HOW THEY'LL FINISH
Projected NCAA Teams (1): Harvard.
Conference Schedule: 20 games. Schedule begins April 1.
Conference Tournament: Best-of-3 series between division champions, May 6-7 at Gehrig Division champion.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
* 2005 conference leader
C—Devin Thomas, Jr., Brown (.315-5-31). 1B—Josh Klinkiewicz, Sr., Harvard (.313-9-37). 2B—Bryan Tews, Jr., Brown (.322-3-17). 3B—Steffan Wilson, So., Harvard (.340-5-34). SS—Morgan Brown, Sr., Harvard (.298-1-18). OF—Will Bashelor, Jr., Dartmouth (.352-2-25, *30 SB); Paul Christian, Sr., Brown (.355-8-38); Eric Larson, Jr., Brown (.290-8-25). DH—Lance Salsgiver, Sr., Harvard (.298-2-26). P—Josh Faiola, Sr., Dartmouth (3-3, 4.96, 52 IP/49 SO); Shawn Haviland, So., Harvard (*7-1, 3.10); Erik Stiller, Sr., Princeton (6-2, 2.98, 54 IP/49 SO).
Player of the Year: Steffan Wilson, 3b/rhp, Harvard.
Top Newcomer: Tom Stac-Babich, So, Harvard (So., Tr.--Wake Forest).
PROJECTED TOP PROSPECTS, 2006-07 DRAFTS
1. Wills Sweney, rhp, Princeton.
2. Eric Larson, of, Brown.
3. #Steffan Wilson, 3b/rhp, Harvard.
# Not eligible for 2006 draft
• Harvard has the look of a repeat champion as it returns seven regulars, along with its No. 1 starter, sophomore RHP Shawn Haviland (7-1, 3.10). The Crimson will look to sophomore 3B/RHP Steffan Wilson, the Ivy League rookie of the year, to go both ways again. Wilson hit .340-5-34 as an all-conference third baseman and also saved a conference-best six games. Senior OF Lance Salsgiver (.298-2-26) will also pull double duty. In six innings, Salsgiver went 1-0, 4.26 with 12 strikeouts.
• The draft claimed all the marquee talent in the Ivy League from last year. Brown OF Matt Kutler (.427-8-41), the conference batting champion, was selected in the 24th round by the Marlins; Yale RHP Josh Sowers (6-1, 2.10), the ERA and strikeout leader, was claimed in the 10th round by the Blue Jays; and Princeton OF Will Venable (.385-10-33), the home run leader, went in the seventh round to the Padres.
• Brown’s all-Ivy League 2B Paul Christian (.355-8-38) will move to the outfield this season after hurting his elbow in the Cape Cod League last summer and having Tommy John surgery. His spot at second will be filled by second-team all-league utilityman Bryan Tews (.322-3-17), who will also serve as Brown’s No. 1 starting pitcher (4-3, 3.98).
• Cornell went just 17-24 overall and just 11-9 in conference play but advanced to its first championship series since the Ivy League went to a two-division format in 1993.
• The Ivy League has two new coaches this year. At Penn, John Cole, formerly of NCAA Division III power Rowan (N.J.) College, replaces the retiring Bob Seddon, while another former Division III coach, Brett Boretti of Franklin & Marshall (Pa.) College, replaces Paul Fernandes, who went back to his post as associate athletics director at Columbia.