College Preview

2013 Horizon League Preview




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HORIZON LEAGUE
HOW THEY'LL FINISH
  Conference Overall
Team W L W L
Wisconsin-Milwaukee 18 11 27 27
Wright State 20 10 37 21
*Valparaiso 22 8 35 25
Illinois-Chicago 12 17 23 34
Youngstown State 7 23 11 44
*2012 champion
Teams are listed by predicted order of finish with 2012 records listed.
2012 NCAA tournament teams in bold
Projected NCAA Teams (1): Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Conference Schedule: 24 games, begins March 15.
Conference Tournament: Five teams, May 22-26 at Niles, Ohio (Youngstown State).
Player of the Year: Drew Dosch, 3b, Youngstown State.
Pitcher of the Year: Cale Tassi, rhp, Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
TOP PROSPECTS, 2013-14 DRAFTS
1. Drew Dosch, 3b, Youngstown State
2. Josh Uhen, rhp, Wisconsin-Milwaukee
3. Nick Manuppelli, rhp, Youngstown State
4. Joe Begel, rhp, Illinois-Chicago
5. Sam Koenig, 3b, Wisconsin-Milwaukee
TOP NEWCOMERS
1. Chris DeBoo, rhp, Valparaiso (Tr.—Cal State Northridge)
2. Pat Wilson, 1b, Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Tr.—CC of Lake County, Ill.)
3. Kieston Green, of, Wright State (Tr.—Parkland, Ill., CC)

QUICK HITS
Wisconsin-Milwaukee is the favorite in what should be a competitive Horizon League this spring. The Panthers have the league's hardest thrower in So. RHP Josh Uhen (0-0, 5.11, 12 IP/12 SO) and its fastest player in So. OF Luke Meeteer (.331/.414/.401, Horizon-best 16 SB). Uhen blew out his elbow after his first college game in 2011, requiring Tommy John surgery, and came back slowly last year. He sat at 93-96 mph and hit 98 on scout day during the fall. Wisconsin-Milwaukee also brings back the league's 2012 ERA leader in Sr. RHP Cale Tassi (6-5, 2.74, 95 IP/69 SO).

Youngstown State has finished last or second-to-last in the last four years, but it has a new coach (former Jacksonville assistant Steve Gillispie takes over for the fired Rich Pasquale) and two of the Horizon's best prospects. Jr. 3B Drew Dosch (.353/.408/.527, 8 HR) starred in the Cape Cod League during the summer, showing pure hitting ability to all fields and some power potential. Jr. RHP Nick Manuppelli (1-4, 5.79, 37 IP/36 SO) took a huge step forward in the New England Collegiate League, where he showed a 90-94 mph fastball and a quality changeup with tumble.

• The Horizon finds itself in jeopardy of losing its NCAA playoff bid because it is one team short of the six required for automatic-qualifying status. Butler left for the Atlantic-10 a year earlier than expected, reacting to news that the Horizon didn't plan on allowing the Bulldogs to compete in any conference tournaments or for any league championships in their final year. Oakland, currently part of the Summit League, has expressed interested in joining the Horizon, which has two more seasons to add another team before losing its automatic bid.