Five-time defending conference champion Keystone College has been selected first in the 2014 CSAC (Colonial States Athletic Conference) baseball preseason coaches’ poll. The Giants received four of seven first-place votes, and 34 points total, to finish three points ahead of Gwynedd Mercy University.
“We are honored to be selected as the pre-season favorite,” said Keystone head coach Jamie Shevchik. “Over the past few years, multiple teams have been recognized on both the regional and national stage and it should not be any different this year. The CSAC in my opinion has emerged as one of the better conferences in the Mid-Atlantic Region and that is a testament to our talented players and coaches. We are excited about this year’s team, we will not have that one player who stands out but we will have a more balanced team that is determined to get back to the College World Series.”
Keystone finished the 2013 campaign with an overall mark of 37-10 and is ranked No. 17 in preseason polls compiled by D3Baseball.com and the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. The Giants defeated Centenary College, 15-3, and Neumann University twice (14-4 and 3-2) to earn the CSAC’s automatic berth to the NCAA tournament last season. Keystone won four NCAA tournament games and was one game away from advancing to the College World Series before falling to No. 10 Kean University, 6-1, in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship.
The Griffins garnered three first-place votes and accumulated 31 points after finishing 20-18 overall and 12-6 in the CSAC last spring. Neumann, the 2013 CSAC runner-up and NCAA Tournament at-large selection, was picked third with 27 points. The Knights posted 30 wins in 2013 and went 1-2 in NCAA tournament action. Immaculata University (21), Centenary (15), Marywood University (12) and Cairn University (7) rounded out this year’s coaches’ poll.
The first CSAC baseball matchups are slated for the weekend of March 14 to 16. The top four squads will advance to the three-day CSAC championship tournament, to be held in Boyertown, Pa., May 2 to 4.