and saves specialist Ray Castillo (12 saves), who is, of course, another sophomore.

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24- WASHINGTON STATE (23-32, 9-21)

2013 ISR: 111

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 6

The Cougars are loaded for Northwest noise as 95% of their innings pitched and 85% of their at-bats return. Olerud Award candidate Jason Monda (6th round, Phillies), RHP J.D. Leckenby (14th round, Mets) and SS Trace Tam Sing (25th round, Royals) return despite their draft overtures. As freshmen, 3B Nick Tanielu (.409 in 32 games) and 2BTrek Stemp (.331 in 42 games) were the best hitters on the team before being lost to mid-season injuries. They’ll also help improve that .962 fielding percentage.

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25- MERCER (43-18, 20-7)

2013 ISR: 52

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Oh Mercy Mercer! The uber-experienced Bears have five of six starters in the field and two of three weekend pitchers as returning seniors. (And you KNOW how coaches love four-year guys). RHPs Brandon Barker and DJ Johnson are four-year leaders and both went 7-2 last year. Junior bullpen stud Dimitri Kourtis went 5-3 with nine saves. Leadoff man Sasha Lagarde (.308), 3B Chesny Young (.401) and power-bat Nick Backlund (.326-13-68) pace a dangerous offense.

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26- LOUISVILLE (41-22, 18-9)

2013 ISR: 13

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 0

Mid-Week Starters: 3

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

2013 was a dream season for the Cards, going to No. 1 Vandy to win the Supers and going to Omaha. But all three starting pitchers moved on as did a lot of experienced spikes. But 100MPH pitcher Nick Burdi and a pair of Freshman All Americans in RHPs Anthony Kidston (5-0, 1.31, .152OBA) and Kyle Funkhouser (5-1, 2.14, .214OBA) will rebuild the arms corps. Senior OFs Cole Sturgeon (.339, 14SBs) and Jeff Gardner (.337-9-43) lead the offense.

I hope Cole Sturgeon doesn't give me a cross look for not putting UofL in the Top 25. I have a sinking feeling I'll be wrong about that.

I hope Cole Sturgeon doesn’t give me a cross look for not putting The ‘Ville inside the Top 25. For what it’s worth, I have a sinking feeling I’ll be wrong about that.

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27- ARIZONA STATE (36-20, 18-12)

2013 ISR: 15

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Give the Devils their due, they’ve “suffered” through 36 and 37-win seasons the last two years and are primed for a big move back to familiar environs. A couple of key difference-makers will lead ASU, especially Frosh All Americans in LHP Ryan Kellogg (11-1, 3.15) and RHP Ryan Burr (4-2, 2.20, 12svs, .141OBA) and also a pair of juniors in OF Trevor Allen (.298-9-50) and INF Drew Stankiewicz (.295-2-25).

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28- RICE (44-20, 15-9)

2013 ISR: 20

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Shame on me. I really shouldn’t have the Owls this far down. Besides, they have a lot more coming back this year than they did going into 2013. Jordan Stephens (8-4, 2.43) and Zech Lemond (7-2, 2.02, 14svs) are a pair of All American righties who can tear it up. Five of the top six sticks return, led by Shane Hoelscher (.320), Michael Aquino (.315-9-43) and Ford Stainback (.295). Keep an eye on stoutly-built two-way talent Andrew Dunlap, a 33rd round draft pick who can run it up to 95 on the mound and has a powerful swing. RHP Trevor Teykl is a 6’7 intimidator who spent two years at Texas and could play a big role.

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29- NORTH CAROLINA-WILMINGTON (38-23, 18-8)

2013 ISR: 61

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (20+inns.): 4

The Seahawks hope to avoid another 6-12 finish like they did last year – including an 0-2 CAA tournament and 1-2 Charlotteville Regional. The batting order is still in good shape with Ryan LaGrange (.370-5-38) and Luke Dunlap (.346-6-40) giving opposing pitchers the heebie-jeebies. Nearly every pitcher of note comes back, including all-Name Teamers Mat Batts (9-4, 3.47) and Blaze Tart (3-4, 4.50).

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30- UC SANTA BARBARA (35-25, 17-10)

2013 ISR: 32

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Lots to like here Gaucho fans. All three weekend starters return, led by Austin Pettibone, who went 10-3, 2.98, and relief ace Dylan Hecht (0-2, 1.83, 9svs). The top five hitters all come back, including 1B Tyler Kuresa (.298-5-46), who returned despite getting drafted in the 14th round of the MLB draft. Also watch for frosh INF Brody Weiss who was drafted in the 22nd round, but chose – smartly – to come to the seaside campus with all those pretty girls.

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31- STANFORD (32-22, 16-14)

2013 ISR: 28

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

It’s bizarre to think that a team with Mark Appel, Austin Wilson, Brian Ragira and Lonnie Kauppala did NOT make it to the Regionals. Still a lot of talent is on hand, including 3B Alex Blandino (.268-7-32), C Brant Whiting (.344) and RHP AJ Vanegas, a former 7th round draftee back for his senior year. Incoming class is studly, led by RHP Cal Quantrill (26th round), OF Jack Klein (32nd round) and strapping 6’9 RHP Chris Viall (39th round).

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32- MISSISSIPPI (38-24, 15-15)

2013 ISR: 21

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Well, names like Wahl, Mayers, Huber, Bailey… they’re all gone now. But that No. 3-ranked class from 2011 is ready to emerge, so look for the Rebels to make some noise. RHP Sam Smith (3-1, 3.41), RHP Josh Laxer (2-0, 3.21) and OF Will Jamison (.281) will lead the charge. Imagine if RHP Hawtin Buchanan (19th round pick, 8.1inns pitched in ’13) and INF Sikes Orvis (19th round pick, hit .237) reach potential?

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33- ARIZONA (34-21, 15-15)

2013 ISR: 34

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

Like rival ASU above, look for the Desert Cats to have a bounce back season. Trent Gilbert (.344-5-39) and Kevin Newman (.336, 12SBs) are two of four .300+ hitters back at cavernous Hi Corbett Field. All American candidates like Mathew Troupe (6-0, 3.29, 9svs) and James Farris (5-5, 4.18) lead the arms corps. Three incoming frosh were MLB draftees in RHP Morgan Earman (21st round), INF Will Calhoun (18th round) and OF Kenny Meimerstorf (40th round).

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34- TEXAS A&M (34-29, 13-16)

2013 ISR: 40

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 6

Holy Blue Bell ice cream! This team may have lost a Pineda. Or a Reynolds. Or a Martin. But other than those big names, everyone of note returns for 2014. Coach Ray Childress has a good M.O.: play the dudes that bring ya’. Cole Lankford (.352-3-40) and Krey Bratsen (.280-6-21, 18SBs) lead an offense that should improve its .270 team average. Two huge studs return to the mound in RHPs Parker Ray (2-1, 1.73, .213OBA) and Daniel Mengden (8-4, 2.11, .201OBA).

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35- CONNECTICUT (35-28, 9-15 Big East)

2013 ISR: 107

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

This is a team that really put it all together in their last 10 games, including winning the Big East tournament and beating host Virginia Tech in the Regionals. Although coach Jim Penders must say goodbye to leaders like LJ Mazzilli and Billy Ferriter, there is a ton coming back from last year’s Regional team. Ace Carson Cross (9-4, 2.44) returns after being drafted in the 20th round by the Pirates.

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36- WESTERN CAROLINA (39-20, 23-7)

2013 ISR: 50

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 6

A lot went right for the Catamounts in 2013, including their 10th 30+ win season since 2000 and a school record 23 SoCon wins. WCU led the NCAA with 71HRs and four .300+ hitters return including SS Aaron Attaway (.363-12-54, 12SBs), 1B Jacob Hoyle (.310-11-52) and C Adam Martin (.286-8-36, top prospect Northwoods League). RHPs Jeremy Null (9-2, 3.46, .97ks) and Jordan Smith (7-3, 3.73) lead a deep staff.

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37- OKLAHOMA (43-21, 13-11)

2013 ISR: 24

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

In the rooster-tail that Sunny Gollaway left in going to Auburn, Pete Hughes comes in from Virginia Tech and must roll up his sleeves immediately. Top arms Jonathan Gray and Dillon Overton and top hitters Matt Oberste and Max White have left. But this is OU, so though there is some rebuilding to do, the Sooners won’t be down for long. Frosh RHP Alec Hansen (25th round pick with 94mph heat) and OF Cody Thomas (30th round, Yankees) will help.

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38- FLORIDA ATLANTIC (32-22, 19-8)

2013 ISR: 33

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

That Regional Final loss to North Carolina was one of the most inspiring David-vs-Goliath performances in NCAAs history. Lots of guts returns from that squad as the two most-used hurlers return in LHP Austin Gomber (8-4, 2.97) and RHP Jeremy Strawn (5-3, 3.46). Also, Frosh All American Brendon Sanger (.347-3-28) and Tyler Rocklein (.281-10-49), and incoming frosh MLB draft dodgers RHP David McKay (30th round, Mets) and LHP Sean Labsan (17th round, Rangers) will play huge roles.

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39- GEORGIA TECH (37-27, 15-15)

2013 ISR: 22

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Aye. Could be a “rebuilding” season in Hotlanta. Six players were drafted off last year’s squad including names like Zane Evans, Buck Farmer, Kyle Wren, Daniel Palka and Brandon Thomas. Legendary names to say the least. SS Mott Hyde (. 260-6-32) should emerge for some post-season awards. Head coach Danny Hall is just 38 wins shy of 1,100 in his career.

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40- ARKANSAS (39-22. 18-11)

2013 ISR: 25

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 0

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Lets call the REAL Hogs, coz there were times last year when they didn’t seem like national contenders. Some challenges ahead as the Razorbacks lost all three weekend starters and ace reliever Colby Suggs. But lots of talented arms abound, especially former 5th round draftee Colin Poche (3-0, 1.59) and LHP Jalen Beeks (6-2, 2.20). Brady Anderson (.325-4-36), Joe Serrano (.295) and Tyler Spoon (.288-4-49) must help improve that .260 team average.

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41- SAN FRANCISCO (35-24, 15-9)

2013 ISR: 36

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Nino Giarratano’s charges were one of the bigger success stories of 2013. Still plenty of star-power around, especially in 1st round draftee-to-be OF Bradley Zimmer (.320-7-37, 20SBs) and his partners in crime 1B Zachary Turner (.333-8-62) and OF Derek Atkinson (.304-2-19). RHP Abe Bobb (5-6, 3.70) and LHP Christian Cecilio (3-3, 3.96) return as weekenders and soph LHP Thomas Cox (1-1, 1.42) could join them. LHP Ben Graff (2-1, 1.42, 25apps) will back them.

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42- SAM HOUSTON STATE (38-22, 20-7)

2013 ISR: 44

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Won regular season title and also pulled an at-large bid to the NCAAs. Not bad. Returning weekend starters Andrew Godail (5-4, 3.10, .233OBA) and Tyler Eppler (5-2, 3.41, .249OBA) both had a better ERA than ace Caleb Smith last season. Strapping fireballer Jason Simms (3-1, 2.74, 9svs) and Alan Scott (2-1, 1.16, 20apps) are back to lock down late leads. Offensively, four .300+ hitters return in addition to powerstick Luke Plucheck (.298-9-43, 11SBs).

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43- NEW MEXICO (37-22, 25-5)

2013 ISR: 43

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Well, the Ray Birmingham effect is starting to really set in. The Lobos got an at-large bid to the Big Dance last season, their third straight bid. But to get a fourth, it will take some gumption, especially after losing All Americans like DJ Peterson, Mitch Garver and Luke Campbell. But Josh Walker (11-1, 3.66, 7svs) will move to weekend rotation along with Drew Bridges (3-1, 4.46), who is back to 100%. Coach B calls his arms staff “the best since I’ve been here.”

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44- SAN DIEGO (37-25, 15-9)

2013 ISR: 31

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Oof! USD lost All-Worlders like Kris Bryant, Michael Wagner and Dylan Covey. But coach Rich Hill loves the leadership of C Connor Joe (.319-7-43) and middle infielders Andrew Daniel (.265-4-24) and Austin Bailey (.301-2-28). Two of the better two-way players are CF/LHP Louie Lechich (.265/3-3, 3.24) and Cal State Northridge transfer Josh Goossen-Brown (.280 & 9svs). Also watch for INF Kyle Holder, the JC Player of the Year, who could hit leadoff.

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45- SOUTH ALABAMA (43-20, 20-10)

2013 ISR: 23

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (20+inns.): 6

Well this could be THE season to test the mettle of head coach Mark Calvi and his staff after taking on lots of losses throughout the roster. But there are some bright spots, especially two-way threat Jordan Patterson (.352-4-49 and 0-0, 1.84, 13apps) will be joined in the batting order by OF Cole Billingsley (.302) and on the mound he will back up weekenders LHP Jacob Noble (5-3, 3.70) and RHP Matt Bell (6-2, 3.70, .239OBA). Reliever Dylan Stamey (5-2, 2.17, 4svs) will also figure huge.

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46- UC IRVINE (33-22, 15-12)

2013 ISR: 29

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

There’s a lot of star power on hand for the Anteaters as All Big West RHP Andrew Morales (10-0, 1.89), Big West batting champ 1B Connor Spencer (.373) and Big West Player of the Year 3B Taylor Sparks (.360-10-50) are all back on the roster. Veteran arms Jimmy Litchfield (6-3 2.92, 90apps) and Evan Brock (10-7, 2.90, 57apps) are back for their senior seasons. A smattering of key role players is all the ‘Eaters seem to need for a big post-season run.

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47- AUSTIN PEAY (40-24, 19-7)

2013 ISR: 37

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

For the second year in a row the Governors will have a host of new hurlers. They do return LHP Zach Hall (8-2, 4.60) and RHP Kacy Kemmer (6-0, 3.31, 34apps), both seniors, but more quality arms will need to be cultivated. The top four hitters who all hit .343 or better have moved on. OF Rolando Gautier (.329-3-30) and Dylan Riner (.322) are both four-year guys, but they’ll get some help from newbies like SS Logan Gray (25th round, Royals) and 3B Ridge Smith (29th round, Indians)

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48- NEBRASKA (29-30, 15-9)

2013 ISR: 66

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

NU was so close to an NCAA bid. Curses! Lots to like about here though as the return of LHPs Aaron Bummer (3-1, 2.50), Kyle Kubat (5-0, 1.81) and RHPs Christian DeLeon (7-4, 3.21) and saves ace Josh Roeder (0-3, 1.74, 6svs) will carry huge weight. RHP Derek Burkamper (20th round pick, Red Sox) and OF Ryan Boldt, (22nd round pick of the Red Sox) are the cornerstone pieces of the 10th-ranked recruiting class that Darin Erstad brought in. (Yes, 10th ranked people).

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49- MARYLAND (30-25, 11-19)

2013 ISR: 53

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 6

Four of the top five hitters come back to the batting order, led by Charlie White (.350) and Kyle Convissar (.325). A full 42 of the 55 starts come back on the mound from a year ago, including the versatile Kevin Mooney (3-2, 2.18, 9svs). Be it good or bad, there are only five seniors on the roster.

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50- COASTAL CAROLINA (37-23, 18-6)

2013 ISR: 59

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Aw dang! The Chanticleers just plain ran out of steam at the end of last season, going 13-11 from Tax Day onward. But this IS a Gary Gilmore-coached team, they’ll be back. LHP Ben Smith (5-4, 2.23) had some hit-and-miss starts down the stretch, but when he’s on, he’s an All American type. RHP Seth Lamando (5-4, 3.43) was named a Frosh All American last season. The entire starting infield returns led by the double-play duo of SS Nick Oberg (.260) and 2B Jake Kane (.287).

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51- ILLINOIS (35-20, 14-10)

2013 ISR: 46

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

From last year’s Regional team, the Parr brothers are gone, as is ace Kevin Johnson. But don’t shed too many tears for the Illini because the rest of the soph-heavy arms corps returns and all had great summers. They feature weekend starters in LHP Kevin Duchene (9-1, 2.79) and RHP Joh Kravetz (5-3, 4.27). Keep an eye on incoming SS Ryne Roper, the Illinois state player of the year and brother of current Illini Reid, who hit .266-3-22 and had five saves on the mound.

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52- VIRGINIA TECH (40-22, 15-14)

2013 ISR: 17

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 1

Holy Magillicuddy! I’m not sure anyone lost more from last year than the Gobblers. The mass exodus includes three of their top four hitters, which represented 30 of their 55 home runs. Most of the marketable pitching has flown the coop as well. Oh, and head coach Pete Hughes took off for Oklahoma.  But C Mark Zagunis (.341-9-51) and two-way talent Sean Keselica (.307-5-31 & 2-1, 4.55) are valuable holdovers.

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53- CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE (31-26, 15-12)

2013 ISR: 57

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

Head coach Greg Moore comes to the Valley after being an assistant at USF and will lead a Matador program that made great strides last season. Note the No. 57 ISR ranking. Now 2014 could be even better with lots of arms back, including weekend starters Jerry Keel (7-3, 2.59), Clavin Copping (5-5, 3.90) and John Salas (4-6, 3.49). They’ll throw to an All Big West candidate in backstop Alex Mercado (.275).

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54- WICHITA STATE (39-28, 15-6)

2013 ISR: 92

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

The biggest news is legendary Gene Stephenson has retired and Todd Butler, the former ace recruiter at Arkansas. Good hire. And good night nurse! Nearly the entire squad comes back to campus for 2014. OF Garrett Bayliff (.379, 11SBs), UTL Tyler Baker (.328-4-46) and powerstick Casey Gillaspie (.299-11-46) lead the offense. The only arm missing is saves leader Brandon Peterson (10svs).

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55- UNLV (37-20, 18-12)

2013 ISR: 42

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

Coach Tim Chambers and Co. made waves early last year by sweeping Stanford in Palo Alto, then going on to a 37-win campaign. The .307 team average should get even better in 2014 with four .300+ hitters returning, led by Patrick Armstrong (.373-7-40) and 3B T.J. White (.335, 12SBs). Getting RHP Eric Fedde (former 24th round draftee, 7-3, 3.92), RHP John Richy (7-5, 4.33) and relievers RHP Kenny Oakley (4-2, 3.21) and LHP Brayden Torres (0-0, 3.00, 20apps) is a huge boo to the arms corps, but quality depth will need to be fostered.

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56- PEPPERDINE (36-23, 16-8)

2013 ISR: 63

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

The Waves bonded on a trip to Taiwan back in November, playing a series of games vs. Taiwan national teams. Look for former 17th round draft pick Aaron Brown (6-3, 4.95 in 12 starts) to get a tad more use at the dish (.280-3-27 in limited action) and fellow weekender Corey Miller (5-5, 2.71, .245OBA) and RHP Jackson McClelland (2-1, 1.50, .239OBA) to keep the arms stout. Kolten Yamaguchi (.315-4-18) and OF Bryan Langlois (.278-6-24) to lead the offense.

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57- CALIFORNIA (23-31, 10-20)

2013 ISR: 81

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 6

This may be one of the more experienced teams in the country as there are familiar names all throughout the roster. Remember 2011 CWS veterans like 1B Devon Rodriguez (.277-7-40), OF Vince Bruno (redshirt in 2013, All Pac 10 in 2011), LHP Kyle Porter (1-1, 3.55 in 2013, Freshman All American in 2011) and UTL Michael Theofanopoulos (.286 in 2011) and Derek Campbell (started at 2B in the 2011 CWS)?

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58- AUBURN (33-23, 13-17)

2013 ISR: 45

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 7

The Plainsmen get a jolt to the program with the arrival of Sunny Galloway taking the reigns. He’ll have a ton of experience coming back to campus including Jordan Ebert (.303-4-22), Damek Tomscha (.274-7-26) and Ryan Tella (.260-3-37, 15SBs). LHP Michael O’Neal (8-4, 2.73, .223OBA) and RHP Terrance Dedrick (1-1, 3.02, 10svs) lead a deep arms staff, especially in the relief corps which sported six arms with sub-3.99 ERAs.

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59- KENTUCKY (30-25, 11-19)

2013 ISR: 48

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Last year, the Wildcat coaches claimed they had a Top 10 team on their hands. This year there are no promises like that, which is probably a good thing. You’d have to think that if All American candidates AJ Reed (.280-13-52), CF Austin Cousino (.249-6-27, 14SBs) and RHP Chandler Shepherd (5-0, 2.77, 26apps) just play to potential, they’ll have a 40+ win season. That, and the team batting average of .255 must improve.

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60- CREIGHTON (30-18, 13-8 in the MVC)

2013 ISR: 67

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

The Bluejays have to be saying “WTF?” as this conference shakeup has benefitted every sport BUT the baseball team. They’ll move forward with four of the top five hitters back, led by two-way threat Jake Peter (.350 & 2-1, 3.07, 6svs) and power-hitter Mike Gerber (.328-5-31). All American candidate Tommy Strunc (7-3, 4.14) and RHP Bryan Sova (1-2, 2.34, 4svs) will be ready to deal.

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61- HOUSTON (36-22, 13-11 in Conference USA)

2013 ISR: 60

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

How about that Todd Whiting? The youthful head coach got his charges to go from 18 wins in 2012 to 36 wins last season. They should stalk that amount again this year with nearly the entire batting order back, led by Justin Montemayor (.329-3-27) and Frankie Ratcliff (.300, 8triples). Pitching coach Frank Anderson will have his work cut out for him with the large amount of attrition, but RHP Aaron Garza (5-5, 3.88) and saves ace Chase Wellbrook (0-1, 3.40, 11svs) are still around. Also keep an eye on 1B Casey Grayson, who hit. .289 in 2012 and returns after a year off for injury.

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62- SETON HALL (37-19, 18-6)

2013 ISR: 54

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

This team probably deserved an at-large bid last season, especially with all the positive comments I got from opposing coaches about them. Too bad too, because this year’s squad will be vastly inexperienced as the Pirates rebuild. RHP Josh Prevost (5-2, 3.24) and Josh Lopez (3-3, 3.40) will continue the recent trend of wicked-tough pitching. Power and speed come in the form of 1B Sal Annunziata (.319-7-38) ad OF Chris Selden (.320, 18SBs).

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63- NOTRE DAME (34-24, 10-14 Big East)

2013 ISR: 68

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

I’m still not convinced the Golden Domers didn’t deserve an at-large bid last season. But okay Irish, now it’s time to put on your big boy pants, ACC style. Newbies like C Ryan Lidge (40th round, Red Sox) and 2B Cavan Biggio (29th round, Phillies) are going to play huge roles. Also watch for OF/RHP Robert Youngdahl, a former K-State Wildcat who should contribute immediately. Still, lots of holes to fill here.

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64- BAYLOR (27-28, 12-11)

2013 ISR: 72

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

The Bears struggled uncharacteristically last season. But getting Dillon Newman (3-4, 2.91) to return after getting drafted in the 16th round last June and he’ll team with RHP Austin Stone (3-3, 3.74) to get some weekend Ws. Also, picking up OF Darryn Sheppard (24th round, Rangers) and RHP Josh Pettitte (37th round, Yankees) signals the Bears are still a force.

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65- LONG BEACH STATE (29-27, 15-12)

2013 ISR: 47

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Vanderbilt, UCLA, Arizona State, UCI, Wichita State, Arizona, Indiana and Fullerton. The field of eight for Omaha? Nope, just another example of a rigorous non-conference slate for The Beach. Ace Jake Stassi (4-4, 3.32) and top bat Michael Hill (.336) both return. Better yet, RHP Kyle Friedrichs (10svs) and OF Johnny Bekakis (.290) who both were All Big West in 2012, come back after missing last year.

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66- WILLIAM & MARY (39-24, 17-10)

2013 ISR: 69

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

This team made many waves last season, including eliminating Ole Miss in the post-season. All American candidates in 1B/3B Michael Katz (.358-5-47) and 2B Ryan Lindemuth (.351-4-49) will lead a potent offense. Also, OF Kevin Nutter, who hit .321 in 2012, returns after sitting out most of last year.

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67- UT-SAN ANTIONIO (35-25, 15-11 in the WAC)

2013 ISR: 85

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

The Roadrunners had a hell of a sprint to the finish last season, sweeping LaTech and NMSU on the last two weekends, winning the WAC tourney and then pushing Oregon State and Texas A&M in the Regionals. They could make huge waves in CUSA as a whole mess of experience returns, headed by R.J. Perucki (.350-12-48)and Mike Warren (.318-3-29) a pair of potent sticks. Look for the team ERA to improve from the 4.35 of last season.

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68- THE CITADEL (35-25, 18-12)

2013 ISR: 79

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 7

Losing top hitter Joe Jackson (5th round MLB draftee) and top pitcher Austin Pritcher (19th round) is about all that the Bulldogs will lose from last season. But only five returnees had an ERA under 5.00. Starter Logan Cribb (4-3, 3.60) and closer Skylar Hunter (3-4, 5.35, 13svs) will need to bear down. Hughston Armstrong (.379, 18SBs) will set the table for powerstrokes Tyler Griffin (.314-12-52) and Bo Thompson (.299-14-52).

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69- WASHINGTON (24-32, 15-15)

2013 ISR: 75

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Finally. The long-awaited, long-promised Husky Ballpark is here. And what a gem too. Coach Lindsay Meggs admits it will “be tough for our first year guys to get on the field” with all that’s coming back. Seniors Trevor Dunlap (4-3, 2.16, 6svs) and Zach Wright (4-5, 3.21) were the two most-effective pitchers returning. In the batting order, top bat Andrew Ely (.338) is the only one who hit .300+.

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70- MISSOURI STATE (31-23, 12-9)

2013 ISR: 117

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

At one point in 2013 the Bears were 11-4 and in 2nd place in the Valley, then they got swept at home to Wichita State which led to a 4-12 finish.OF Tate Matheny was the MVC Frosh of the Year after hitting .336-4-26. The pitch staff welcomes back RHP Clay Murphy, who went 5-1, 1.37 before sitting out 2013. LHPs Matt Hall (5-3, 2.50) and Tyler Burgess (3-1, 2.93, 3svs) are versatile arms.

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71- MICHIGAN (29-27, 14-10)

2013 ISR: 138

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Coach Erik Bakich was right, “a bunch of pissed-off Wolverines” turned the program around last year. Could be even more this year as 55 of the 56 starts on the mound come back, as does two-way talent Jacob Cronenworth (.320, 12SBs & 0-3, 1.93, 7svs). Plus, the future is sparkling for the Maize & Blue as the 20th-ranked recruiting class comes to campus.

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72- LOYOLA MARYMOUNT (24-27, 12-12)

2013 ISR: 76

Starters Returning: 3

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Wowza. Despite the sub-.500 mark, the Lions owned wins over UCLA, Oregon, Oklahoma State and Fullerton. The best pitching staff in the WCC will have Colin Welmon (5-4, 2.30), Patrick McGrath (5-2, 2.43) and Trevor Megill (3-3, 2.72) to form an imposing rotation. Behind them, LHP Brandon Horth (1-0, 3.13) and Bret Dahlson (2-4, 3.58) combined for 43 appearances and 11 saves. 1B/DH Tommy Cheek (.305) is the lone returning threat.

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73- LIBERTY (36-29, 13-11)

2013 ISR: 77

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 7

A historic 2013 season saw the Flames win the Big South, go to the Regional finals and christened new Liberty Stadium, an impressive on-campus facility. Some holes to fill, but having two-way All American  Ashton Perritt (.343-6-17 & 3-2, 2.09, 10svs) is a big help, as is wins leader Trey Lambert (8-3, 3.54).

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74- EAST CAROLINA (31-26, 14-10)

2013 ISR: 100

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Aye! We’re just not used to seeing the Pirates being “ordinary” but here we are. The road back starts with two-way threat Drew Reynolds, who led the team with a .322 average at the plate and 14 saves on the mound. Also watch RHP Jeff Hoffman (6-7, 3.20), who was named the “Top Prospect” in the prestigious Cape Cod League and has a 98mph heater. A great recruiting class comes in, led by MLB draftees LHP Luke Bolka (34th round, Reds) and 1B/OF Bryce Harman (27th round, Nats)

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75- MICHIGAN STATE (33-17, 12-9)

2013 ISR: 56

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

C/1B Blaise Salter (.343-5-35), OF Cam Gibson (.325, 12SBs) and OF Jimmy Pickens (.303-9-42) lead a potent order. Some pitching needs to step forward, but getting back lefties Jeff Kinley (6-5, 2.47 in 2012) and Anthony Misiewicz (5-1, 1.60, No. 1 pitching prospect in Great Lakes League) will help.

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76- KANSAS (34-25, 12-12)

2013 ISR: 80

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

You can never count out Ritch Price, as he brought his Jayhawks to significance in quick fashion 2013. Even better, a junior-senior laden squad this year could be just what the Jayhawks needed. RHP Frank Duncan (39th round) returns for his senior year and teams with LHP Wes Benjamin (4-6, 4.40) and reliever Jordan Piche’ (6-4, 1.68, 12svs) as anchors to build around. OF Michael Suiter (.309, 17SBs) will be a sparkplug for the offense.

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77- WEST  VIRGINIA (33-26, 13-11)

2013 ISR: 89

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

From 22 wins in their last Big East season to 33 last year, not bad guys. And there must be something good going on in Morgantown as Randy Mazey was able to keep four MLB draftees around for this coming season. Staff ace Harrison Musgrave (9-1, 2.17, 33rd round, Phillies), Air Force transfer RHP Sean Carley (34th round, Padres), power-hitter Ryan McBroom (.270-12-48) and incoming frosh RHP Dimitri Casas (38th round, Phillies) will push WVU into contention.

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78- SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (20-36, 10-20)

2013 ISR: 104

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 7

This could be the year Dan Hubbs & Co. make a move. The top three hitters are gone from last year but OF Omar Cotto, a former 12th round draftee who sat out most of 2013, looked great in the fall and could be a huge firestarter. And look at how much pitching returns. Gah! These guys are stocked. The big question is: Can you imagine if LHP Kyle Twomey (2-8, 5.55), a 3rd round draftee in 2012, lives up to billing this year?

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79- DALLAS BAPTIST (30-30, 13-14 in the WAC)

2013 ISR: 135

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Here come the Baptists. Dan Heefner brings his competitive program to the Valley and they should excel. Two pitchers who seem like they’ve been around 10 years are starters Cody Beam (5-1, 4.57) and Cy Sneed (4-4, 4.48), who could both post better numbers. Twelve Patriots started 26 or more games last year, so there is a lot of experience back.

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80- FLORIDA GULF COAST (37-20, 19-8)

2013 ISR: 62

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

There is a lot of pitching to replace, which is always a dicey situation going into a season. But 3B/RHP Zack Tillery (.300 & 4-1, 3.98) is a great two-way talent and will team with RHP Michael Murray (5-1, 2.93) on the mound. OF Michael Suchy (.314-9-46) and 3B/DH Nick Rivera (.287-8-34), who was a Freshman All American, add plenty of punch to the offense. SS Alex Diaz is one of the better sweepers in the country, but needs to improve that .212 batting average.

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81- TEXAS TECH (26-30, 9-15)

2013 ISR: 102

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Ole Double-T could be back… or at least on the road to getting there. Lots of talent returns, but the offense must hit better than .259, odd for a team playing in the wind tunnel known as Lubbock. Frosh LHP Ty Damron (13th round pick) and RHP Ryan Moseley (36th round) will plug holes in the arms staff. The double play combo of SS Tim Proudfoot (.233-3-34) and 2B Bryant Burleson (.275) helped set the school-record of 68 twin-killings last season.

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82- BRIGHAM YOUNG (32-21, 15-9)

2013 ISR: 39

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

Arrrgh! If only the selection committee used the more accurate ISR rankings! No. 39. Coogs owned wins over LSU and Arizona State and owned series wins over Peppersdine and USF. Lots of losses throughout the roster, but 3/4ths of the infield returns from a unit that had a .970 defense. 1B Brock Whitney (.293-3-35) and DH Bret Lopez (.281-4-25) will pace the O. Desmond Poulson (7-2, 3.24) and Jeff Barker (6-3, 3.67) are weekend returnees on the hill.

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83- WAKE FOREST (28-27, 9-20)

2013 ISR: 71

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

The Deacs lost a strong senior class from last season and will have fight on with a bevy of youth. Though if anyone can “fight” it’s coach Tom Walter and his crew. He’ll have the combo of Evan Stephen (.358, 15SBs) and 1B Matt Conway (.335) to lead the Wake up call from the offensive side. Also, the famous Kevin Jordan (.184) is back and better than ever and incoming INF Will Craig was a 37th round pick of the Royals.

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84- ILLINOIS STATE (39-19, 16-5)

2013 ISR: 78

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

This season is where coach Mark Kingston’s outstanding recruiting of late will be put to the test. Losses all over the roster, but ISU has redshirted 13 of the players on the roster. Getting a big horse like Jr. RHP Dan Savas (10-0, 1.79) and saves leader Jeremy Rhoades (2-1, 1.54, 7svs) is a good start. Five hitters who went .298 or better have moved on. Brock Stewart (.330-3-34) will have to lead by example.

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85- TROY (42-20, 20-10)

2013 ISR: 38

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

What could have been better for the Trojans? They got an at-large bid to the NCAAs then were able to eliminate their big brother Crimson Tide in Tallahassee. Beauty. Lots of losses this time around, particularly in the order where five .300+ hitters have hit the bricks. Tyler Vaughn (.327, 10SBs) is left to rebuild the sticks. But seniors Shane McCain (9-1, 3.48, .226OBA) and Tanner Hicks (8-4, 3.61, .233OBA) return to weekend duty. The bullpen must be rebuilt.

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86- GONZAGA (32-21-1, 18-6)

2013 ISR: 55

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

An untimely seven game losing streak ended the Zags chance at an NCAA bid, despite winning the WCC regular season title. The painful part is All American Marco Gonzalez and Tyler Olson are both gone from the mound corps. Only OF cory LeBrun (.308-2-34) hit .300+, but INF Caleb Wood (.291-3-26, 12SBs) will help salvage the offense. LHP Derek Calahan (2-2, 4.26) and RHP Kenny Smith (4-0, 4.50) will pick up the pieces on the mound.

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87- TENNESSEE TECH (40-17, 24-6)

2013 ISR: 95

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Great story here. The Eagles nearly doubled their win total from 2012 and won the OVC last year.Things should continue upwardly as four .300-plus hitters come back, including seniors Daniel Miles (.337-12-53), 1B Zach Stevens (.336-15-71) and SS/2B Zach Zarzour (.300, 14SBs). Closer extraordinaire Seth Lucio, a diminutive fireballer, posted 12 saves and had a 1.82 ERA. RHP David Hess (7-2, 3.84) is a versatile arm as well.

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88- NORTH FLORIDA (40-19, 18-9)

2013 ISR: 62

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 0

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Ole Smoke is getting it done in J-Ville, but he’ll have a big task ahead of him for 2014. The A-Sun’s best offense (.316) will still be potent with five .307+ htters back, led by Donnie Dewees (.347-5-47) and Ryan Roberson (.342-6-41). The pitching was the best in the conference as well, but was decimated as 50 of 59 starts have moved on. But having hulking 6’6″ RHP Bryan Baker, a Pirates draftee last June, will help.

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89- ST. LOUIS (41-21, 17-7)

2013 ISR: 96

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Two straight years of A-10 titles led to last year’s watershed Big Dance appearance and 41 wins. A-10 Player of the Year Mike Vigliarolo (.341-8-42) leads a capable offense and eight-game winners Clay Smith (8-3, 3.77) and Nick Bates (8-4, 4.18) and intimidating reliever Matt Eckelman (6-1, 1.64, 4svs) keys what should once again be a good arms staff.

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90- SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA (39-21, 20-13)

2013 ISR: 88

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Sadly, the uber-successful Jay Artigues left for the AD’s office at SLU, so youthful assistant Matt Riser takes over. Only RHP Tate Scioneaux (7-3, 3.72) returns from weekend duty, but three huge lockdowners in the ‘pen come back in righties Mason Klotz (3-0, 2.63, 11svs), Dylan Hills (3-1, 3.34, 7svs) and John Gremillion (0-0, 3.56, 2svs). The offense hit just .263 and only Jameson Fisher (.315-3-27) is a .300+ hitter, so the order will have to put on their big-boy pants.

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91- BRYANT (45-18, 27-5)

2013 ISR: 86

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

The string of 30+ win seasons keeps climbing, even going over the 40-win mark last year. Expect BU to dominate the NEC again. OF Carl Anderson (.341-2-49, 20SBs) and OF Jordan Mountford (.317-3-22, 16SBs) lead a bastion of returnees from an offense that hit .288 and stole 97 bases. RHPs Kevin Mcavoy (7-3, 3.83) and Craig Schlitter (10-4, 2.58) are great building blocks to reform the arms corps around.

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92- DUKE (26-29, 9-21)

2013 ISR: 93

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

This could be THE year the Dookies bust through as nearly the entire team returns and coach Chris Pollard’s comfort level should be better in year two. Andy Perez (.316-4-25, 18SBs) is a great spark and has played all four infield positions. The defense was a stoic .971 but needs to be more clutch since they had only 26 double plays. LHP Trent Swart (4-4, 2.75) and reliever Andrew Istler (3-6, 4.10, 8svs) make a good double-whammy.

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93- LAMAR (39-20, 15-12)

2013 ISR: 65

Starters Returning: 2

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 7

Goodness. The Cards went from just 22 wins in 2012 to 39 wins a year ago. They started out 19-3, but finished the month of May just 6-10. Only two return to the order, but they’re difference-makers in Sam Bumpers (.339-4-40) and Jude Vidrine (.295-3-26, 12 sac hits). LHP David Carver (5-3, 5.74) and Lance Warren (3-2, 2.39, .204OBA) have a deep bullpen coming back. Seven different pitchers had saves last year.

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94- SOUTHERN MISS (30-27, 15-9)

2013 ISR: 99

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

A lot of familiar names are still around, like juniors OF Mason Robbins (.317), 3B/RHP Brad Roney (.250-3-20 and 1-0, 5.93, 7svs) and RHP Connor Fisk (4-3, 3.23). Also watch for backstop extraordinaire Austin Roussel (.330), who did not commit an error last year. Two draft darlings to watch for are INF/OF Connor Barron, who was a former 3rd round draft pick and is primed to blossom in his junior year and JC transfer RHP Christian Talley, who spurned the Rays as their 26th round pick last June.

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95- APPALACHIAN STATE (30-24, 13-14)

2013 ISR: 106

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Good God! Not sure any mid-major will have a tougher non-conference slate than the Mountaineers, opening at Arkansas, then at NC State, at UNC and at Clemson among others. Three seniors will lead the offense in DH Noah Holmes (.296-5-27), 3B William Head (.288, 27SBs) and OF Preston Troutman (.260-4-27).

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96- MEMPHIS (0-0, 14-10 in Conference USA)

2013 ISR: 82

Starters Returning: 9

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Ack! Lots of fielders but just 18 of the Tigers’ 59 starts on the mound return, as aces Sam Moll and Erik Schoenrock were huge losses, along with saves ace Jonathan Van Eaton. LHP Alex Gunn (3-4, 3.11) and relievers Conner Porter (1-1, 3.38, 2svs) and Heith Hatfield (4-2, 3.56, 2svs) will have to be the rebuilding stanchions.SS Ethan Gross (.230, 13SBs) and 3B Drew Griffin (.304, 12SBs) have good gloves and enough speed to crank the offense.

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97- SACRAMENTO STATE (34-25, 14-13)

2013 ISR: 101

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 1

The pitching may be a little thin, but there is star power with Brennan Leitao (8-3, 2.77) and Frosh All American RHP Sutter McLoughlin (1-3, 2.11, 17svs) both back. Also watch for former Rockies draft pick RHP Justin Dillon, who sat out 2013 with an injury. Losing power strokes Andrew Ayers and Justin Higley will hurt, but the Hornets return Chris Lewis (.349-4-46), Nathan Lukes (.315) and Rhys Hoskins, who hit .353 in 2012, but dipped to .283 in 2013.

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98- UTAH (21-31, 7-23)

2013 ISR: 112

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

There is experience galore on this year’s Utes squad as 10 players who started 27 or more games last year come back to the roster. None of the returnees hit better than .287, so some bearing down needs to be done. Lots and lots of rubber-toe’ers come back too. Senior relievers in LHP Nick Green (0-2, 2.17, 2svs), RHP Luke West (4-2, 2.75, 2svs) and Josh Chapman (3-2, 2.84, 2svs) combined for 66 appearances and will bolster a good ‘pen.

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99- DARTMOUTH (32-9, 15-5)

2013 ISR: 90

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 0

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Dang! The Big Green spent part of last season actually in at-large range for the post-season. But losing a pair to Columbia in the Ivy Championship ruined one of the best teams in recent years from going to the Big Dance. Nearly all the fielders come back (including the infield which played at a .979 fielding percentage), but 32 of the 41 starts on the mound are gone. Look for the return of 2B/SS Thomas Roulis, who hit .391 but had a short season due to injury.

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100- CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD (37-22, 18-9)

2013 ISR: 64

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 0

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

With coach Bill Kernen, you knew it wouldn’t take long. Their first conference title came last year, CSUB’s first in the WAC. But – and this is a big but – this season will really test the mettle of the former NYC playwright, as many many holes exist. Former weekend starter Taylor Aikenhead (5-2, 3.11, 5svs) was used mostly in relief. Infielders Oscar Sanay (.362) and Mylz Jones (.333) are a pair of All American candidates and should keep that .974 fielding percentage stout.

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101- PITTSBURGH (42-17, 18-6 Big East)

2013 ISR: 58

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Holy mackerel. This will be a tough chore for the Panther Nine. At least they’ll be ready at the dish, where five .305-plus hitters come back, led by powersticks Casey Roche (.339-9-65) and Steven Shelinsky (.311-12-54). Rhys Aldenhoven (8-1, 2.76) and Matt Wotherspoon (9-3, 3.70) are a good Sat-Sun. combo, giving the Panthers a chance for ACC wins each time out.

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102- COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON (31-26, 18-11 in the SoCon)

2013 ISR: 98

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

The Cougars will move from the Southern Conference to the Colonial in 2014. They’ve been competitive to say the least, with last year’s 31 wins being the least in a season since 2003. The top five hitters return, led by Gunnar Heidt (.349, 7triples, 14SBs) and Carl Wise (.321-10-30), but a lot of work to do in the arms corps though, which doesn’t bode well.

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103- MINNESOTA (32-22, 13-8)

2013 ISR: 94

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Try to act surprised, but despite some attrition from the mound crew, pitching will be the strength of the Gophers with Alec Crawford (4-2, 2.28) and Ben Meyer (5-4, 2.80) forging ahead. But there are many holes to fill elsewhere. This could count – dare I say – as a “rebuilding season” for The U. But don’t worry, it’s not like coach John Anderson hasn’t seen his share of those in his long career.

The all-new Seibert Field at Minnesota. Ready to go in 2014.

The all-new Seibert Field at Minnesota. Ready to go in 2014.

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104- UC RIVERSIDE (22-32, 9-15)

2013 ISR: 123

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

This will be a senior-heavy team, particularly in the pitching department, led by lefty starters Dylan Stuart (3-9, 4.86) and Ben Doucette (3-7, 4.98). Also watch for RHP Jacob Smigelski, who had just six starts before ending the 2013 season to injury. Smig was then selected by the Pirates in the June MLB draft but decided to return to campus. Four of the seven returning starters hit .313 or better, led by David Andriese (.335).

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105- OHIO STATE (35-23, 15-)

2013 ISR: 73

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 0

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Bucks take on major losses from 2013. On the plus side, they have two of the biggest difference-makers in college baseball in reliever Trace Dempsey (3-0, 1.02, 17svs) and the return of two-way All American Josh Desze (.318 & 5-4, 4.18, 13svs), who had to sit out last season with an injury.

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106- CANISIUS (42-17, 15-9)

2013 ISR: 110

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

You can say this about Mike McRae’s charges, they know how to clutch up when they need to, having gone 11-3 in one-run games last year, including two of them coming in the MAAC tournament on their way to the NCAA bid. The Griffins have 12 players back who made 23 or more starts last season, led by top bat Jimmy Luppens (.360-5-48), Conner Panas (.321) and Jesse Kelso (.292-4-39, 12SBs). The arms corps will miss 11-game winner Garret Cortright.

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107- TEXAS STATE (29-29, 16-11 in the WAC)

2013 ISR: 113

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 6

A piece o’ crap 5-13 start soured last season, so they must avoid another cold start. Pitching should be a strength as RHPs Taylor Black (3-7, 4.43) and Scott Grist (5-2, 4.56) will be backed by bullpenners Donnie Hart (1-1, 2.13, .209OBA), Hunter Lemke (2-3, 2.28, 8svs, .227OBA), Lucas Humpal (5-2, 3.30) and Austen Williams (1-3, 3.41, .216OBA). The top four hitters also return in Cody Lovejoy (.337) and Austin O’Neal (.322-3-26).

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108- GEORGIA (21-32, 7-20)

2013 iSR: 121

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 6

One of the better off-season hires had to be Scott Stricklin coming over from Kent State. It will be interesting to see what he can do with one of the plum jobs in the country. He’ll have the comfort of getting RHP Sean McLaughlin (5-6, 3.28) and LHP Patrick Bolling (3-7, 4.17) and also five of the returning relievers sported an ERA of 3.53 and below, led by RHP Dylan Cole (0-0, 1.96, 4svs, 20apps) and LHP Jarrett Brown (0-0, 2.89, 3svs, 26apps).

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109- JACKSONVILLE STATE (32-26, 22-8)

2013 ISR: 142

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

The Gamecocks had very little returning last year but still won 32 games and finished in 3rd place in the OVC. Just think what they’ll do now with a stacked roster? This will be a senior-dominated team, including all three weekend mound starters. Junior RHP Travis Stout is a diminutive dynamo, going 3-0, 1.42 with 17 saves last year. Griff Gordon (.341-2-40) and Michael Bishop (.340-4-26, 20SBs) lead the bats.

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110- TENNESSEE  (22-30, 8-20)

2013 RPI: 114

Starters Returning: 9

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

C’mon people. You KNOW Dave Serrano is building something here. The recruiting is getting there and so is the effort, now it’s time for the Vols to cash in. Every position in the field and the batting order is back, led by 1B Scott Price (.361), 3B Will Maddox (.333, 22SBs) and OF Christian Stewart (.310-3-27). The rotation lost a bit but most of the bullpen is back and coach’s son, Kyle Serrano, a RHP, has been lighting up the radar guns to the mid-90s.

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111- BELMONT (38-20, 22-8)

2013 ISR: 97

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

So thats 38-39-and-38 wins the last three seasons. Not bad Bruins. This year, they’ll have 11-game winner Dan Ludwig (11-2, 3.83) and RHP Austin Coley (6-0, 3.32) to lean on, along with 14-game starter James Buckelew, who was 7-1, 2.45 in 2012 before dipping to 5-4, 6.36 last year. The offense will be led by Alec Diamond (.351) and OF Drew Ferguson (.295-4-25, 42BBs). Watch for INF Tyler Walsh, who was a 15th round draftee of the Orioles but chose to come to campus instead.

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112- RADFORD (30-26, 14-10)

2013 ISR: 136

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 8

This could be a team to watch in the Big South. A full 428 of the Highlanders’ 501 innings pitched last season return for 2014. The Costello Boys – Wins leader Tyler (7-4, 4.02) and saves-leader Michael (2-3, 3.16, 9svs) lead a deep, experienced staff. The defense was a solid .974 last season and will be a strength again.

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113- ELON (34-30, 18-11)

2013 ISR: 79

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 0

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

A lot of good and a lot of bad for the Phoenix. Twelve players made 25 or more starts last year and eight of them return, led by top hitter Sebastian Gomez (.323-3-42, 11SBs). But the bad news is that very little pitching coming back. Which means the mound work could be a dicey situation. Look for incoming OF Nick Zammarelli, a 28th round draft pick of the Red Sox.

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114- TEXAS-ARLINGTON (31-27, 18-9 in the WAC)

2013 ISR: 124

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

A pair of All American candidates leads the Mavs in seniors Matt Shortall (.362-8-54) and staff ace Brad Vachon (7-4, 3.18, 218OBA). The top three pitchers in Vachon, and versatile starters/relievers Daniel Millman (4-3, 3.62, 3svs) and Chase Weaver (4-1, 3.92, 1sv) are back, but they are the only three pitchers with a sub-5.00 ERA returning. The defense fielded .972 and has 4/5ths of the infield back.

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115- MISSOURI (18-32, 10-20)

2013 ISR: 140

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

There is still a lot of work for coach Tim Jamieson and Co., but the best news is that the facilities upgrade coach J told me was desperately needed is underway. Lots of experience back in the order, but none of the returnees hit better than .287. Watch for spot starters/ relievers Jace James (3-2, 2.79, Royals draftee last June) and Alec Rash (2-1, 4.55, former 2nd round draft pick), they could become big time studs.

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116- OLD DOMINION (30-24, 15-12 in the CAA)

2013 ISR: 126

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Last year was a total rebuilding project but the Monarchs won 30 games and finished No. 126 in ISR. Not bad. Whaddya’ got for an encore guys? Well the best news is that all three weekend starting pitchers are now seniors in Andy Roberts (5-3, 2.92), Dean Ali (4-3, 3.02) and Ryan Yarbrough (4-4, 3.27). Elsewhere, there is a lot of experience returning, but not very good numbers.

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117- GEORGIA STATE (35-21, 14-13 in the CAA)

2013 ISR: 120

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

A new league for the Panthers as they mosey over from the CAA for this season. They’ll bring a rock-solid double play duo in SS Chad Prain (.394-4-48, 15SBs) and 2B Greg Bowder (.349). They also get 3B Caden Bailey (.353) to improve that .960 D. Nearly every pitcher of note comes back with the top dogs being LHP Andrew Fessler (6-2, 3.04, .227OBA) and two-way threat Matt Rose, who hit .283-4-32 and was 3-2, 2.55 with five saves on the bump.

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118- TOWSON (30-30, 14-13)

2013 ISR: 128

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 6

Wow. A full nine of the top ten hitters return to wreak havoc in the batting order, six of whom are seniors and six of whom hit .300 or better. That’s good stuff, StitchHeads. OFs Dominic Fratantuono (.342-8-53) and Kurt Wertz (.338-13-65) provide a lot of pop and some leadership. On the mound, lots of returnees, but only LHP Kyle Paul (3-4, 3.19, 20apps) had a sub-4.00 ERA, so there is some work to be done by the returning bullpenners.

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119- FURMAN (32-25, 14-16)

2013 ISR: 116

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns): 4

A slight “breakthrough” last year saw the Paladins earn their first winning season since 2008. Dual threat Alex Abrams (.335-6-35 & 5-1, 2.43) is an All American candidate. Infielders like 2B Jordan Simpson (.317), SS Hunter Burton (.288) and 3B Chris Ohmstede (.291-14-49) will keep the offense humming and improve the .962 defense. RHP Elliott Warford (6-0, 3.63 in ’12, 2-5, 6.04 in ’13) needs to get back to Frosh form.

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120- STETSON (26-31, 15-12)

2013 ISR: 186

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Loaded for a comeback, look for the Hatters to make a rush at the A-Sun title once again. Two way threat Kurt Schluter (5-3, 5.45 & .275) returns after missing 2013. Expect the defense to stay stout as hree-fourths of the infield dirtbaggers return, led by Frosh All Americans 1B Patrick Mazeika (.382) and 2B Kevin Fagan (.280).

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121- CAMPBELL (49-10, 19-5)

2013 ISR: 30

Starters Returning: 2

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

This is another program which probably deserved the benefit of the doubt at received an NCAA at-large bid. I mean, 49 wins? That’s like Utah Valley in 2012. Like the Wolverines, the season-after will be a major rebuilding gig. RHP Heath Bowers (9-0, 1.69) and LHP Hector Cedano (8-2, 2.50) will be the building blocks for the new staff. OF Clayton Brown hit .427 in part-time duty and 3B Elijah Trail hit only .250, but had seven yard calls and 51 RBI last season.

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122- MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE (28-28, 11-19 in the Sun Belt)

2013 ISR: 109

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Dang me! These dudes  may have finished at .500 but they beat Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Auburn, College of Charleston and swept Louisiana. OF Ryan Stephens (.329) and 1B Trent Miller (.296-8-50) will lead the offense, but will miss having the double-play combo of Ryan Ford and Johnny Thomas. Incoming LHP Brandon Zajac was a 23rd round pick of the Giants but chose to come to campus.

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123- GARDNER-WEBB (29-27, 12-11)

2013 ISR: 153

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

For the second year in a row the Bulldogs have all three weekend starters and both mid-week starters on the mound coming back. RHPs Matt Fraudin (8-5, 2.88, 96Ks) and Andrew Barnett (5-3, 3.14, 93Ks) are All-Big South talents, but the pitching corps needs to find a stud shutdown closer.

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124- EAST TENNESSEE STATE (36-24, 17-10)

2013 ISR: 105

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

Shhhh, don’t tell anyone but Clinton Freeman (.335-10-57 & 7-1, 3.04, 8svs) could be the best two-way player in the country with good pop in his bat and a bulldog mentality on the mound. Also OFs Dylan Tritsch (.324, 21SBs) and Jeremy Taylor (.275, 20SBs) are big thieves that will get the offense on the fast track.

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125- St. JOHN’s (23-35, 10-14)

2013 ISR: 175

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 7

Pitching rich. Get this, all seven of the bullpenners were freshman last season. So another year of seasoning should mean the Johnnies are stocked in the pitching department. Ryan Horstman (6-6, 2.33) and RHP James Lomangino (2-6, 3.79, 85Ks) will be aces and have Thomas Hackimer (0-1, 3.19, 8svs) to back them. Leading the batting corps, OF Zach Lauricella (320-4-40) should be one of the most exciting players in the conference.

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126- TULANE (30-28, 11-13)

2013 ISR: 115

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 0

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

With the amount of returnees, last year was s’posed to be a big season. But the Greenies faceplanted, playing middle-of-the-road baseball. Mound studs like Alex Byo, Tony Rizzotti and David Napoli, all sub-3.00 ERAs, have moved on and the infield needs to be totally retooled. Saves stud Ian Gibaut (2-2, 2.66, 12svs) and 10-game starter Randy LeBlanc (4-4, 4.60) will need to be big time.

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127- COLUMBIA (28-21, 16-4)

2013 ISR: 137

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

As good as I thought Dartmouth was last year, it was still a kick in the ass to see Columbia win the Ivy League title on their home field last May. The Lions’ pitch staff led the Ivies with 357 Ks on the year and 266 of those return, led by aces David Speer (6-3, 2.34) and Joey Donino (7-0, 2.86). RHPs Kevin Roy (3-1, 1.91) and Zack Tax (4-1, 1.96) lead the bullpen. Replacing All-Everything Alex Black (led the team in hitting and saves) will be tough.

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128- NORTHEASTERN (31-26, 12-15)

2013 ISR: 130

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

As usual, when the Huskies return a good portion of their notorious pitching staff, it bodes well. That’s what NU has going here. The 3.89 team ERA will be bolstered by Nick Berger (6-6, 3.56) and Matt Cook (3-1, 3.83). Also, 1B Rob Fonseca (.309-6-40) is a big stick and Michael Foster (.282-5-38, 13SBs and 2-1, 2.65, 4svs) is a great dual-threat.

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129- BUFFALO (33-24, 19-7)

2013 ISR: 161

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

Yes, you read correctly. The Bulls won 33 games, finishing 2nd in the East Division of the MAC. Great year. And it could get even better in 2014. Other than top hitter Jason Kanzler and saves ace River McWilliams, every other player of note returns. The pitch staff had a 3.72 ERA and gets all three weekend starters back, plus LHP Ben Hartz (6-1, 2.01).

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130- FRESNO STATE (23-33, 14-16)

2013 ISR: 160

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

Like a solar eclipse, the rare losing season occurred in the Valley. But ace Derick Velazquez (4-2, 4.40), Blake Quinn (3-3, 3.02) and Jordan Brink (4-4, 3.92) all return after doing most of the weekend work on the hill, even though six different hurlers had seven or more starts. Home Run Derby champion Aaron Judge has hit the road, but Chris Mariscal (.300-2-21) and Kevin vireos (.251-4-23) will pick up the pieces.

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131- XAVIER (32-26, 16-8 in the A10)

2013 ISR: 134

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

This is a program used to success, having strung together six straight winning seasons in conference play. But the move from the A-10 to the Big East will be a big challenge. 1B Joe Forney (.313) and Selby Chidemo (.311) have solid sticks and speed to put some runs on the board. LHP Alex Westrick (3-3, 2.79) is solid and the pitching staff gets Adam Hall back after he went 2-1, 2.70, 2svs in 2012 but sat out last season.

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132- KENT STATE (36-23, 20-7)

2013 ISR: 103

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 0

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 6

All three weekend starters are gone but the entire bullpen returns, including RHP Eric Dorsch (1-2, 4.03), who was a 21st round draftee of the Reds, and LHP Brian Clark (1-2, 1.93, 8svs). Three of the top four hitters also return in Alex Miklos (.330-5-28, 20SBs), Sawyer Polen (.321) and T.J. Sutton (.311), all vets from the 2012 CWS team. The recruiting class is outstanding, including two draft dodgers in LHP Eric Lauer (17th round pick of Toronto) and 1B Connor Simonetti (35th round, Reds).

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133- ORAL ROBERTS (25-32, 16-11)

2013 ISR: 129

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 0

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Well it turns out the Eagles aren’t long for the Southland after all. Recently ORU administrators decided to bring their sports back to the Summit. So this is the 2nd and final year here. All three weekend starters have flown the coup, but all five bullpenners were sub-4.35 ERA, led by Phillip Wilson (1-1, 2.08) and Nathan Garza (0-4, 2.12, 5svs). C Jose Trevino hit .317-13-54 as a frosh and just .241-8-37 last year.

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134- BETHUNE-COOKMAN (34-25, 17-7)

201 ISR: 146

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Between the two returning weekend starters Montana Durapau (9-3, 2.89) and Scott Garner (6-5, 4.62), they get back 185 innings of work and six complete games. Developing some pitching depth is a must. Of the six returnees to the batting order, five of them are seniors, led by OFs Josh Johnson (.322, 15SBs) and Eric Modena (.273-2-34, 18SBs), who can both burn up the basepaths.

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135- CORNELL (23-17, 11-9)

2013 ISR: 187

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

The Big Red was snake-bitten last season after racing out to a 15-6 start. The best news is 2012 hero Chris Cruz (who is 2HRs short of the school career record) and saves ace Kellen Urbon (program record 9svs in 2012) are both back after missing most of last season to injury.

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136- UCF (29-30, 13-11 in Conference USA)

2013 ISR: 131

Starters Returning: 3

Weekend Starters: 0

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Dammit Knights, quit tripping over your lip. I had you guys pegged at No. 25 in the preseason last year before you fell to sub-.500. Lots of losses from that team, but the recruiting class was ranked No. 39 by Collegiate Baseball and features 12 frosh and 12 JC transfers. Among the newbies, OF/C Matt Diorio and 1B Tyler Hayden are worth keeping an eye on.

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137- TEXAS A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI (33-24, 17-10)

2013 ISR: 108

Starters Returning: 3

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

Nice season in 2013. The Islanders flipped their record from 22-34 the year before and finished second in the SLC. Not a lot of returnees to the order but 2B Cody Stephens (.312, 20SBs) and OF Jordan Lee (.307, 10SBs) are difference-makers. TXA&MCC can also lean on LHP Trevor Belicek (9-2, 3.12) and RHP Matt Danton (5-3, 4.20) as weekend starters. The bullpen needs re-working but RHP Jacob Dorris (1-2, 2.36, 13svs) is good for locking down Ws.

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138- IOWA (22-27, 10-14)

2013 ISR: 148

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Rick Heller takes over the UI program and has lots of returnees to work with, so if the Hawks get some inspiration they could make a huge jump in 2014. Getting former A’s draftee LHP Sasha Kuebel (2-8, 5.13) to pitch to his potential will be huge. Also, watch for the emergence of C Blake Hickman, a former 22nd round draftee who had the freshman doldrums last season.

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139- SAN DIEGO STATE (31-31, 15-15)

2013 ISR: 83

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Great post-season run saw the Aztecs take the MWC tourney title and head to the Regionals. RHP Michael Cederoth (3-9, 4.25, 109Ks) is still around to fling it 100mph-plus and will team with Mike Robards (4-1, 3.58) and closer Bubba Derby (4-3, 3.79, 10svs). Oh, and did I mention that former Auburn head coach John Pawlowski takes over the pitching coach duties? Clutch, man. Top three hitters return in Tim Zier (.341), Tyler France (.317-5-36) and Ryan Muno (.312-4-45).

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140- DELAWARE (32-22, 15-12)

2013 ISR: 119

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 0

Although there is a lot of returning talent from last season, the Blue Hens will certainly miss top hitters Jimmy Yezzo (.410) and Nick Ferdinand (.362), who were always there to kick-start the bats. But the pitching corps lost way too much to expect high praise this season. Maybe after a year or two of seasoning under their belts.

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141- CENTRAL ARKANSAS (42-22, 12-15)

2013 ISR: 49

Starters Returning: 3

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 0

Quite possibly the best story of 2013, the “Railsplitters” won the SLC tourney and nearly upset Mississippi State in the Regional finals. Well now the roster needs complete restocking – as witnessed by the 16 freshmen. But RHP Bryce Biggerstaff (6-5, 3.01, no-hitter vs. Jackson State) and Connor Gilmore (5-0, 0.73) are great building blocks.

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142- ARKANSAS-LITTLE ROCK (28-28, 13-17)

2013 ISR: 125

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Some good sticks were lost, but some good ones come back too. SS Austin Pfeiffer (.296-9-43, 20SBs), OF Bryson Thionnet (.282-10-40, 10SBs) and 3B Ben Crumpton (.281-4-27, 23SBs) all have good pop and fleet feet. There were big losses on the mound, but Ethan Schlechte (5-4, 4.72) returns to his weekend post and RHP Jesse Harbin (2-0, 3.41, 19apps) and LHP Travis McDonald (2-2, 3.79) will step up their roles.

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143- MAINE (37-22, 20-9)

2013 ISR: 157

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

There will be speed to burn as nine of top 12 hitters run a 6.6 or better. Coach Steve Trimper loves his rotation of All American Tommy Lawrence (11-3, 2.32), who will team with Jake Marks (4-0, 3.16) and a now fully-healthy Shaun Coughlin (2-1, 3.20). Troy Black (.363, 15SBs) and Brian Doran (.312) will pace the offense. Keep an eye on Alex Calbick (.280), a steady 4-year talent, and also JC transfer OF Steven Adam, who has drawn raves from the staff.

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144- ARKANSAS STATE (28-31, 12-18)

2013 ISR: 133

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

A ruinous 4-12 spree ended the Trojans season on a rough note. Let’s hope there is no carryover effect. There’s lots of work to be done here. RHPs Cody Woodhouse (0-2, 3.38, .247OBA) and Tanner Ring (2-0, 2.70, 2svs, .194OBA) are the only two returning arms that have a sub-5.00 ERA. And on top of that, part-time starter Kevin Fitzpatrick (.283) is the only returning bat who hit better than .267.

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145- SOUTH FLORIDA (36-22, 17-7 Big East)

2013 ISR: 87

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

The Bulls were sitting pretty in the RPI  rankings up till the second weekend in May, but crapped out in the end of 2013, eventually losing a pair of tough-luck one-run games in the Big East Tourney. A bit of patchwork will need to be done but the double-play combo of Nik Alfonso (.331) and Kyle Teaf (.286) are diminutive spark plugs for the offense and great gloves. RHP Jimmy Herget (6-2, 1.79) looks to be the ace of a rebuilt arms corps.

 

146- RICHMOND (31-24, 13-11)

2013 ISR: 162

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 6

The 100th season of Spider baseball should show plenty of improvement under the new guidance of Tracy Woodson, who comes over from Valparaiso. He’ll have the services of Zak Sterling (4-1, 3.75),  Andrew Blum (5-2, 3.65) and Jonathan DeMarte (5-1, 4.11) to lead an experienced and deep mound staff.  OF Tanner Stanley (.308, 38RBI) is a force for the offense.

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147- CHARLOTTE (37-23, 17-7 in the Atlantic 10)

2013 ISR: 118

Starters Returning: 3

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Five A-10 titles in the last seven years put the Niners on the map. But now they move to CUSA, which will be no picnic. RHP Brock Hudgens (7-1, 2.77) and Hunter May (8-1, 3.38) will be the cornerstones of a rebuilt pitching staff. A pair of JC transfers will help in RHP Ryan Butler, who turned down the Yankees as a 16th round pick, and smooth-fielding SS Mikal Hill, who was a JC All American at Dade CC.

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148- RUTGERS (28-30, 14-8 Big East)

2013 ISR: 127

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 0

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

The Knights started league play last year with a series win vs. Louisville but couldn’t keep any consistency. For 2014, the legendary Fred Hill will have to do one of his best coaching jobs ever, having lost nearly the entire pitching staff. But the Z-boys will help as OF Vinny Zarrillo (.330, 15SBs) and C Michael Zavala (.330-4-30) will be building blocks and 2B/SS Nick Favatella (.316-3-28, 12SBs) gives the Big Red strength up the middle.

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149- PORTLAND (27-25, 12-12)

2013 ISR: 156

Starters Returning: 3

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Coach Sperry has almost zero coming back at the dish and in the field, but the pitching staff is locked and loaded. The top seven arms return, led by relievers Jackson Lockwood (1-0, 2.21, 16apps), Colin Feldtman (2-2, 2.91, 2svs, 19apps) and 8-game starter Travis Radke (2-3, 3.65). Weekend studs Kurt Yinger (4-6, 4.15) and Billy Sahlinger (3-4, 4.63) are also back. Cody Lenahan (.300) is the only batter who hit better than .245.

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150- HAWAI’I (16-35, 11-16)

2013 ISR: 152

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

The Rainbows just never could get any traction last year with that impossible easily schedule. The offense hit a boney-armed .239 last year but gets seven regulars back this time around. Coach Mike Trapasso is also looking forward to getting back LHPs Andrew Jones (a JC All American from Australia) and Jarrett Arakawa (7-6, 2.88 in 2012) who both had to sit out last season.

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151- FIU (26-32, 13-17 in the Sun Belt)

2013 ISR: 147

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

The 2013 season was an odd year for the Panthers, but they should get back in the groove this year. The top five hitters return to the order, led by SS Edwin Rios (.332-9-52), C Aramis Garcia (.321-11-51) and OF Zach Sweety (.308-3-20). All three are also top-notch gloves in the field. Though there is not a lot of starting pitchers coming back, RHP Mike Franco (5-4, 5.23) will be a leaning post to build around.

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152- EVANSVILLE (24-34, 10-10)

2013 ISR: 189

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Not necessarily coming up clutch when they needed to, EU went just 5-13 in one-run games last year. A pair of Aces – if you will – in the form of LHPs Kyle Freeland (4-8, 4.34) and Cole Isom (4-6, 4.55) will help ease the newbies into the rotation. OF Kevin Kaczmarski (.339-6-31, 15SBs) is joined by Jake Mahon (.322), who missed a month of 2013 but is 100% now.

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153- WESTERN KENTUCKY (28-29, 16-14)

2013 ISR: 122

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 0

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Some newbies are going to have to step up big time for the Toppers, who lost all three weekend starters and top bat Ryan Huck and his 16HRs. But four of the top five pitchers ERA-wise come back in relievers Ian Tompkins (4-4, 2.29, 4svs, .143OBA), Alex Mercer (0-1, 2.40, .170OBA), Brennan Pearson (2-0, 2.62, 2svs, .247OBA), Jake Thompson (2-3, 3.13) and Josh Bartley (2-1, 3.60, .248OBA). SS Scott Wilcox (.326, team-high 77 hits) leads the offense.

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154- SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (18-33-1, 7-14)

2013 ISR: 183

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Damn. I mean, DAMN! What a finish for the Jackrabbits. Winning the Summit Tourney, going to the Eugene Regional and scaring the bejeezus out of Oregon and USF in one-run white-knucklers. RHP Adam Bray (7-2, 3.19) and Kolton Emery (4-5, 4.45) will be bolstered by the return of saves ace J.D. Moore (0-2, 1.99, 13svs). In fact, of the six main pitchers coming back, they all had an ERA of 4.75 or better. Sophs Zach Coppola (.296, 10SBs) and Paul Jacobson (.293, 10SBs) should be even better in year two.

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155- SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (25-33, 6-15)

2013 ISR: 184

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 7

All new Itchy Jones Stadium is good for unwrapping and looks nice. It’s a senior-fest as five returning fielders and six of the seven bullpenners are four-year guys. Bash and dash will lead the offense as Matt Jones (.310-4-42, 15doubles) and Jake Welch (.317, 20SBs) wield good sticks. LHP Tyler Dray (0-0, 1.67, .174OBA), RHP Matt Murphy (4-4, 2.86, .214OBA) and RHP Todd Eaton (1-3, 3.68, 9svs) make for a strong ‘pen.

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156- UC DAVIS (19-37, 5-22)

2013 ISR: 170

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 6

Things hit rock-bottom for the Aggies in 2013, winning just five Big West games. Three All Big West performers return in Nick Lynch (.359), Tino Lipson (.339, 10SBs) and Steven Patterson (.324), all versatile infielder/outfielder types. The weekend rotation of Evan Wolf (3-5, 4.38), Harry Stanwyck (4-8, 4.79) and Spencer Koopmans (1-9, 5.54) need to bear down for better numbers.

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157- NEW MEXICO STATE (29-28, 13-14)

2013 ISR: 145

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 0

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

Damn. We’re not used to seeing the Aggies near the Mendoza Line of wins-losses. And the worst part is that there is nearly a bare cupboard of leftovers from last year’s squad. Of the seven pitchers with more than 40 innings of use, only Christopher Bradley (5-5, 4.99) returns. Likewise, in the batting order, only OF Michael Medina (.324, 11SBs) returns with an average above .284. This could be Rocky Ward’s biggest challenge.

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158- NEBRASKA-OMAHA (27-22, 20-6)

2013 ISR: 174

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns): 4

Ya’ gotta love what Bob Herold and his staff did last year, going from 12-36 in 2012 to 27-22 and the Summit League title last year. And this was with one returning starter in the field and on the mound. Yes, one. Starters Zach Williamsen (4-1, 3.38, .222OBA) and Tyler Fox (6-2, 3.99) will have RHP Josh Bullock (0-1, 3.94, 6svs) to back them. Omaha hit .306 as a team and has Alex Mortensen (.318), Alex Schultz (.311) and Brett Bass (.301, 11SBs) back.

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159- VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH (28-26, 12-12)

2013 ISR: 149

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

The Rams first year in the A-10 was just like their final season in the CAA, a middle of the pack finish. Joey Cujas (.333) has led the Rams the last two seasons and returns as the only .300+ batter back. Wins leader Heath Dwyer (7-6, 2.78) and saves ace Matt Lees (2-6, 1.22, 11svs) will pace the mound corps.

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160- INDIANA STATE (26-25. 9-11)

2013 ISR: 159

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 6

Quite a dichotomy here, of the 14 returning players in the numbers above, 13 are either seniors or redshirt juniors. So even though there are not a lot of marquee players back, the ones who are, are uber-experienced. Only 16 of last year’s 51 starts on the mound are back, but relief ace Kurt Kudrecki (1-1, 1.57, 3svs) is a good weapon at the end of games.

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161- ILLINOIS-CHICAGO (27-28, 13-11)

2013 ISR: 188

Starters Returning: 3

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Have you seen the plans for Granderson Stadium? Holy crap! That’s gonna be an impressive joint. The order will have to be reworked, but the pitching staff is stoked with RHPs Tomas Michelson (6-6, 3.08), Ian Lewandowski (5-3, 3.26) and Mike McKinley (3-3, 2.89) heading up the mound corps.

Rendering of the new stadium at Illinois-Chicago. The Flames will play in the best facility in the Horizon League.

Rendering of the new Curtis Granderson Stadium at UIC. The Flames will play in the best facility in the Horizon League.

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162- LONGWOOD (26-28, 12-12)

2013 ISR: 165

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Don’t let the numbers fool you as four of the five most-used pitchers from a year ago come back and nearly the entire batting order as well. Aaron Myers (4-2, 3.30, 10svs) and Brandon Vick (6-5, 3.95) have star potential. Matt Dickason (.331) is a steady senior leader.

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163- VALPARAISO (32-28, 13-11)

2013 ISR: 162

Starters Returning: 3

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

The very likable Brian Schmack ascends from pitching coach to head coach for the Crusaders, so that’s good for continuity. He’ll have a pair of weekenders to work with in RHP Cole Webb (5-7, 3.42) and LHP Dalton Lundeen (5-1, 3.73). Best of all, Karch Kowalczyk (1-1, 1.73, 12svs, 24apps) is a versatile arm who could take on a bigger role.

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164- KENNESAW STATE (30-30, 13-14)

2013 ISR: 144

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 0

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Expect a small dip from the Owls this year. They came within one game of the NCAAs last year, losing out in the A-Sun finals, but don’t worry ‘coz KSU is building here. LHP Chris Erwin (28th round of the Twins last June) leads a highly regarded incoming class that will need to grow up quickly. The good news is that C Max Pentecost (.302-3-30) is a block of granite behind the dish.

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165- SEATTLE (21-33, 10-16)

2013 ISR: 171

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns): 3

Bummer season last year, but there are brighter roads ahead. Top bats like OF Landon Cray (.313-3-24) and Chase Fields (.305, 15SBs) should improve the .269 offense. All three weekend starters are back, but LHP Andrew Olson (7-5, 4.18) and Garrett Anderson (2-8, 5.72) need to bear down. Amazingly, two newbies were MLB draftees in C Sam Finfer (29th round, Dodgers) and UTL Michael McCann (40th round, Mariners), two very athletic talents.

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166- PRESBYTERIAN (24-32, 10-14)

2013 ISR: 168

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

At least they’re consistent. In 2012 the Blue Hose (cool name) finished 24-31 and 10-14 in the Big South. Last year, nearly the same totals. But PC won just four games from Tax Day onward. Staff ace Bud Jeter and his seven complete games will be missed.

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167- MILWAUKEE (29-21, 14-7)

2013 ISR: 139

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

The Panthers won the regular season title but couldn’t get back to the NCAAs. Top hitter Michael Porcaro (.364) made only 6Es at 2B and OF Derek Peake (.327) and C Mitch Ghelfi (.322) made just 2Es between them. K’s leader Mike Schneider (8-3, 3.64, 55Ks) needs to cut down on his free passes (50 in 71.2 inns).

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168- HIGH POINT (29-29, 15-9))

2013 ISR: 143

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 0

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Four of the top five hitters who went .316-plus come back to campus, led by Cody Manzella’s .344 and Spencer Angelis’ .319. But the top six pitchers who combined for 54 starts and 21 wins have all moved on, but reliever Joe Goodman (3-0, 072, 3svs) will be a vital piece this year. HPU will be in rebuilding mode this year.

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169- MONMOUTH (30-24, 19-11 in the NEC)

2013 ISR: 173

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

History has shown that when coach Dean Ehehalt is given an experienced pitching staff, good things happen. Well, 42 of last year’s 55 starts on the mound are back, with the marquee arm being LHP Andrew McGee (8-2, 2.12, .223OBA) who had 7CGs in 2013. LHP Frank Trimarco (5-2, 3.80) and Ryan Yunginger (4-2, 3.71) will help and relievers Jeff Paglione (2-2, 3.53, 23apps) and Stephen Frey (1-0, 3.96, 22apps) will keep the bullpen stout.

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170- BOSTON COLLEGE (12-40, 4-25)

2013 ISR: 206

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 6

Aye, lots of work to do here for coach Mike Gambino and Co. The offense hit just .209 and has no one who hit. 250 or better coming back. Eagles have had some decent recruiting classes lately, so look for talents like Blake Butera (.239) and Andrew Chin (1-8, 3.88) to post better numbers.

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171- BALL STATE (31-24, 15-12)

2013 ISR: 167

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Never doubt Rich Maloney. The dude is a bad-ass, as witnessed here, taking BSU from 14 wins in 2012 to 31 wins and the title game of the MAC tourney. Some valuable talents return to the fore in do-it-all OF Sean Godfrey (.329-5-30, 18SBs), staff ace RHP Scott Baker (12-2, 2.18), two-way star T.J. Weir (.284-7-20 & 4-2, 3.90, 3svs) and reliever RHP Tyler Jordan (2-7, 3.54, 3svs). There is a lot to build around here.

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172- JAMES MADISON (25-30, 11-15)

2013 ISR: 155

Starters Returning: 3

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

A little power (Conner Brown’s .341-9-47) and speed (Chad Carroll’s .389, 8triples, 21SBs) will help move the Dukes. 3B Ty McFarland (.339-4-42) and 1B Matt Teneglia (.303) will help make for a steady defense too. The team ERA was a rather terrible 6.51, but gets back relief ace RHP Chris Huffman (4-5, 4.88, 8svs) to help rebuild.

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173- SACRED HEART (34-24, 23-9)

2013 ISR: 177

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 6

What a breakthrough year 2013 was for the Pioneers. More good stuff could be on deck for these guys asLHP Jeff Stoddard (8-3, 2.64) and RHP Kody Kerski (7-2, 2.57) and LHP Nick Leiningen (6-4, 4.77) had the most wins on the staff and combined for 34 starts. They’ll throw to C Dan Perez (.313-3-28), who will also pace the offense.

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174- NEVADA (25-32, 11-20)

2013 ISR: 169

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Despite having nearly the entire team returning last season, the Pack still saw their fortunes dip from an ISR of 57 in 2012 to 169 last year. 1B/3B Austin Byler led the Wolfpack with .346-8-40 numbers and has Kewby Meyer (.302-2-18) to do damage with. A good recruiting class comes in, featuring RHP Mark Nowaczewski, who was drafted in the 27th round by the Red Sox.

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175- BOWLING GREEN (24-31, 13-14)

2013 ISR: 204

Starters Returning: 10

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

The Falcons got hot at the right time, winning the MAC tourney title and playing in the Louisville Regional last season. And this team is uber-experienced with nearly everyone back from that team. The top two hitters, Jeremy Shay (.330-6-38) and T.J. Losby (.327-6-39), have some serious pop.

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176- ST. JOSEPH’S (26-26, 12-12)

2013 ISR: 179

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

The Hawks’ ISR ranking keeps rising steadily the last few years, which is a good sign. Hanging around the Mendoza Line for a few seasons in a row, SJU hopes to bust through to the upper bracket in 2014. Seniors Jordan Carter (3-5, 4.63) and Daniel Thorpe (5-7, 4.84) give them a chance at winning weekends.

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177- GEORGIA SOUTHERN (27-32, 13-17)

2013 ISR: 141

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

Ack! The 27 wins was the lowest in the program since 1999. But three of the top four hitters come back to the fore, led by SS Ben Morgan (.307-6-36, 27SBs), who has power and speed. Catcher Chase Griffin (.272-4-47) did not commit an error all last season. The bad news is weekend starters  Sam Howard (6-7, 5.55) and Jason Richman (4-5, 6.12) allowed opponents to hit .307 and .329 off them.

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178- HOFSTRA (26-27, 11-16)

2013 ISR: 154

Starters Returning: 3

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

For the second year in a row, the Pride could be staring down the barrel of a rebuilding season. A rebuilt rotation and  losing three of their top four hitters will hurt. But Kenny Jackson (.300-9-36) is a solid powerstick and RHP Brett Schreiber (3-3, 2.48, 6svs) was a bullpen stud.

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179- RHODE ISLAND (33-25-1, 16-8)

2013 ISR: 132

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 6

Rams finished in a three-way tie for 1st in the A-10, but suffered some heavy losses,  including missing out on two-thirds of the weekend rotation and will have to rebuild their infield a good bit. But on the plus-side, four of the top five hitters are back, led by SS Tim Caputo, who hit .295 with 15SBs, and LHP Steve Moyers (4-1, 1.78) will help ease the transition.

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180- STEPHEN F. AUSTIN (28-29, 15-12)

2013 ISR: 151

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

Geezus! The Lumberjacks are at Alabama, at Texas A&M, at Wichita, at Texas Tech, at Arkansas, etc. Ouch, tough slate. The big aces on the staff – starters Chase Greening and Justin Choate and saves man Brett Higginbotham – have moved on. The sticks need to heat up since Ricardo Sanchez (.358-3-20) is the only hitter to go better than .283 last year. Catcher Joseph Olson (.283) committed only 3Es as a frosh.

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181- NORTHERN COLORADO (33-24, 20-7 in the Great West)

2013 ISR: 194

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Finally, the Bears have something to play for, going from the Great West to the WAC, which has an NCAA auto-bid. Some real firepower here as UNC returns five .300+ hitters back led by OF Jensen Park (.397-4-34) and hulking 1B Colby Harrison (.365). The Bears have a legit Olerud Award candidate in Nick Miller, who hit .375-6-61 and went 6-4, 4.58 in 13 starts on the mound. Finding a saves ace to replace Kevin Willman will be a key.

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182- PACIFIC (14-39, 7-20 in the Big West)

2013 ISR: 195

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

2013 was a forgettable year for the Tigers. Here’s to hoping new horizons in the WCC leads to new successes. The offense will get jump-started by 1B Erik Lockwood (.304) and OF Tyler Sullivan (.291, 10SBs). Starting pitchers John Haberman (2-6, 4.68) Michael Benson (2-4, 4.04) and Mike Hager (2-5, 5.40) are team leaders and should improve their numbers.

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183- SAMFORD (27-30, 12-17)

2013 ISR: 164

Starters Returning: 3

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

After 2012′s magical post-season run, 2013 was certainly a rebuilding season and it showed. There was even more attrition from last year’s team, so don’t look for an immediate return to 40+ wins. Losing do-it-all CK Irby (team-best .383 average and 7-6 on the mound) was the biggest blow. Catcher Caleb Bryson (.260-9-37) had a great summer in the Cape Cod League.

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184- HOUSTON BAPTIST (34-24 17-10 in the Great West)

2013 ISR: 180

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

The Huskies finally have something to play for, going from the Great West – which didn’t have an auto-bid – to the SLC. The strength of HBU last year was the pitch staff, with its 3.75 team ERA. And nearly every arm of consequence returns, including Ryan Lower (8-4, 2.69, .238OBA), Ross Kennell (7-5, 3.73), Tyler Hoelscher (8-5, 3.89) and Brandon Hammerly (2-5, 4.74), who made 50 starts between them.

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185- STONY BROOK (25-34, 15-15)

2013 ISR: 242

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Sure, an off-year in 2013, but the recruiting has been too good for the SeaWolves to be down long. Incoming RHP Ryley MacEachern (37th round, Phillies) and C Kyle Devin (who I saw play at the prestigious Area Code Games in 2012) are both legit. Lots of CWS alums are back including mound starters Frankie Vanderka (8-4, 2.80) and Brandon McNitt (4-6, 3.36). Cole Peragine (.289) and Jack Parenty (.333, Freshman All American) lead the offense.

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186- CINCINNATI (24-32, 6-18 Big East)

2013 ISR: 203

Starters Returning: 9

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Former Indiana assistant Ty Neal takes over the program and has some work to do. But he’ll have nearly the entire team back, including Justin Glass, Ian Happ and Matt Williams, who all hit .317+ and combined for 14HRs and 48SBs last year. Happ, a sophomore 2B, has garnered All American accolades after hitting .322 with 47 walks (.451OB%).

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187- BUTLER (25-27, 12-12 in the A-10)

2013 ISR: 198

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

The Bulldogs move to their third conference in three years. All six of the returning pitchers are juniors or seniors, so experience should pay dividends here. Staff horses LHP Eric Stout (8-5, 5.21) and RHP Kyle Kramp (7-4, 4.80) are good leaning posts. But the best news of all is that the Dogs don’t have to open with three games at Arizona like they did a year ago.

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188- NICHOLLS STATE (26-29, 9-18)

2013 ISR: 150

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

Don’t you get the feeling these guys are just a couple plays away from busting through? A second straight 26-win season, but also two straight years finishing second-to-last in the SLC. Five of the seven field returnees are seniors, led by dual-threat Brandon Jackson, who hit .295 and pitched at 3-1, 3.21. Fellow senior Tyler Duplantis led the team with a .330 average.

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189- BINGHAMTON (30-24, 16-13):

2013 ISR: 190

Starters Returning: 9

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 7

A junior-senior heavy squad should bode well in defense of their AmEast title. Top hitter Jake Thomas (.371-5-37) leads an improved offense, but the mound staff will miss Jay Lynch and Jake Lambert, who combined for 13 wins and 31 starts. Ace Jack Rogalla (5-5, 3.01) will shoulder a heavy load, but is more than capable.

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190- VMI (20-35, 6-18)

2013 ISR: 207

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

A putrid 2-16 finish ruined a promising start to 2013. Losing .399 hitter Rob Dickinson will hurt, but flyers like Jordan Tarsovich (.300, 18SBs), Brandon Angus (.282, 22SBs) and Ray Lopez (.280, 15SBs) will pick up the slack. Good starting pitching returns (particularly Connor Bach’s 2-4, 2.81) will need some bullpen depth to develop.

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191- PURDUE (17-34, 6-18)

2013 ISR: 215

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 6

As happens a lot in the Big 10, the Boilers couldn’t sustain their rousing success of 2012, going from 45 wins to just 17 last year. Pitching was the big bugaboo as PU had a team ERA of 6.46. Of all the returnees on the bump, only Jordan Minch (5-5, 4.98) has a sub-5.00 ERA.

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192- McNEESE STATE (23-31, 10-17)

2013 ISR: 185

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Talk about April Fools, the Pokes were 17-9 on April 1st, but went just 6-22 the rest of the way to sour their 2013 season. Now former LSU Tiger Justin Hill takes the helm and has a good bit of experience coming back. Staff ace Bryce Kingsley (8-6, 3.11) is a lead by example type and has righties Sam Peterson (0-0, 3.18, 5svs) and Lucas Quary (0-1, 4.50, 4svs) for support.

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193- NORTHERN ILLINOIS (15-40, 7-20)

2013 ISR: 229

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Wow. Nice turnaround for the Huskies here. With almost zero returnees back for 2013, NIU managed to go from 7-20 and last place in the MAC to 16-11 and winning the Western Divison. But a 2-10 finish showed this team ran out of gas. Having ace RHP Eli Anderson (9-4, 2.18) and ace reliever LHP Anthony Andres (4-3, 3.86, 3svs) back to anchor the arms corps is pretty huge.

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194- WRIGHT STATE (25-30, 9-12)

2013 ISR: 202

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

For the first time in seven years the Raiders didn’t win 30+ games last year, then they lost their head coach to Penn State. But longtime assistant Greg Lovelady – of Miami’s 1999 national champions fame – takes the reigns of the rebuilding project.

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195- EASTERN ILLINOIS (22-27, 11-17)

2013 ISR: 201

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.):

All 49 starts on the mound return, led by a trio of RHPs Joe Greenfield (3-6, 3.66, turned down the Twins as a 36th round pick), Matt Borens (4-4, 4.30) and Jake Johansmeier (3-4, 3.70) should turn the team ERA of 4.77 down a tad. Three .300+ hitters are back in Caleb Howell (.362-2-20), Brant Valach (.332-4-35) and Cameron Berra (.300-2-23). Incoming INF Marshawn Taylor was a Mariners draft pick last June.

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196- NORTHWESTERN (22-26, 9-15)

2013 ISR: 163

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Still no winning record for the Cats since 2000. Oof! But three .300+ hitters come back, including Scott Heelan, who hit .366 in part-time duty, and Kyle Ruchim (.365). Replacing Luke Farrell and Zach Morton and their 25 combined starts on the hill will be tough.  But you have to like getting RHP Brandon Magallones (5-6, 3.30) and LHP Reed Mason (2-1, 2.92) back to fling bee-bees.

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197- SIENA (27-30, 15-9)

2013 ISR: 205

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Arrrgh! The Saints lost the MAAC Tourney title in jog-off fashion to Canisius, which made for a tough off-season. And the Saints led the MAAC in home runs but Mike Fish and and Larry Balkwill have hit the bricks. The top five pitchers come back including ace Matt Gage (6-6, 3.42) and a pair of solid closers in Matt Quintana (5-1, 3.61, 2svs) and Neil Fryer (1-3, 3.72, 8svs).

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198- CENTRAL MICHIGAN (25-32, 12-15)

2013 ISR: 200

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 6

Last year was a rebuilding season, this will be a reloading season. Ace RHP Jordan Foley (6-6, 3.08) spent his summer pitching in the prestigious Cape Cod League. He’s joined by weekend returnee RHP Taylor Lehnert (4-3, 4.63). If mid-week starter Pat Kaminska (2-4, 6.06) can revert to his sophomore form (5-4, 3.05 in 2012), the Chips will have a stout rotation. The top five hitters return, including top bat Cody Leichman (.341-3-30) and Nick and Logan Regnier, who combined for 46SBs.

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199- CENTRAL CONNECTICUT STATE (28-25, 16-16)

2013 ISR: 223

Starters Returning: 9

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Expect more from the Blue Devils in 2014, since nearly every pitcher of note returns and nine players with 32 or more starts are back as well. OFs Dylan Delacruz (.352-6-34) and J.P. Sportman (.327, 14SBs) lead an offense which should improve its .271 average. Also, with nine of the top 10 pitchers coming back, look for massive improvement from the team ERA of 5.60.

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200- TOLEDO (30-27, 19-8)

2013 ISR: 196

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

The Rockets had some hoopla going into last season, but fell short of expectations, finishing sub-.500 overall and in the MAC. Lots of firepower is back, including the mercurial OF Tyler Grogg (.355, 36SBs), who will also have Deion Tansel (.308, 12SBs) to be his partner in crime. RHPs Ryan Wilkinson (7-3, 2.82) and Cameron Palmer (4-5, 3.87) give TU a chance to win each time out.

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201- EASTERN KENTUCKY (23-34, 16-13)

2013 ISR: 213

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

There are a couple of “difference-makers” who should play big this year. All American C Sean Hagen is a Johnny Bench lister, Frosh All American 2B Kenny Hostrander (.298) will blossom and RHP Brent Cobb (7-6, 3.69) is a senior leader. RHPs Cody Creamer (2-2, 5svs in 26apps) and Anthony Bazzani (1-1, 3.40, 8svs in 2012, down to 1-2, 6.38) will play huge roles. Lots of potential here.

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202- ARMY (29-23, 11-9)

2013 ISR: 222

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

After a 41-win season in 2012, last year’s 29 wins seems like a real drag. But it was still a pretty good season for the Knights, winning the PL playoffs and ending in another Regional appearance. The Cadets will miss ace Chris Rowley and his 6CGs, but everyone else is back, including No. 2 starter Alex Robinett (7-4, 3.43). Three .300+ hitters are also back led by Patrick Mescher (.341). Keep in mind, Army stole 93 bases last year.

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203- ALABAMA-BIRMINGHAM (23-36, 7-17)

2013 ISR:

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

The Blazers regressed a good bit in 2013. But getting top hitter Ryan Prinzing (.335-3-32) back, along with relief studs Chase Mallard (2-4, 3.75, 3svs) and Cameron Rose (0-2, 3.98, 3svs), a pair of promising righties, is just the tonic. But – and this is a big but – a solid starting rotation will need to be found. RHP Johnny Lieske was a JC All American in 2013.

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204- NORTH CAROLINA-GREENSBORO (24-31, 11-19)

2013 ISR: 199

Starters Returning: 3

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 6

Aw crap! It was a second straight 10th place finish for UNCG in 2013. Oddly, this Spartan team has almost zero fielders/batters coming back (although getting Benigno Marrero’s .352-3-28 back is good) but almost all of the pitching does. The top four arms are starters Lee Gilliam (2-4, 3.69) and Max Povse (4-4, 4.75) and relievers Ryan Clard (5-1, 2.05, 2svs) and Caleb Henley (1-0, 4.851sv).

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205- MIAMI (26-30, 14-13)

2013 ISR: 192

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Look for the offense/defense to carry this team while a mostly new pitching staff gets accustomed. The RedHawks get four .300+ hitters back as Frosh All American Jake Romano (.370) and speedster Matt Honchel (.340, 18SBs) will lead the attack. The top two weekend aces are gone and the rest of the MU arms corps must cut down on the walks (214), wild pitches (74) and hit batsmen (63).

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206- GRAND CANYON (40-19 in D2)

2013 ISR: NA

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

No doubt, the Antelopes are ready for D1 with nearly everyone coming back. Five of the top seven hitters are sophs, but senior 1B Michael Pomeroy (.335) was named D2′s Defensive Player of the Year. LHP Andrew Naderer (9-3, 2.38, .223OBA) pairs with RHP Jorge Perez (8-4, 2.86) and Coley Bruns (7-3, 2.93, .218OBA) to lead a deep staff. The top reliever in 2013 was LHP Brandon Bonilla (2-0, 3.38, .169OBA), the son of MLBer Bobby.

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207- DAVIDSON (18-31, 12-18)

2013 ISR: 212

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

The Wildcats went from 17-31 in 2012 to 18-31 last year. Steady, but not happy. But the rotation returns all three pitchers in RHP Danny Mooney (6-4, 4.71), LHP Rob Bain (2-4, 5.64) and RHP Ryan Lowe (4-8, 5.40). Lowe also leads the offense (.295-5-25) along with Forrest Brandt (.295, 11SBs). Opponents hit .306 off DC last year. Ugh.

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208- SAVANNAH STATE (33-23, 17-7)

2013 ISR: 182

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 0

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns): 4

I know NCCU gets all the props for a turnaround in the MEAC, but give the Tigers some credit too, going from 11-13 to 17-7 in conference play and 33 wins last year. Besides saves leader Eric Ricks (3-1, 2.61, 5svs), not a lot of pitching is back, but some of the top hitters from last year return in 2B Todd Hagen (.321, 16SBs), OF David Richards (.308-2-18) and OF Parker Nix (.284, 18SBs).

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209- ST. MARY’s (21-34, 11-13)

2013 ISR: 191

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Much-respected pitching guru Eric Valenzuela takes over the SMC program, and… well, it looks like he’ll need to use his prowess to the hilt since very few serviceable arms return from last season. LHP Ryan Brockett (5-5, 3.70, .238OBA) is one of the few exceptions. But the infield has all four starters back, including All WCC 1B Collin Ferguson (.294-4-31) and All WCC Freshman Teamer 3B Anthony Villa (.288).

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210- RIDER (35-22, 18-6)

2013 ISR: 158

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Bad memories of the MAAC tournament where the Broncos gave up 29 runs in their two losses had to make for a long off-season. Lots of losses including the top two hitters and two weekend starters. But all five returning arms above have sub 4.50 ERAs. Nick Crescenzo (.290, 24SBs) and Mike Parson (.282, 17SBs) are flyers.

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211- WINTHROP (17-35, 9-14)

2013 ISR: 216

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 1

Lots of pitching moved on from last year’s squad, but sophomores LHP Sam Kmiec (3-7, 3.56) and RHP Joey Strain (3-5, 3.84) are good building blocks. In addition to the six starters, OF T.J. Olesczuk, who led the Eagles in hitting in 2012, comes back after playing in just 12 games last season.

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212- MARIST (27-24-1, 17-7)

2013 ISR: 181

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

The top four returnees all hit .319 or better and look to improve the .968 defense. They’ll be without SS extraordinaire Zach Shank, the top hitter from a year ago as well. Relievers Jordan Eich (1-2, 2.88) and Chris Thorsen (0-1, 3.19) combined for 40 appearances but may have to take on starting roles this year.

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213- LOUISIANA TECH (19-37, 6-21 in the WAC)

2013 ISR:

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Ouchie Mama! That last place finish in the WAC last season was a soul crusher. Here’s to hoping for greener pastures this season. Pitching was the strength of last year’s team – 4.48 ERA – and staff ace Phil Maton (6-6, 2.70, 3CGs) will be the building block.

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214- GEORGETOWN (25-29, 5-19)

2013 ISR: 210

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

A lot of experience returns for the Hoyas, but block-of-granite catcher Nick Collins (.333-330) and strapping 1B Steve Anderson (.274-3-25) are the only two who hit above .270. Middle reliever Tim Davis (1-0, 3.20, 23apps) is the only returning pitcher with a sub-4.00 ERA. Defense needs to improve that shoddy .944 fielding percentage.

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215- NORTH DAKOTA (25-22-1, 13-11 in the Great West)

2013 ISR: 239

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns): 5

Huge “tip of the cap” to Jeff Dodson and his staff for pulling a winning record for the first time on the D1 level. And nearly every player of note comes back, including OF Jacob Threlkeld (.306, 17SBs), 1B Zack Trygstad (.306, just 1E) and C Taylor Peterson (.295-4-31, team-best 38BBs). Pitching is even better with Alex Twenge (6-1, 2.52, .229OBA) and LHP Reid Jungling (3-1, 3.57, 21apps) leading the way.

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216- CHARLESTON SOUTHERN (22-34, 11-13)

2013 ISR: 193

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

The Bucs made small strides last year and could be in line for another step in 2014. The top four hitters return to the lineup, led by Bobby Ison (.367-3-27), Alex Tomasovich (.343), Zack Hagaman (.326-6-28) and Chase Shelton (.318). LHP Tory Schroff (6-5, 3.52) and RHP Austin Weekley (1-2, 3.31, 7svs) lead the rebuilt flingers brigade.

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217- BRADLEY (17-32, 2-19)

2013 ISR: 244

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Well, the bottom pretty much fell out last year as the Braves went from a .500 mark in 2012 to just two MVC wins. Yuck. But the good news is nearly everyone is back. Though All American Mike Tauchman (.425, 26SBs) is gone, BU gets Frosh All American Chris Godinez (.320-4-18, 11SBs) back after missing most of 2013. The entire pitching staff returns, hopefully with better results (6.37 team ERA last year).

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218- WOFFORD (20-36, 10-21)

2013 iSR: 225

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Lots of improvement is needed, but a lot of familiar faces return. The Terriers stole an astounding 163 bases last season and top hitters Josh Hyman (.338-6-36, 26SBs), Seth Neely (.319, 17SBs), Alec Paradowski (.283, 10SBs) and Matthew Pelt (.270, 10SBs) all return. Relief ace Eric Eck (1-3, 2.80, 10svs) was 2nd in the Cape Cod League in saves last summer and has Will Stillman (2-2, 3.29, 21apps) to lock down wins.

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219- UTAH VALLEY (24-30, 15-9 in the Great West)

2013 ISR: 211

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

Well crap, where was this move to the WAC in 2012 when UVU won 47 games and could’ve used an auto-bid? Either way, the Wolverines have to love this move. The offense should be in good shape with leading hitter 1B Mark Krueger (.323-2-26) and OF Riley White (.305) setting the tone. Weekend RHP Devin Nelson (4-5, 3.55) and Andrew Freter (3-3, 6.49) lost a lot of bullpenners behind them, so they’ll have to eat up more innings this year.

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220- GEORGE MASON (18-35, 7-20 CAA)

2013 ISR: 237

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Egad! Yes, the Patriots finished in dead last in the Colonial last season. Ugh. Here’s to new horizons in the A-10. Starting pitcher Jake Kalish (1-1, 3.52) missed the last half of last year but will be an ace to an already deep staff. OF Tucker Tobin (.335-8-37) will help change the scoreboard and two-way talent Andrew Montefusco (5-5, 4.14 & .238) is as valuable as it gets in college ball.

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221- NORTH CAROLINA-ASHEVILLE (16-35, 4-18)

2013 ISR: 193

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

The top two hitters return in Tommy Houmard (.321) and Robert McIntosh (.309), as the Dogs look to improve the .275 team average. The arms staff is stocked and ready to improve the 5.41 ERA. LHP Nick Schavone (1-0, 3.74) made 29 appearances last season.

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222- NAVY (28-23, 13-7)

2013 ISR: 238

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.):

The Midshipmen have won 30+ games in five of the eight seasons which Paul Kostacopoulos has been at the helm. They should stalk that number again this year with leading hitter Kash Manzelli (.335-2-30) and a pair of thieves in Brandon Beans (.291, 13SBs) and Brad Borosak (.245, 16SBs). Four of the top six pitchers come back and all of them have an ERA of 4.38 or lower for a staff whose collective ERA was 3.87.

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223- DELAWARE STATE (33-15, 21-3)

2013 ISR: 214

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

The Hornets dominated the Northern Division of the MEAC but then went belly-up at 0-2 in the tournament. They’ll have a senior-dominated team in 2014 as six of the seven field returnees are seniors, led by Mike Alexander (.367, 36SBs), Hassan Evans (.366, 15SBs) and Cameron Cecil (.356, 18SBs) will turn singles into doubles with their speed. RHPs Matt McClain (6-2, 3.06) and George Michael (6-1, 3.04) lead the pitching.

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224- MARSHALL (20-34, 6-18)

2013 ISR: 217

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Three-fourths of the infield is back with 2B Andrew Dundon (.298, 12SBs), SS Sergio Leon (.212) and 3B Aaron Bossi (.207), but all three need to get the bats heated up. The pitching was decent – held opponents to .254 ave. – and has relief aces Ryan Hopkins (4-2, 2.54, 2svs) and Josh King (1-3, 3.82, 6svs) to lean on.

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225- MANHATTAN (24-28, 11-13)

2013 ISR: 233

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 6

Lots of holes to fill for the Jaspers of Van Cortlandt Park, including the top three hitters and staff ace John Soldinger all hitting the bricks. But LHP Michael Martin (2-6, 4.86). RHP Jacob Marchus (4-4, 2.82, 3svs) and RHP Scott McClennan (3-2, 3.49) could improve that 5.26 team ERA.

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226- PENN STATE (13-36, 4-20)

2013 ISR: 235

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

A rock bottom finish made for a coaching change as Rob Cooper comes over from Wright State. A new attitude IS needed here too. The defense was the worst in the conference at .956 and offense hit .258, while earning just 168 walks. This program needs a better product in that beautiful bad-ass stadium they’ve got.

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227- EASTERN MICHIGAN (26-28, 12-15)

2013 ISR: 176

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Only 17 of last year’s 54 starts on the mound come back to the roster this year, so the Hurons will have to rely on a lot of newbies. But keep an eye on RHP Sterling Sharp, a 30th round draftee of the Braves who chose to come to Ypslanti. Also, nearly the entire batting order comes back, including leaders like OF Sam Ott (.327-2-40) and C Adam Sonabend (.325-2-38).

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228- LOUISIANA-MONROE (18-36, 7-23)

2013 ISR: 208

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Ack! It was another 30-loss season for the WarHawks, their second in a row. There’s not a lot of returnees, but you have to like how all six pitchers of significance are all seniors, especially Alex Dumaine (2-3, 4.20) and RHP Tyler Bray (4-3, 4.73, .237OBA), who were the only two to have a sub-5.00 ERA. The offense hit a boney-armed .238 and loses top bat Corben Green.

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229- ALABAMA STATE (32-25, 18-6)

2013 ISR: 224

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (13+inns.): 6

From 20 wins in 2012 to 32 in 2013. THAT’s the Mervyl Melendez factor right there. Strong work coach. Nearly the entire roster is back including C Richard Gonzalez (.348, 12SBs) and OF Waldyvan Estrada (.333-7-51). Two weekend starters were lost to graduation, but seven returning pitchers had sub-5.00 ERAs from a 4.31/435Ks staff.

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230- JACKSONVILLE (17-38, 8-19)

2013 ISR: 232

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

The Dolphins have now finished 17-38 and 18-38 the last two seasons. That’s a bad rut which we’re not used to seeing for these guys. And, sadly, there are still lots of holes to fill from last season, but watch for JC transfers SS Angelo Amendolare and OF Cam Gibson, who both have speed to burn. RHP Alex McRae (3-8, 4.71) will be a leaning post for the pitching staff.

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231- HOLY CROSS (28-25, 15-5)

2013 ISR: 220

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Arrrrgh! The Crusaders were easily the PL’s best team in 2013 – even winning three of four at Army – but then lost two straight in the Patriot Playoffs to the Knights, ending their season. Top hitters/OFs Evan Ocello (.338, 15SBs) and Brandon Cipolla (.333) return, as does staff ace RHP Donny Murray (7-3, 4.33). After loss of John Colella (8svs), reloading the bullpen is the biggest job going into 2014.

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232- JACKSON STATE (34-17, 21-3)

2013 ISR: 227

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

For all the hype that Alabama State garnered for its turnaround, don’t forget that the Tigers won the Eastern Division, the SWAC tourney and went to the NCAAs. Lots of experience returns in a senior-dominated roster. OF Charles Tilery (.352, 26SBs) and Stephen Curtis (.305, 12SBs) lead the .286 offense. Ace RHP Alexander Juday (7-5, 3.51) and key reliever Desmond Russell (3-1, 3.00, 4svs) are the top arms.

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233- NORTH DAKOTA STATE (40-20, 14-10)

2013 ISR: 241

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

Lots to like about the Bison this year with nearly their entire offense and defense returning. UTL Kyle Kleinendorst (.333-2-30), 2B Wes Satzinger (.307-5-32, just 6Es), OF Tim Colwell (.304, 12SBs) and OF Blake Turbak (.287-2-29) are all seniors and All-Summit performers. Losing ace John Straka and saves leader Kyle Kingsley will hurt, but getting back RHP David Ernst (5-5, 3.43) and RHP Adam Lambrecht (4-2, 3.58, .220OBA) is huge

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234- GEORGE WASHINGTON (26-32, 15-9)

2013 ISR: 243

Starters Returning: 3

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

The Colonials were much more competitive in 2013 and look for more this year.

All three weekend starters and ace reliever Craig LeJeune (3-2, 3.41, 10svs) come back to bolster GW’s hopes for a better 2014. There will be a lot of new faces in the batting order as OF Owen Beightol (.282, 19SBs) is one of few returnees.

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235- PENNSYLVANIA (22-21, 7-13)

2013 ISR: 209

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 4

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

A 6-14 finish last season – including losing their last seven – soured what looked like a promising campaign for the Quakers. Every pitcher of note and the entire infield (which gloved-it at a .968 pace) return, giving hope to a push for the post-season.

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236- SOUTH CAROLINA-UPSTATE (28-30, 9-18)

2013 ISR: 172

Starters Returning: 3

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Better luck is in high regard as Upstate went just 5-10 in one-run games a year ago. The pitch staff will need to be rebuilt around LHP David Roseboom (5-4, 4.35) and saves specialist Chad Sobotka (1-5, 3.89, 7svs). They’ll have the luxury of throwing to a stable catcher in Luke Weber (.332-5-42).

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237- LaSALLE (24-29, 15-9)

2013 ISR: 230

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

How about this?… Ole LSU finished just two games out of 1st place in the A-10 last season. Bravo boys. There is still a lot of familiar faces coming back as Mark Williams (.308) and Joey Ravert (.310) lead a capable offense and an experienced staff could keep them in contention.

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238- SANTA CLARA (14-39, 1-23)

2013 ISR: 236

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Dammit. I didn’t see this one coming for SCU. With a lot of players back from 2012, last year turned into a nightmare season. Three of the top four hitters from last year are back in the fold, led by OF Casey Munoz (.308), 3B Greg Harisis (.293-2-25, 13SBs) and UTL Zach Looney (. 284). The pitching staff will need some work after losing three of their top four arms. RHP Kenny Treadwell (1-2, 4.22, 21apps) and 12-game starter Reese Karalus (0-9, 7.04) will figure into that project.

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239- SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE (26-33, 13-17)

2013 ISR: 219

Starters Returning: 9

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Even though they went from 34 wins in 2012 to just 26 last year, the Redhawks’ ISR went from 220 down to 219. The offense could be formidable as five .300-plus hitters come back, but the pitching staff has a lot of holes. Reliever Alex Siddle (0-0, 3.51, 22apps) is the only flinger with a sub-4.50 ERA.

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240- LIPSCOMB (25-34, 13-14)

2013 ISR: 197

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

For a team which hit just .261, Tyson Ashcraft (.303-5-29) is the only returnee with a .300+ average. Lots of newbies will need to step in right away and contribute. The arms staff issued an Atlantic Sun-high 289 walks last year, so knock that off dudes.

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241- AKRON (17-38, 10-17)

2013 ISR: 251

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

The bad news is the Zips won just 17 games last year. The good news is there is a LOT of youth coming back. The three most used pitchers – John Valek (4-7, 4.15), JT Brubaker (0-7, 7.25) and Zach Beaver (3-2, 3.09) – were all Freshmen and the three most-used hitters – Matt Rembielak (245), Devan Ahart (.295) and Matt Larocca (.270) – were all sophomores.

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242- FAIRFIELD (20-29, 11-13)

2013 ISR: 249

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

The Stags went 8-2 in their last 10 games, showing they “got it” as the season went on. All-MAAC talents Ryan Plourde (.354-3-36, 15SBs) and Jack Giannini (.317, 10SBs) will put pressure on opposing defenses. All 49 starting assignments on the hill come back to the roster, led by EJ Ashworth (3-4, 3.33) and Mike Wallace (6-4, 3.39).

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243- TEMPLE (18-28, 7-17 in the A-10)

2013 ISR: 247

Starters Returning: 3

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Aye caramba! Here we go with another program on the chopping block. This will be the final go-round for the Owls Nine as the administration deemed fit to cut the program in a money-saving effort. At least they get a good send-off as they’ll play the home portion of the schedule at Campbell’s Field in Camden, NJ. Meanwhile, on the mound, RHP Eric Peterson (6-3, 3.83) and relief ace Adam Dian (1-2, 2.21, 5svs) should give them a fighting chance each time out.

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244- NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL (27-29, 12-12)

2013 ISR: 245

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns): 3

The win totals for the Eagles have gone from seven in 2011 to 19 in 2012 to 27 last year. Jim Koerner: American hero. Starting pitchers Jordan Quinn (5-3, 3.56) and Terry McNabb (5-6, 4.43) had 25 starts between them. Reliever Jacob Russell (4-2, 2.28, .220OBA) could take on a bigger role. The pitch unit issued just 141 walks last season. All seven returning starters in the field/order are seniors.

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245- WESTERN MICHIGAN (16-38, 8-19)

2013 ISR: 253

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

The faces will all be the same, but will the results too? Hopefully not. Andrew Sohn (.337-2-36, 17SBs), Steve Buglione (.323) and Theo Piccirilli (.322) will pace an experienced batting order – although the Broncos fielded at just .956 last year. LHP Steve Laudicina (3-9, 3.44) and righty relievers Gabe Berman (1-1, 3.18, 5svs, .210OBA) and Pat Haynes (1-2, 4.41, 2svs) give WMU a chance every time out. But finding quality pitching depth will be the key.

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246- WAGNER (24-31, 16-16)

2013 ISR: 256

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Ah, my boys from Staten Island. Dig ‘em. Although they lose All-World Ian Miller (a 12th round draftee), Nick Dini (.312-4-46, 13SBs) and Chris Smith (.300-4-32, 17SBs) have pop and dash to their game. More importantly, nearly every pitcher of any significance comes back, led by breakout star LHP Matt Morris (4-4, 1.97, .229OBA) and LHP Paul Mammino (6-2, 3.53), who was a Freshman All American.

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247- MOREHEAD STATE (16-40, 10-20)

2013 ISR: 265

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

Curses! The Eagles were back to their old ways, going from 10 wins in 2012 to 28 wins in 2012 and back down to 16 wins last year. Kane Sweeney (.376-4-28, 33BBs) started five different positions last year. Lots of returnees in the mound corps, but they need to cut down the 264BBs, 67WPs and 56HBPs. RHP Aaron Goe returns after going 6-5, 4.20 in 2012 but had to sit out last year with an injury.

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248- AIR FORCE (15-39, 7-23)

2013 ISR: 240

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+ inns.): 3

The usual struggles plague the Falcons, a cold-weather program playing in a sun belt conference. Lots of experience in the pitching staff, but starters Cameron White (3-11, 5.21) and Steven Trojan (4-7, 5.99) and reliever Bo Wilson (1-0, 5.40, 2svs) are the only returnees with an ERA below 6.00. Incoming RHP Griffin Jax turned down a 12th round selection by the Phillies to become a Falcon.

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249- MURRAY STATE (21-33, 9-21)

2013 ISR: 252

Starters Returning: 2

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Yuck! Second season in a row of 33 losses. Well lots of pitching is back, led by senior RHPs Cameron Finch (5-4, 4.32) and Cashtyn DeLeeuw (3-3, 5.32). OF Ty Stetson (.336) will have to get the offense jumpstarted. The best news is that Reagan Field is getting a makeover with stadium seats and a new playing surface to be ready for first pitch.

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250- OAKLAND (20-35, 15-13 in Summit League)

2013 ISR: 248

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Moving from the Summit to the Horizon (to see the sunrise and the moondown), the Grizzlies were a pitching-heavy team in 2013 and return 54 of the 55 starts on the mound, led by LHP Jason Hager (3-7, 3.30) and RHP Tim Koons (4-5, 3.44, .237OBA). The top two hitters come back, but SS Mike Brosseau (.265) and OF Robby Enslen (.264-3-30) will need to improve that paltry .239 team average.

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251- NORTHWESTERN STATE (16-40, 5-22)

2013 ISR: 234

Starters Returning: 3

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

Ugh! Well, we knew last year was a rebuilding season with very few returnees onboard, thus the last place finish. But somehow, the Demons once again have a ton of regulars to replace (How does that happen two years in a row?) LHP Cody Butler (2-4, 4.66) will have bullpenners Steven Spann (2-4, 2.30, 27apps) and Cameron Brewer (1-2, 3.06, 5svs) to back him. Depth must be found though in NSU’s thin ranks.

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252- SAN JOSE STATE (17-41, 11-16)

2013 ISR: 226

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

It was a rough ride for new coach Dave Nakama and his crew in year one on the job. The bad news is there is going to be a lot of turnover in the charges for 2014 as very little experience returns to the roster. But the top three hitters come back in 1B Matt Carroll (.341-2-40), 2B Jacob Valdez (.317) and OF Andre Mercurio (.315). Forty-two of the 58 starts on the mound need to be filled.

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253- WESTERN ILLINOIS (19-37, 9-17)

2013 ISR: 260

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Lots of positives heading in coach Ryan Brownlee’s second go-round in McComb. Fifty-five of the 56 starts on the mound return led by LHP Tom Constand (4-5, 3.32, .243OBA) and Frosh All American LHP Aaron Michel (4-2, 1.23, .179OBA). SS Jameson Henning (.297) was 1st team All Summit and will have OFs Zach Bruling (.306, 20SBs) and Neil DeCook (.300, 12SBs) to improve the offense. The defense was shoddy at .956 but has 2B Brent Turner (.263) and 3B Tanner Glore (.320 in 30 starts) back and both should be steadier.

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254- PAN AMERICAN (28-30, 17-10 in the Great West)

2013 ISR: 228

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns): 4

The Broncos get a pair of emerging first year guys back this year in OF Shane Ammon (.353, 10SBs in 39 starts) and 2B/SS Bryan Ramirez (.345-2-23 in 32 starts), which will help counteract losing the top four full-time hitters, who all hit .297 or better. Australian RHP Sam Street (10-3, 2.73) had 8CGs and will get relievers Matthew Harrell (2-1, 2.04, .203OBA) and Aaron Moore (0-0, 2.48, 4svs) to back him.

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255- HARTFORD (17-36, 13-17)

2013 ISR: 235

Starters Returning: 9

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Wow. Lots of returnees for the Hawks, could make for a big jump in 2014. Sean Newcomb (5-4, 3.74, 92Ks) held opponents to .213 average and has draft boards buzzing. If fellow starting RHP Brian Hunter (2-5, 3.71) can cut down on the free passes, they’ll make a good tandem. Hitting is the big question as OF Ryan Lukach (.292-4-30) is the lone big stick.

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256- SIU-EDWARDSVILLE (16-35, 10-20)

2013 ISR: 259

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

Beware the Ides of April. The Cougars went just 3-14 in April last season, putting a sour note on their season. All three weekend starters on the hill come back to the roster, led by RHP Travis Felax (3-6, 2.26). Also watch for a bigger role from RHP Jake Stauffenberg (3-3, 4.10), who held opposing hitters to a .238 average. None of the returning hitters went better than .260 at the dish.

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257- TEXAS SOUTHERN (22-29, 12-12)

2013 ISR: 254

Starters Returning: 3

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

The Tigers slid to a stop at the end of last season, going 6-17 down the stretch. But all three weekend starters on the bump are back and RHPs Robert Pearson (4-4, 3.90) and Felix Gomez (2-6, 3.91), who have been weekenders the last two seasons. OF Jerry Ford (.298, 19SBs) and INF Chris Deleon (.286) will need a lot of newbies to step up around them.

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258- ALBANY (23-25-1, 16-14)

2013 ISR: 221

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 0

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 6

There will be some major reworking on the mound as all three weekend starters are gone, and unfortunately, so is infield starter Joey Tracy (gone for year with torn ACL). But one of the biggest coos of the off-season was coach Jon Mueller was able to bring in 6th round draft pick RHP Stephen Woods and his mid-90s heater. I mean, how HUGE is that? If you listen you can hear pitching coach Drew Pearce smiling from here.

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259- DAYTON (11-39, 3-21)

2013 ISR: 282

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 6

Great shipwrecks! The Flyers went from 31 wins in 2012 to just 11 last season. Rock-fuggin-bottom. We’re not used to seeing this from DU. A handful of promising pitchers should reverse that in Noah Buettgen (1-10, 4.14) and reliever Nick Weybright (3-1, 2.53, 4svs), among others.

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260- VILLANOVA (14-40, 5-19)

2013 ISR: 257

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

The Wildcats went from 28-27 in 2012 to just 14 wins last season. Yuck! But VU coach Joe Godri tweaked the lineup a lot last season, so a lot of starting experience comes back. Unfortunately, the pitching corps is a little thin beyond the return of staff ace LHP Josh Harris (5-7, 3.75. OF Connor Jones (.234-5-33) has solid pop, but needs to swing it better.

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261- ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF (21-32, 13-11)

2013 ISR: 258

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Ya’ gotta like what the Bluff has going on, going from eight wins in 2012 to 21 in 2013 and finishing 2nd in the Western Division. The pitching corps had a 4.30 team ERA and returns all three weekend starters, led by RHP Kyle Schwartz (4-6, 3.74) and LHP Jim Ploeger (5-4, 4.11). SS Islas Alcantar (.345-6-44) is wildly talented, but the only returnee who hit better than .300+.

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262- YOUNGSTOWN STATE (14-43, 8-16)

2013 ISR: 263

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Not a lot of improvement in coach Steve Gillispie’s first season, going from 11 wins in 2012 to 14 last year. But he does have a senior-dominated squad here, led by ace Patrick O’Brien (3-8, 4.85), C Josh White (.303) and OF Nick Dinello (.311). A full season from 1B Kris Moules (.284 in 26 games) will help too.

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263- YALE (13-25, 10-10)

2013 ISR: 266

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 4

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 1

There are a lot of familiar faces back for the Elies this year as the numbers above point out. The arms staff issued just 112 walks last season, second-lowest in the Ivy League. 1B Jacob Hunter (.312, 10SBs) and LHP David Hickey (4-2, 2.15, 3CGs) lead the offense and arms staff.

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264- NIAGARA (16-38, 9-15)

2013 ISR: 267

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

I know it’s only 16 wins overall, but in the MAAC the Eagles have been much more competitive the last few years. A good bit comes back to the roster in 2014, but the pitching MUST improve. A 7.54 team ERA can’t be repeated. Losing ace Kyle Olver will hurt.

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265- FORDHAM (22-33, 8-16)

2013 ISR: 262

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Don’t sell Kevin Leighton short here, I’m telling you. Sure, they went just 22-33 in his second year, but he’s building here folks. Frosh All American Joseph Runco (.303, 20SBs) and senior OF Tim Swatek (.255, 13SBs) will sparkplug the offense and put pressure on opposing pitchers with their speed.

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266- PRINCETON (14-28, 11-9)

2013 ISR: 246

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Another insanely tough non-conference slate (UC-Santa Barbara, Michigan, North Carolina, Elon, etc.) could mean another dig out of the pit for the Tigers. But Alec Keller (.378-4-17) is the top returning hitter in the Ancient Eight and there is hope that former Rockies draftee C Tyler Servais (.140) will return to his .280-3-21 form of 2012.

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267- UMASS-LOWELL (30-19 at D2)

2013 ISR: NA

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

Big move to D1 will be helped by top hitters Geoff DeGroot (.345, 25SBs) and Jimmy Ricoy (.330, 11SBs) and top pitcher Shane Beauchemin (9-0, 1.53). Also, LeLacheur Park will be the site of the AmEast Tourney for the second year in a row. (Fingers crossed over no rain this time)

LaLucher Park on the campus of newly D1 UMass-Lowell. Also home to the America East Tournament this May.

LeLacheur Park on the campus of newly D1 UMass-Lowell. Also home to the America East Tournament this May.

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268- ST. BONAVENTURE (20-28, 9-15)

2013 ISR: 250

Starters Returning: 3

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 1

Let’s make lemonade out of lemons here, a major roster redux may be just the tonic for this program, after the Bonnies hit just .265 last year. He may not be well known nationally, but Joel Rosencrance (.305/4-4, 4.09) is one of the better two-way players in the A-10.

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269- INCARNATE WORD (26-26 in D2)

2013 ISR: NA

Starters Returning: 2

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 0

Like Abeliene Christian, the Cardinals come to D1 from the Lone Star Conference in D2. Only two starters in the field return, but one of them is Thomas Rinn, who hit .314 with 14SBs. Fifty of the 53 starts on the mound come back, led by Geno Encina (7-7, 3.21), Dylan Boss (4-7, 4.92) and Alexis Garza (6-2, 2.91).

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270- OHIO (14-39, 9-18)

2013 ISR: 273

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

This program pretty much hit rock-bottom last season, going from 28 wins in 2012 to last year’s 14. Lots of returnees is usually a good thing, but OU needs their guys to produce better in 2014. RHPs Jake Miller (2-6, 4.91) and Connor Sitz (2-7, 5.32) were wobbly-kneed freshman last season, but should be more relaxed this year. 1B Jake Madsen (.326-3-37) leads the top five hitters back to the batting order.

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271- COPPIN STATE (18-33, 11-13)

2013 ISR: 289

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Going from one win in 2102 to 18 wins last season, head coach Sherman Reed should be carved into Mt. Rushmore. Screw the Hall of Fame, not honorable enough. The Eagles made major waves by winning their first two games of the MEAC tourney before running out of gas. The good news is that nearly everyone returns this year. So tighten the chinstraps and go get ‘em guys.

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272- PRAIRIE VIEW A&M (27-27, 12-12)

2013 ISR: 271

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

The Panthers made a major push and got within one game of the NCAA tournament with a hot streak last May. Top three hitters come back in Dominiq Harris (.301-8-40), Greg Salcido (.300-2-40) and Walter Wells (.280). Two serviceable weekend starters are also back in Jonathan Mata (5-5, 4.79) and Michael Medina (5-5, 4.92).

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273- LIU-BROOKLYN (21-33-1, 16-14-1)

2013 ISR: 264

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 0

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

The Blackbirds look to rebound with their top three hitters returning, led by SS John Ziznewski (.361-5-31, 18SBs) and OF Pete Leonello (.329-4-26, 12SBs), who are a pair of firestarters. Two-way talent Kevin Needham (.310-4-36 & 303, 3.94) will help rebuild the offense and pitching staff. MLB draftee Justin Topa (team-best 8 wins) and Jordan Wilcox both had 14 starts on the hill and will be missed.

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274- IPFW (22-32, 9-21)

2013 ISR: 277

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

The Mastadons have a few leaders to lean on this season, including OF flyer Tyler Shepherd (.296, 30SBs) and UTL Steve Lowden (.266, 2nd team All Summit). But the arms staff is a different story as the top four pitchers are gone. RHP Steve Danielak (5-4, 4.25) and RHP Brandon Pease (1-3, 4.48) had 23 starts between them.

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275- MARYLAND-BALTIMORE COUNTY (18-30, 9-21)

2013 ISR: 268

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Much more competitive in 2013, the Retrievers look for more this year with a very experienced team. SS Kevin LaChance (.303, 14SBs) is a star in the making, but needs to goad his cohorts into lifting that boney-armed .219 team batting average. RHP Mike Gomez (2-4, 3.00, 4svs) started as a closer but worked his way to the weekend rotation by the end of last year.

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276- SOUTHERN (21-23, 14-10)

2013 ISR: 255

Starters Returning: 1

Weekend Starters: 0

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 0

It sure didn’t seem like a “championship season” as they won the Western Division last season, but a losing overall record is rare for Roger Cador and Co. This is remarkable, according to what I could find, SU has its leading hitter back in Tyler Kirksey (.340, 11SBs) and NO ONE else. No more returning starters in the field, none of the weekend pitching, none of the relievers of note. Who knows what this team will do?

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277- LEHIGH (18-29, 5-15)

2013 ISR: 284

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Two of the top three hitters come back in OF Justin Pacchioll (.366, 12SBs) and Casey Turner (.337, 16SBs), who both can also nab a base when needed and put pressure on opposing pitchers. For the second straight year, most of the pitch staff is back too. A trio of senior RHPs, Colin Gotzon (5-5, 3.56), Mike Burke (3-4, 5.27) and Nick Cassell (2-3, 5.89) lead the arms.

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278- MASSACHUSETTS (14-31, 7-17)

2013 ISR: 270

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

Ack! The Minutemen had zero pitching returning going into last season, and it showed, going from 14 wins to just seven in conference play. Three returnees will make for a strong infield in 2B Rob McLam (.311), SS Vinny Scifo (.216) and 3B Nik Campero (.305). While the weekend rotation is set, the bullpen will be Job 1 this spring and needs some work.

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279- ABILENE CHRISTIAN (29-24 in D2)

2013 ISR: NA

Starters Returning: 3

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 1

After 40 years in the Lone Star Conference at Division II, the Wildcats make the move up to D1 and the Southland. And the baseball program couldn’t have picked a worse time to do so, as they’ve got almost zero returning to the roster from last year. But keep an eye out for Ty Taylor, a two-way threat as an ace on the mound (6-4, 4.14) and in the outfield (.241).

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280- BUCKNELL (16-33, 10-10)

2013 ISR: 269

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

The pitching staff was one of the stronger points for the Bison last year, sporting a 4.48 ERA. They’ll get back relievers Max Kra (2-3, 3.52, 2svs) and Andrew Andreychik (4-3, 3.73) and weekend starter Bryson Hough (3-6, 4.28). Offense needs some help, so look for 6’6″ 1B Carter Austin, a 28th round draft pick of the Mets, to step in right away.

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281- FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON (12-36, 7-25)

2013 ISR: 290

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Ack! The Knights went from an 18-14 NEC mark in 2013 down to just seven wins last season, taking a significant step back once again. Dammit people! Well, things are looking up as seven of the top eight pitchers return, led by saves maestro Eric Snyder (1-1, 5.02, 4svs, 22apps) and starter/reliever Logan Frati (3-2, 5.18). Three-fourths of the infield also comes back from the NEC’s 5th-best defense.

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282- NEW JERSEY TECH (20-34, 11-16 in the Great West)

2013 ISR: 279

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns): 2

There’s a lot of losses to the arms corps, but if the offense can lean on Tom Bouck (.359-2-24) and Teddy Bickert (.358), this team could improve the win total. Either way, look people, the Highlanders still play in one of the best facilities in the country at Riverfront Stadium.

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283- HARVARD (10-31, 7-13)

2013 iSR: 276

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Things should get better for the struggling Crimson as the top four pitchers from a year ago come back (led by ace RHP Sam Dodge – 2-7, 4.89) to go along with the heavily experienced batting order. OF Brandon Kregel (.288-2-21) and OF Mike Martin (.287) were the only returnees to hit over .278.

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284- LAFAYETTE (10-40, 6-14)

2013 ISR: 292

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Not a lot of positives for the Leos last year, but things look up for 2014. Both LHPs Toby Schwartz (3-8, 4.96) and Connor Ortolf (1-5, 5.37) return to weekend duty and have RHP Mitch Leeds (1-2, 4.28, 3svs) to hold leads. Sophs 1B Campbell Lipe (.273) and SS Andrew Landolfi (.272) are the top returning hitters and really need to crank up the D as the team fielding percentage was .946.

 

285- CHICAGO STATE (10-45, 5-23 in the Great West)

2013 ISR: 295

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

As if the Cougars weren’t struggling already, right? Now they’ve got to leave the Great West and go to the WAC. Yeesh. Not sure if it’s good news or not, but all three weekend pitchers come back, led by Andrew Wellwerts (4-10, 4.28, 7CGs) and James Tucker (3-6, 4.89). All-Name Teamer Mattingly Romanin (.284, 12SBs) leads the offense.

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286- BROWN (7-33, 3-17)

2013 ISR: 281

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

Ack! Things gotta get better here, right? Well, having All-Ivy talent like OF Will Marcal (.324-3-23), OF Daniel Massey (.303-4-15) and RHP Anthony Galan (2-5, 4.47, 4CGs) should help push the Bears beyond the 7-win mark of 2013.

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287- QUINNIPIAC (17-36, 12-20 in the NEC)

2013 ISR: 274

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Move from the NEC to the MAAC this year, A very young team last year, look for improvement in 2014. But the .244 team average must improve, otherwise anything over 17 wins is impossible. Strapping 1B VinceGuglietti (.284-2-25) and Scott Donaghue (.283) return as the top two hitters.

You haven't lived if you haven't been to Quinnipiac to experience one of the best settings in college baseball. Sparse and cool.

You haven’t lived if you haven’t been to Quinnipiac to experience one of the best settings in college baseball. Sparse and cool.

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288- NORTH CAROLINA A&T (16-38, 8-16)

2013 ISR: 275

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Despite having a good bit of talent coming back, the Aggies struggled more in 2014 than expected. Now, they could struggle more. Bummer. Of the five pitchers returning, only RHP Tyler Boone (4-5, 3.78) has an ERA under 6.75. NCAT stole 124 bases as a team last year, so expect speedsters like Luke Tendler (.369, 17SBs), Brandon Wilkerson (.288, 24SBs) and Dylan Hipp (.204, 17SBs) to be thieves.

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289- MOUNT ST. MARY’s (11-37, 6-26)

2013 ISR: 291

Starters Returning: 3

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 5

The Mount was at the bottom of nearly every statistical category in the NEC, including fewest conference wins with six. So I’m not sure if this is good news or bad news but nearly every pitcher of note comes back, but none of them had an ERA lower than 5.00. OF Jay Knight (.345-2-14, 32SBs) is one of the better leadoff hitters with speed to burn and a discerning eye (26BBs).

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290- IONA (8-43, 3-21)

2013 ISR: 293

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Ugh! The Gaels went from being competitive with 21 wins in 2012 down to just eight in 2013. Eleven players on the roster made 23 starts or more last season, so experience won’t be a problem – production might. I.C. batted .239 as a team. Be it a good thing or bad thing, 41 of last year’s 51 starts come back this year.

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291- NORFOLK STATE (19-29, 12-12)

2013 ISR: 283

Starters Returning: 8

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 1

The Spartans will need a lot of new (and effective) pitchers to come in and contribute right away. RHP Justin Bhatti (2-7, 3.59) and reliever Troy Applin (2-4, 3.96, 2svs) will have to carry the arms corps for now. 1B Zach Markel (.320-2-35) and OF Cameron Day (.318-2-39) will be joined by part-timer Killian Strenn, who hit .417 in 23 starts.

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292- NEW ORLEANS (7-44 as an independent)

2013 ISR: 278

Starters Returning: 7

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

After one year as an independent, the Privateers join the SLC. The Ron Maestri redux should go better with a very heavy junior-senior team and also a much more manageable schedule compared to last year’s grinder. Alex Smith (3-9, 4.50) and reliever Raymond Winter (2-3, 2.81) were the most serviceable arms. Zach Liberto (.280) could develop into a good leadoff man.

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293- TENNESSEE-MARTIN (11-40, 4-26)

2013 ISR: 285

Starters Returning: 2

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Dab nabbit! UTM has now finished dead last in the OVC six of the last seven years. Crickies! The Skyhawk’s first-ever full time assistant, Brad Goss, took over as the interim head coach in the fall, so this could be interesting season. The good news here is that the three pitchers with sub-6.00 ERAs all return in reliever Stu Jones (0-1, 3.18, 4svs), Carter Smith (1-4, 4.40) and Chris Ross (3-4,  5.54).

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294- ST. PETER’S (17-34, 9-15)

2013 ISR: 280

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

The Peacocks were 13-20 and 7-4 in the MAAC at one point last year, before a 4-14 ending soured their season. Unfortunately, three of the top four hitters are gone, leaving Nick Henriquez (.282) and Jim Smith (.285) to lead the offense. Zack Hopf had a 3.70 ERA, but just a 2-10 record.

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295- ALCORN STATE (15-41, 13-10)

2013 ISR: 287

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

The Braves need to hit the alarm clock earlier this year. For the past two seasons, ASU has won a combined five (yes, 5) non-conference games. Top bat Angel Rosa (.294-2-28, 17SBs) and Justin Barney (.265, 16SBs) will jump-start the speed game. Mike Peters (3-8, 6.93) had 3CGs last season as the most-used flinger.

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296- MARYLAND-EASTERN SHORE (8-45, 4-20)

2013 ISR: 298

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 4

Yep, they were the bottom of the barrel in 2014, the very last ranked team in D1′s ISR rankings. The top three pitchers all return in RHP Will Turley (1-4, 5.13), LHP Jordan Bone (0-7, 5.48) and JP Black (1-5, 5.84), all three of whom had more walks than Ks last season. OFs Stephen Bull (.309) and Byron Campbell (.291, 13SBs) will need to carry the offense.

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297- GRAMBLING STATE (18-30, 9-15)

2013 ISR: 272

Starters Returning: 5

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3

Not many people would’ve guessed James Cooper’s charges finishing dead last in the Western Divison last year. I had them pegged for 2nd place behind Southern, but they didn’t live up to billing. Starting RHP Brock Baker (3-5, 2.97) and reliever Zach Moreau (0-4, 3.78) are the only remaining pitchers with an ERA below 7.00.

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298- NORTHERN KENTUCKY (8-47, 3-24)

2013 ISR: 286

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 1

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

The Norse were a pretty good team in D2, winning 36 games in 2012, but the bottom fell out as they were overwhelmed at the D1 level in 2013. I know this sounds simple, but that’s baseball, still the team ERA of 6.03 must be lowered and the paltry .229 team average must be raised. Two JC transfers will help in RHP Wendell Wright and battery mate C Jordan Procyshen.

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299- FLORIDA A&M (7-47, 6-18)

2013 ISR: 288

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 2

Sadly, no improvement for the Rattlers in 2013, with a nearly identical mark of their 2012 outfit. Ugh! Obviously, the team ERA of 7.19 shows the obvious problem. But having starters David Duncan (3-8, 5.31) and William Carrasco (1-8, 6.11) will help. The offense hit just .229 but has Marlon Gibbs (.364) and Bennie Robinson (.330, 12SBs) back to help the rebuilding.

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300- ALABAMA A&M (8-40, 6-15)

2013 ISR: 294

Starters Returning: 6

Weekend Starters: 3

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 0

Change does need to be made, no doubt. A&M went and gave the head coaching gig to youthful Mitch Hill. He’ll have a full cupboard to work with. All three weekend starters on the mound are back. Offensively, the top four hitters are back, led by Patrick Dodson (.330, 12SBs) and Austin Hulsey (.313, 12SBs).

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301- NEW YORK TECH (10-47, 8-20 in the Great West)

2013 ISR: 296

Starters Returning: 3

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 1

Key Relievers (15+inns): 5

The Techsters used a LOT of pitchers last season, but mostly because they were ineffective, seeing how their team ERA was 7.21. But James Bulva (1-8, 4.98) is a good start to recovery. The Bears stole 88 bases last year and still have Joshua Canabal (.282, 10SBs) and Joe Daru (.266, 17SBs) around to apply pressure.

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302- MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE (5-44, 1-21)

2013 ISR: 297

Starters Returning: 1

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 0

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 1

Yes StitchHeads, this is the team we ALL should pull for this season. No. 302. The Valley was 10-14 in SWAC play in 2012, but just one stinkin’ win last year. Maybe it’s good that there will be a total roster overhaul this year. The pitching staff is led by – and I’m not making this name up – Montana Kiler (1-10, 6.34) and David Lostra (3-8, 7.07) who combined for 22 starts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMMENTS:

February 7, 2014 at 12:15 pm
Murray Passarieu says:

I don’t think my Gators will be quite that good, especially after this: http://www.alligator.org/news/campus/article_7d66a70a-8e29-11e3-8141-0019bb2963f4.html


February 7, 2014 at 1:56 pm
FullertonBaseballFan says:

Outstanding job as always.

Big West stuff……

Cal Poly is going with a FR Calomeni in the rotation with Granger in middle relief.

UCSB – Pretty much eight starters back because Trinkwon and part-time 3B Venning were the only losses. Pettibone will be out for at least a month with a shoulder injury. Hecht has been converted to a SP.

Irvine – Lots of question marks. Saw them at their alumni game. OF is a mess with three converted IF’s playing out there. SP’s after Morales have not thrown well, including projected Sat SP Brock in the alumni game.

Long Beach – Third key 2012 All-Big West honoree returning who DNP in 2013 is SP Strufing. FR SS Hampson is the real deal. I like them better than Irvine and they will have an at-large RPI if they survive that schedule. Keep an eye on JC transfer Rohrbach.

Northridge – You are much higher on them than most. Coaches picked them 7th. Lost five of their best hitters with the prospects not looking good to pick up the slack.

Hawaii – If they can hit at all, they have a chance to play their way into 4th-5th place with all of the pitching they have back.

Riverside – Went 2-16 between their first and last conf series except for the sweep vs. Pacific, who almost everybody picked up 3 W’s against. Return one pitcher with an ERA below 4.85.

UC Davis – Potential for them to move up. Lots of guys back, lost a ton of close games. They need to field the ball much better. Will the returning pitchers be better? That’s the key.


February 7, 2014 at 2:12 pm
John Sigler says:

For the sake of accuracy, look for Joey Pankake at 3b for the Gamecocks with JC transfer Marcus Mooney taking over at SS. And boy is he fun to watch.


February 7, 2014 at 3:04 pm
Duke says:

Thanks for the extensive breakdown Eric, I’m surprised you have the Cocks so high. I’m looking for great things this year under Holbrook. When are you going to come to Carolina Stadium?


February 7, 2014 at 4:05 pm
FullertonBaseballFan says:

Didn’t know if you knew about this when your rankings went to press but Cole Irvin at is out for the year with TJ surgery. Oregon will also be moving Reed to closer to take over for Sherfy so the only SP in the rotation from last year will be Thorpe. FR phenom Krook will be in the rotation and the other SP spot is undecided between Spencer and Gold, who will both start in the four game series opener at Hawaii.


February 7, 2014 at 7:39 pm
Brandon says:

Awesome Stitch, think this is the year the Dirtabgs return to the field of 64?

“65- Long Beach State”

SONUVABITCH!!!!


February 7, 2014 at 8:56 pm
Bulldog says:

Wow you have the Sooners at 37?? Well I guess I cannot complain since they lost a lot from last year’s super regional team. I have liked everything I have read about coach Hughes and if it is true then this rebuilding of the Sooners will not take long….. regardless we have baseball next week!! BOOMER!!


February 8, 2014 at 2:06 am
BaseballGuru says:

You must not have done your research..For coppin state Reed isnt the reason for the turn around..except in terms of recruiting. Decent players were the reason for the turn around last year, not the coaching prowess of Reed


February 8, 2014 at 9:03 pm
Ben Johnson says:

Surprise BCSBuster Type Teams to Watch:

1. UCSB – On the Rise – Checkets has this team on the brink of challenging Fullerton.

2. Appalachian State – On the Rise – If they can steal a series win vs Arkansas or NC State and go at least .500 vs midweek games against Tennessee, VTech, Clemson, North Carolina and the like, they could go far.

3. Long Beach State – Once again the schedule is daunting…similar situation to Appy State. Is this the breakout campaign for the 9′ers?

4. Austin Peay – Already Risen…is this the year they make a run to a Super Regional? Perhaps Omaha?

5. Creighton – I’m wishing here, but wouldn’t Omaha be great if both Nebraska (which is on the rise) and Creighton made it to the CWS?

6. UNLV – Program had a breakout year last year…Could challenge in the MWC.


February 8, 2014 at 11:50 pm
tim says:

Nice job, Stitch. Montgomery on Friday and Wynkoop on Sunday with one of our outstanding freshmen taking the Saturday slot is going to be a solid weekend staff for the Gamecocks. Look for Kyle Martin to have an All-American type season at first and provide some big innings out of the pen. With 3B Pankake,C Greiner,2B Shrock,CF English, RF Bright, and a few newcomers, the offense and defense should keep pace with the pitching this season. No guarantees for Omaha but they will be in the Supers vying for another shot.


February 10, 2014 at 1:30 am
3Point1Four says:

Would be nice to have a search feature for this Top 302 Teams article. Or a numbered listing included. Took me 75 page downs to read about my team.


February 12, 2014 at 10:53 am
DaOwl says:

Tanya is not pleased with this report.


February 16, 2014 at 12:23 am
Program Man says:

Great job, Stitch. Quite a task to preview all 302 teams. However, it looks like you’ve listed Columbia twice (#127 and #135). So what team was omitted?


February 16, 2014 at 1:36 am
Eric Sorenson says:

You must’ve misread Program Man, it’s Cornell at No. 135. They’re easily mistaken for each other. But thanks for the kind words too. I appreciate it bro.


February 16, 2014 at 6:03 pm

[...] Eric Sorenson is the man! [...]