Northeastern Picked To Win 2024 CAA Baseball Championship

Northeastern Picked To Win 2024 CAA Baseball Championship

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RICHMOND, Va. (February 7, 2024) – Northeastern, which returns seven all-conference performers from last year’s 44-16 squad, has been picked to capture the 2024 CAA baseball championship according to a vote of the league’s head baseball coaches.
 
The Huskies received eight first-place votes and 118 total points to finish atop the preseason poll. Defending CAA champion UNCW received the other four first-place votes and ranked second with 110 points. Conference newcomer Campbell, which has earned five consecutive NCAA Tournament berths was chosen third with 103 points and Charleston was selected fourth with 89 points. Placing fifth was Elon, followed by Delaware, William & Mary, Stony Brook, Hofstra, North Carolina A&T, Towson and Monmouth.
 
Northeastern outfielder Mike Sirota was honored as the CAA Preseason Player of the Year. The Huskies’ junior earned third team All-America accolades last season after batting .346 with 18 home runs, a school-record 73 runs scored, 54 RBI’s and 19 stolen bases. He has already been named as a 2024 Preseason All-American by D1Baseball.com, Baseball America and Perfect Game.


 
Northeastern tallied a school-record 44 victories last season and made its third NCAA Tournament appearance in the past five years. Six Huskies were voted to the preseason All-CAA team as Sirota was joined by infielder Tyler MacGregor (.332, 18 HR, 54 RBI’s), outfielder Cam Maldonado (.353, 13 HR, 45 RBI’s, 32 SB) and designated hitter Alex Lane (.318, 16 HR, 58 RBI’s). Back on a pitching staff that ranked third nationally with a 3.75 ERA in 2023 are freshman All-American Aiven Cabral (9-4, 2.58 ERA), senior Wyatt Scotti (6-4, 3.91 ERA) and reliever Jake Gigliotti (8-0, 2 saves, 3.24 ERA).
 
UNCW is coming off a 34-23 campaign that was capped by its seventh CAA championship and 11th NCAA Tournament trip in the past two decades. The Seahawks’ lineup features three preseason All-CAA honorees in third baseman Jac Croom (.361, 7 HR, 34 RBI’s), outfielder Trevor Marsh (.319, 12 HR, 48 RBI’s) and first baseman Tanner Thach (.289, 15 HR, 68 RBI’s). UNCW is also solid on the mound as 2023 All-CAA honorees Zane Taylor (7-3, 3.72 ERA) and Jacob Shafer (7-5, 4.62 ERA) are joined by RJ Sales, who missed last season due to injury but was 6-1 in 2022.
 
Campbell joins the CAA on the heels of a 46-15 season that included a fourth Big South title in five years and a fifth straight NCAA Tournament berth. The Camels, who were ranked as high as No. 9 nationally in 2023, welcome back All-America outfielder Lawson Harrill (.371, 22 HR, 69 RBI’s), all-conference catcher Grant Knipp (.278, 13 HR, 55 RBI’s) and third baseman Chandler Riley (.309, 4 HR, 25 RBI’s). Among the returnees to the Campbell pitching staff are senior Chance Daquila (9-1, 4.85) and reliever Jackson Roberts (2-0, 1 save, 2.16 ERA).
 
Charleston went 36-23 and reached the CAA Tournament for the ninth consecutive season in 2023. The Cougars return a trio of all-conference standouts with first baseman Cole Mathis (.330, 9 HR, 51 RBI’s), third baseman Luke Wood (.302, 9 HR, 38 RBI’s) and outfielder Trotter Harlan (.289, 10 HR, 51 RBI’s). Mathis (5-1, 3.45 ERA) also contributes on the mound along with Connor Campbell (4-2, 4.23 ERA)..
 
Elon reached its eighth straight CAA Tournament as part of a 33-22 campaign a year ago. The Phoenix welcome back infielder Ryan Sprock (.313, 8 HR, 38 RBI’s), outfielder Charlie Granatell (.272, 2 HR, 32 RBI’s) and utility player Tanner Holliman (.254, 13 RBI’s) to the lineup. Justin Mitrovich (7-4, 3.68 ERA) and Sprock (3-3, 5.40 ERA) return to the starting rotation with Liam Dabagian (5-1, 2 saves, 3.16 ERA) anchoring the bullpen.
 
Delaware made the CAA Tournament for the first time since 2018 and finished 30-29 overall last season. The Blue Hens are led offensively by All-CAA third baseman Joey Loynd (.392, 14 HR, 80 RBI’s) and designated hitter Bryce Greenly (.322, 8 HR, 33 RBI). On the mound, Greenly (3-3, 4.50 ERA) and reliever Anthony Gubitosi (1-0, 3 saves, 4.94 ERA) are back.
 
William & Mary posted a 32-25 mark last season and earned its ninth CAA Tournament berth in 10 years. The Tribe lineup includes veteran outfielder Joe Delossantos (.271, 8 HR, 44 RBI’s) and catcher Nate Goranson (.231, 6 HR, 39 RBI’s). W&M features a pair of preseason All-CAA honorees on the mound in starter Nate Knowles (5-5, 3.43 ERA) and reliever Carter Lovasz (5-1, 7 saves, 2.96 ERA).
 
Stony Brook was 23-29 in its inaugural CAA season. The Seawolves should be strong offensively with preseason All-CAA selection Evan Fox (.333, 8 HR, 37 RBI’s, 39 SB) returning along with infielder Brett Paulsen (.323, 2 HR, 38 RBI’s) and outfielder Matt Brown-Eiring (.297, 9 HR, 37 RBI’s). Eddie Smink (3-6, 5.25 ERA) is the top returnee on the mound.
 
Hofstra, which captured the CAA title in 2022, is coming off a 26-26 season. The Pride has an experienced lineup with Dylan Palmer (.369, 23 RBI’s), Steve Harrington (.350, 7 HR, 46 RBI’s), Santino Rosso (.318, 36 RBI’s) and Will Kennedy (.337, 15 RBI’s) back. Steven Kaenzig (0-1. 3.09 ERA) and Michael O’Hanlon (1-1, 6 saves) top the pitching staff.
 
North Carolina A&T has several key performers back from last year’s 19-28 squad. Offensively, the Aggies return leading hitters Tre Williams (.316, 4 HR, 26 RBI’s) and Camden Jackson (.309, 3 HR, 22 RBI’s) as well as catcher Canyon Brown (.275, 5 HR, 31 RBI’s).  Ja’Heim Brown (2-5) and Coley Kilpatrick (3-7) are back in the starting pitching rotation.
 
Towson, which went 19-37 in 2023, has a number of top players back. Infielders Casey Bishop (.325, 5 HR, 34 RBI’s) and Bryce Frederick (.299, 14 HR, 56 RBI’s) and outfielder Elijah Dickerson (.313, 2 HR, 38 RBI’s) should provide plenty of offensive production. Nate Nabholz (3-1, 3.46 ERA) and Max Simpson (1-2, 4.40 ERA) lead the pitching staff.
 
Monmouth will look to improve on last year’s 16-30 record. Returning to the Hawks’ lineup are outfielder Eric Sabato (.310, 3 HR, 20 RBI’s) and infielders Austin Denlinger (.290, 2 HR, 27 RBI’s) and James Harmstead (.222, 7 HR, 26 RBI’s). On the mound, Dante Ciaramella and Drew Helmstetter bring a great deal of experience.
 
 2024 CAA BASEBALL PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
 
1. Northeastern (8 first-place votes)              118
2. UNCW (4 first-place votes)                        110
3. Campbell                                                    103
4. Charleston                                                   89
5. Elon                                                             77
6. Delaware                                                     71
7. William & Mary                                            65
8. Stony Brook                                                48
9. Hofstra                                                        47
10. North Carolina A&T                                   30
11. Towson                                                      22
12. Monmouth                                                 12
 
2024 PRESEASON ALL-CAA BASEBALL TEAM
 
Player, School                                             Pos.        Cl.           Hometown
Grant Knipp, Campbell                                 C             Jr.           Louisville, Ky.
Jac Croom, UNCW                                       IF            Sr.           Wilmington, N.C.
Joey Loynd, Delaware                                  IF            Sr.           Doylestown, Pa.
Tyler MacGregor, Northeastern                    IF            Gr.          Peabody, Mass.
Cole Mathis, Charleston                               IF            Jr.           Cataula, Ga.
Tanner Thach, UNCW                                  IF            So.          Belvidere, N.C.
Lawson Harrill, Campbell                            OF          Sr.           Shelby, N.C.
Cam Maldonado, Northeastern                   OF          So.          Wolcott, Conn.
Trevor Marsh, UNCW                                 OF          Sr.           Asheboro, N.C.
Mike Sirota, Northeastern                           OF          Jr.           Broad Channel, N.Y.
Evan Fox, Stony Brook                               UT          Sr.           Ballston Spa, N.Y.
Alex Lane, Northeastern                             DH          Gr.          Andover, Mass.
Aiven Cabral, Northeastern                        SP           So.          Lynn, Mass.
Nate Knowles, William & Mary                   SP           Jr.           Arlington, Va.
Justin Mitrovich, Elon                                 SP           So.          Yardley, Pa.
Zane Taylor, UNCW                                   SP           Jr.           Franklinton, N.C.
Jake Gigliotti, Northeastern                       RP           Sr.           Paxton, Mass.
Carter Lovasz, William & Mary                  RP           Jr.           Midlothian, Va.
 
 
CAA Preseason Player of the Year:  Mike Sirota, Northeastern
 
Honorable Mention:  Canyon Brown, C, North Carolina A&T; Casey Bishop, IF, Towson; Bryce Frederick, IF, Towson; Dylan Palmer, IF, Hofstra; Brett Paulsen, IF, Stony Brook; Luke Wood, IF, Charleston; Matt Brown-Eiring, OF, Stony Brook; Steve Harrington, OF, Hofstra; Trotter Harlan, IF/OF, Charleston; Will Kennedy, OF, Hofstra; Bryce Greenly, DH/P, Delaware; John Newton, DH, UNCW; Ryan Sprock, IF/P, Elon; Chance Daquila, SP, Campbell; RJ Sales, SP, UNCW; Wyatt Scotti, SP, Northeastern; Connor Kane, RP, UNCW