Saints Picked 1st In Liberty League Coaches Poll
Feb. 15: St. Lawrence University's baseball team has been selected as the pre-season favorite to repeat at Liberty League champions in voting by the league's coaches.
The Saints led the pre-season poll with 46 points and garnered five first place votes while RPI was second with 42 points with one first place vote and Skidmore third with 38 and had two first place votes. Rochester was fourth followed by Union, Clarkson, Vassar and RIT.
SLU won its first-ever Liberty League regular season championship a year ago, set a program record for wins at 28-14 and made the championship game in the Liberty League tournament, losing to Skidmore for the tournament title. The Saints went 19-8 in Liberty League competition.
Liberty League and ECAC Coach of the Year Pete Hoy will enter his third year as Saint coach and returns eight starters in the every-day lineup from last year's record-setting team. Carter Franz, Jeff Kott, Khifer O'Connor, Bryan Palermo and Paul Piatelli all earned all-league honors last season and are back for the upcoming season. Franz and Piatelli, both outfielders, and Kott are seniors while O'Connor and Palermo are juniors. Also returning are senior shortstop Ethan Braddock, junior outfielder Brian Magoveny and sophomore outfielder Mark Syron, who had anoutstanding rookie season cut short by injury.
While catcher Matt D'Auteil graduated in three years, junior Zane Fish, senior Matt DeLuca and Syron are among the candidates to replace him in the lone vacancy from last year's daily lineup.
Pitching will be one question for the Saints after the graduation of Jason Conde, reliever Kyle Donaldson and Matt Skelly, who combined for 14 wins last season, but junior Joe Riley 5-3, 3.92 ERA and sophomore Andrew Shreyack, 5-2, 3.38, will form the nucleus of the Saint pitching staff which could be augmented by the arrival of three rookie prospects and a transfer.
The Saints open the 2013 season against Mitchell College on March 9 in Ft. Myers, FL and will begin defense of their Liberty League regular season title with a four-game series at Union April 23-24.