Thomasville, NC- Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference (CVAC) head baseball coaches voted Mount Olive College as their preseason poll favorite for the 2007 season. Mount Olive returns five All-CVAC selections, along with last year’s Freshman of the Year and CVAC Tournament MVP, from a team that won the 2006 CVAC Tournament and earned a berth in the NCAA DII South Atlantic Regional (39-16, 15-9 CVAC).
Two Trojans earned Pre-Season All-American honors: Senior first baseman Josh Carter hit .406 with 67 runs batted in last year, while junior shortstop David Cooper finished in the top 20 nationally in triples (2nd), stolen bases (14th) and runs scored (18th). Senior third baseman Stephen Nordan hit .727 at last year’s CVAC Tournament to earn MVP honors. Carter, Cooper and Nordan are among eight returning starters who hit at least .300 last year as the Trojans posted a team batting average of .351, seventh-highest in the nation.
On the mound, Phillip Pennington (6-4) was named to the All-CVAC second team, while Jesse Lancaster (6-1) earned Freshman of the Year honors. Daniel Wood (5-2) and Paul Buhrow (3-2) came on strong at the end of the season as both players were named to the All-Tournament Team at the CVAC Tournament. Weston Curles, who won each of his last four starts in 2004, including a nine-inning complete game against Erskine in the CVAC Tournament, will rejoin the Trojan staff after missing the last two seasons with an injury.
The Erskine College baseball team returns 13 lettermen off a memorable 2006 season. The Fleet went 42-16 and finished 2nd in the CVAC regular season with a 15-7 CVAC mark. While they lose three former players who have moved on to professional careers, the Fleet will be returning some experience at crucial positions. This experience includes shortstop Shelton Cisson, first baseman Matt Schneider, and catcher Matt Wurzer. Erskine also added a handful of new players that should contribute right away both pitching and at the plate. On the mound, Erskine will be led be senior Jake Williams and junior Russell Reid, who combined for 70 appearances, 16 wins and 13 saves last year.
Rounding out the baseball preseason poll 4-9 is: Barton, Belmont Abbey, Limestone,
Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference Pre-Season Coaches Poll
(First place votes in parenthesis)
2007 CVAC “Preseason Players to Watch” List
(As selected by the member institutions)
Name: School: Year: Highlights:
Kyle Lewis Anderson Sr. .292 batting average in ‘06
Kelly Stracke Barton Sr. ‘06 All-CVAC 1st Team, Pitcher
Jonathan Nichols Barton So. 12 HR, 38 RBI in ‘06
Eric Losten Coker Sr. ’05 All-CVAC 1st Team, All-Region, 3rd Base
Brian Nally Coker Sr. ’05 All-CVAC 2nd Team, Shortstop
Mike Moore Erskine Jr. ‘06 All-CVAC 2nd Team, Pitcher
Jake Williams Erskine Sr. ‘06 All-CVAC 2nd Team, Relief Pitcher
Joey Asis Limestone Sr. ’06 All-CVAC 2nd Team
Tyler Midgett Limestone Sr. Team Captain w/ .271 average in ‘06
Josh Carter Mount Olive Sr. ‘06 All-CVAC 1st Team, 1st Base
David Cooper Mount Olive Jr. ‘06 All-CVAC 1st Team, Shortstop
Josh Harrison Mount Olive Jr. ‘06 All-CVAC 2nd Team, Designated Hitter
Graham Wooten Mount Olive Sr. ‘06 All-CVAC 2nd Team, Outfield
Phillip Pennington Mount Olive Sr. ‘06 All-CVAC 2nd Team, Pitcher
Jesse Lancaster Mount Olive So. ‘06 CVAC Freshman of the Year
Stephen Nordan Mount Olive Sr. ‘06 CVAC Tourney MVP, 2005 All-CVAC 1st Team
Ben Beard Pfeiffer Jr. ‘06 All-CVAC 2nd Team, Pitcher
Bryan Braxton Pfeiffer So. 15 HR in ’06, 1st Base
T.J. Chrusch St. Andrews Jr ‘06 CVAC POTW, 12 total saves, 1.7 k’s/in. in ‘06
Michael Eastwood St. Andrews Jr .289 career batting average