Delaware Picked No. 7 in Pre-Season CAA Coaches Poll; Long Earns Spot on Pre-Season Squad
January 31, 2012
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
RICHMOND, Va. -- The University of Delaware baseball squad, which fell just one game short of advancing to the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament a year ago, earned a No. 7 spot in the CAA Coaches pre-season poll announced by the league office recently.
In addition to the poll, Blue Hen junior second baseman D.J. Long (at right) earned a spot on the pre-season All-CAA honorable mention squad.
Delaware, led by 12th-year head coach Jim Sherman, welcomes back 15 letterwinners from last year’s squad that posted an overall record of 27-26 and finished in fifth place in the CAA standings with a 16-14 mark. The Hens led the CAA race for most of the season before faltering over the final two weekends and finishing just one game out of a spot in the four-team league playoffs.
The Blue Hens will open the 2012 season with a three-game set at the University of Houston on Feb. 17-19. The home opener is set for March 2 vs. Fairfield at 2:30 p.m. at Bob Hannah Stadium.
Defending CAA champion James Madison, which has won two titles over the last four years, was selected as the favorite to repeat by the 11 league coaches after going 42-19 last year and capturing the league tournament title and automatic NCAA Tournament berth. The Dukes earned five first place votes and 95 points in the poll to edge UNCW, which garnered two first place votes and 88 points. Old Dominion was picked third with 76 points and two first place votes and Georgia State was fourth with 74 points and the final two first place votes.
VCU was picked No. 5 with 63 points, George Mason was sixth with 46 points, and Delaware and William & Mary tied for seventh with 44 points. Towson was ninth with 30 points followed by Hofstra (27) and Northeastern (19).
Long, a junior health and physical education major from Millsboro, Del. (Sussex Central HS), returns as a third-year starter this spring to lead the Blue Hens. A career .323 hitter, Long started all 53 games in 2011 and batted .298 with three home runs and 24 runs batted in while earning the team’s Defensive Player of the Year Award. He hit .350 as a freshman in 2010 to earn freshman All-American honors and CAA All-Rookie laurels.
2012 Colonial Athletic Association Baseball Pre-Season Coaches Poll: 1. James Madison (5 1st Place Votes), 95 points; 2. UNCW (2), 88; 3. Old Dominion (2), 76; 4. Georgia State (2), 74; 5. VCU, 63; 6. George Mason, 46; 7. Delaware, William & Mary, 44; 9. Towson, 30; 10. Hofstra, 27; 11. Northeastern, 19.
2012 CAA Baseball Pre-Season Team: C - Andrew Parker (Towson); 1B - Hunter Ridge (UNCW); 2B - Chris Cook (George Mason); SS - Josh Wright (ODU); 3B - Brandon Williams (Georgia State); OF - Aaron Barbosa (Northeastern), Danny Poma (Hofstra), Thomas Pope (UNCW); UT - Johnny Bladel (JMU); DH - Drew Shields (Georgia State); SP - Sean Tierney (JMU), Ben Tomchick (ODU); RP - Brett Koehler (Wm. & Mary)
Honorable Mention (players receiving multiple votes): Taylor Perkins, C, VCU; Chris Baker, 1B, Old Dominion; Ty McFarland, 1B, James Madison; D.J. Long, 2B, Delaware; Andrew Cain, OF, UNCW; Bill Cullen, OF, VCU; Dan Schafferman, OF, George Mason; Brig Tison, UT, George Mason; Joey Burney, DH, Old Dominion; Zack Helgeson, DH, George Mason; Andrew Leenhouts, SP, Northeastern; Justin Malone, SP, Georgia State; Jake Dyer, RP, Georgia State
Pre-Season Player of the Year: Josh Wright (Old Dominion)
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