Delaware Baseball Picked Eighth in 2011 CAA Preseason Poll
January 20, 2011
Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
RICHMOND, Va. - - With five of their top eight hitters returning, and only losing three pitchers who threw at least 10 innings last season, the University of Delaware baseball team was picked to finish eighth in the Colonial Athletic Association standings, according to a poll of the head coaches released by the conference Wednesday.
The Blue Hens finished 27-24 overall a season ago for their 18th winning season in the past 21 years, but stood in 10th place in the CAA with a 9-15 record. However, they ended the season on a four-game winning streak and look to continue that late season push into this season.
The Blue Hens return seniors Steve Ulaky and Pat Dameron, two of their top three hitters from a year ago, to anchor the top of the lineup. Although the Blue Hens will miss the presence of Carlos Alonso and Ryan Cuneo, both drafted in the MLB Amateur Draft, Ulaky and Dameron held the second and third best batting averages on the team, respectively.
Ulaky hit .374 in 182 at-bats while Dameron hit .353 while starting all 51 games. Both were second on the team while legging out 19 doubles. Dameron belted 14 homeruns, and knocked in 59 runs, second only to Cuneo.
The Blue Hens also return D.J. Long, a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American who started every game at second base as a true freshman. He batted .305 with 71 hits, 35 RBI’s and 34 runs scored. Sophomore Hank Yates (.313 batting average in 39 starts), senior Dave Anderson (at right) (.303 average in 49 starts at shortstop), and senior Aaron Mascoe (.310 batting average in 35 games, 25 starts at catcher) also return to the starting lineup for the Blue Hens.
The staff also returns a bulk of their players that saw significant innings in 2010. Devon Pearson who led the team with three saves and a 3-0 record in 20 appearances will anchor the bullpen. Matt Harden appeared in a team high 21 contests, throwing 36.2 innings and registering 24 strikeouts. Nick Young has the most starts out of the returning hurlers, appearing in 18 games while making 10 starts. Matt Soren and Eric Buckland also gained experience last season as they made 8 and 7 starts, respectively.
James Madison, which returns five starters from last year’s squad that finished atop the CAA baseball regular-season standings, has been picked to win the conference title in 2011.
The Dukes received four first-place votes and finished atop the poll with 90 points. Georgia State also garnered four first-place votes and was close behind in second with 88. Defending CAA champion VCU got two first-place tallies and was chosen third with 84 points and UNC Wilmington picked up the remaining first place vote and was fourth with 83 points. William and Mary placed fifth in the voting, followed by George Mason, Old Dominion, Delaware, Towson, Hofstra and Northeastern.
The Blue Hens open their season on February 18 when they travel to UNC Greensboro for a three game series. The first game of the series is slated to start at 4 p.m.
2011 CAA Baseball Preseason Poll:
1. James Madison (4 first-place votes) 90; 2. Georgia State (4) 88; 3. VCU (2) 84; 4. UNC Wilmington (1) 83; 5. William & Mary 54; 6. George Mason 51; 7. Old Dominion 44; 8. Delaware 34; 9. Towson 33; 10. Hofstra 26; 11. Northeastern 18
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