How BA sees NCAA Division II
- Updated: February 11, 2019
Baseball America’s Division II preview …
HOW THEY’LL FINISH
- Tampa (Fla.)
- Augustana (S.D.)
- UC San Diego (Calif.)
- Columbus State (Ga.)
- Millersville (Pa.)
- Bellarine (Ky.)
- Mercyhurst (Pa.)
- Florida Southern
- Texas A&M Kingsville
- Southern New Hampshire
2017: West Chester
2016: Nova Southeastern
2014: Southern Indiana
2012: West Chester
2011: West Florida
2010: Southern Indiana
Pitcher of the Year: Colton Ingram, RHP, Columbus State (Ga.)
Player of the Year: Micah Pries, OF, Point Loma (Calif.) Nazarene
Keaton Greenwalt, OF, Lubbock Christian (Texas)
Kenny Wells, RHP ,Seton Hill (Pa.)
Micah Pries, OF, Point Loma (Calif.) Nazarene
Kolton Ingram, LHP, Columbus State (Ga.)
J.R. McDermott, RHP, Colorado Mesa
Andres Perez, C, North Georgia
Michael Giacone, LHP, North Greenville (S.C.)
Alex Eliopulos, 3B, UC San Diego
Andrew Pratt, C, Lubbock (Texas) Christian
Andrew Dean, LHP, Illinois Springfield
Zack Smith, C, Mount Olive (N.C.)
Mikey Gangwish, C,Colorado School of the Mines
Jake Posey, RHP, Montevallo
Drew Miller, LHP, Millersville (Pa.)
Anthony Auletta, LHP, Molloy (NY)
John Greeley, RHP, St. Thomas Aquinas (N.Y.)
Zack Smith, C, Mount Olive (N.C.)
TOP 10 TEAMS
Expect Tampa to win 40 games or more yet again, as the Spartans are consistently one of the best team’s in Divison II. Joe Urso’s team brings back 2B Drew Ehrhard and OF Nick DeTringo. But it’s the addition of transfers 1B Keenan Bell (from Florida), 3B Nick Derr (Florida State), OF Danny Blair(from South Carolina) to the lineup and transfer RHP Mason Duke (Alabama) should ensure that the Spartans are once again battling for a national title.
After winning its first national title last season and setting a school record with 52 wins, Augustana should be one of the best teams in Division II again this season. Sophomore Jed Schmidt, seniors Michael Brandt and Derek Dahlke will be counted on to lead the pitching staff, but it’s the lineup that should lead the way. Junior INF Sam Baier (.311/.387/.489), senior OF Michael Svolzil(.312/.375/.407 with a school record 41 SB) and sophomore INF Jordan Barth (.362/.380/.528).
UC San Diego (Calif.)
The 2018 West Region Champions will look to continue their success in conference after going 30-14. 3B Alex Eliopulos (.312 with 14 home runs) will lead a potent offensive team in 2019 that features the returns of DH Blake Baumgartner (.325 with 5 home runs) and SS Shay Whitcomb (.310 with 5 home runs). The defense will be good behind the pitching staff, which features RHP Noah Conlon, brother of LHP P.J. Conlon from the New York Mets.
Columbus State (Ga.)
After losing in the national championship game last year, Columbus State is once again loaded. The Cougars bring back six of its nine lineup regulars from last year as well as arguably the best pitcher in Division II in lefthander Kolton Ingram. The senior went 14-3, 2.18 with a nation’s best 150 strikeouts last season.
Coach Larry Owens’ Knights will see a deep pitching staff return in 2019. Ace lefthander Eddie Mathis(7-2, 2.71) will lead the staff that features a quality bullpen. RF Zac Wiley (.348/.422/.583) will prove some power and a consistent presence in the middle of the lineup.
Pitching will be key for Millersville to make a deep postseason run in 2019, with a veteran staff that is led by two-time Pennsylvania Sports Athletic Conference pitcher of the year, RHP Eli Nabholz (9-6, 2.19). Seven of eight positional starters will be returning, with LHP Drew Miller and RHP Tyler Yankosky helping an already potent pitching staff.
Last year, Chris Vallimont was the best pitcher in Division II on his way to being picked by the Marlins in the fifth round of the 2018 draft. He may be gone, but the Lakers still have one of the best pitches in D-II in Russell Lamovec. The senior posted a 2.83 ERA last year with 84 strikeouts in 63.2 innings.
After winning 45 games last year, the Mocs bring back SS Pablo Cabrera (who is moving over from third base) as well as sophomore 1B Jacob Teter. 2B Dylan Costa. The Mocs also bring back it’s top two starters–J.J. Niekro and Thomas Spinelli.
Texas A&M Kingsville
A return trip to Cary, N.C.’s D-II World Series could be in the offing for Texas A&M Kingsville. Sophomore Tyler Flores is coming of an outstanding freshman year where he went 7-1, 2.91 with 79 strikeouts in 65 innings. He’ll be joined in the rotation by senior Preston Plovanich.
Southern New Hampshire
Southern New Hampshire and coach Scott Loiseau brings back a quality pitching staff for 2019. Junior righthander Wesley Tobin (1.91, 41 strikeouts) and RHP Jake Walkinshaw (1.64, 36 strikeouts) will anchor the veteran staff. The club is a bit short on positional depth, but OF John Stanton(.287/.407/.433) will provide a solid presence for the lineup.