College Preview

2013 Mid-Easterrn Athletic Conference Preview




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MID-EASTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
HOW THEY'LL FINISH
NORTH Conference Overall
Team W L W L
Delaware State 22 2 40 17
Norfolk State 15 9 22 28
Maryland-Eastern Shore 11 13 14 39
Coppin State 0 24 1 53
SOUTH Conference Overall
Team W L W L
*Bethune-Cookman 18 5 34 27
North Carolina Central 13 10 19 32
North Carolina A&T 12 12 20 36
Savannah State 11 13 19 34
Florida A&M 5 19 7 45
*2012 conference champion
Teams listed in bold are 2012 NCAA tournament participants. Teams are listed in predicted order of finish. Records listed are from the 2012 season
Projected NCAA Teams (1): Delaware State.
Conference Schedule: 24 games, begins March 2.
Conference Tournament: Eight teams, May 15-19 at Norfolk State.
Player of the Year: Luke Tendler, 2b/ss, North Carolina A&T.
Pitcher of the Year: Kyle McGlowin, rhp, Savannah State.
TOP PROSPECTS, 2013-2014 DRAFTS
1. Kyle McGlowin, rhp, Savannah State
2. Luke Tendler, 2b/ss, North Carolina A&T
3. Hassan Evans, rhp/of, Delaware State
4. David Lee, of, Bethune-Cookman
5. Scott Garner, rhp, Bethune-Cookman
6. Bryce Rivera, lhp, Bethune-Cookman
7. Ryan Van Assche, lhp, Norfolk State
8. Tre-von Johnson, of, Maryland-Eastern Shore
9. Yahya Muhammad, rhp, Coppin State (2014)
10. Chris Arnold, c, Savannah State
TOP NEWCOMERS
1. Hassan Evans, rhp/of, Delaware State (Tr.—Herkimer County, N.Y., CC)
2. Andrew Biggs, rhp, Delaware State (HS—Millville, N.J.)
3. Shaun McCarty, ss, Bethune-Cookman (Tr.—Paradise Valley, Ariz., CC)
4. Anderson Burgess, lhp, Coppin State (HS—La Plata, Md.)
5. David Hamlett, ss/rhp, Coppin State (Tr.—Mid-American Nazarene, Kan.)

QUICK HITS

Bethune-Cookman did not dominate the conference as it had under coach Mervyl Melendez, but his successor, ex-big league pitcher Jason Beverlin, extended the Wildcats' regional streak to seven years and 12 of the last 13. The 'Cats went 2-and-barbecue in regionals once again and are just 1-26 all-time. They hope to get back to regionals with a deep but erratic pitching staff. Veterans such as RHP Scott Garner and LHP Ali Simpson hope to recapture old form; Garner was 9-2, 2.48 in 2011, but the sinkerballer struggled with a lesser defense behind him last year, going just 4-4, 6.00 and losing his rotation spot. Simpson was the program's ace in 2009-2010 (15-4, 3.35 against the old bats), but has been banged up the last two years (getting a medical redshirt in 2011) and going 4-3, 4.74 in 44 innings last year. Sr. RHP Gabi Hernandez (6-3, 2.92) has been the steadiest of the group and is 18-6, 3.56 for his career, improving his ERA in each of his three seasons.

Savannah State's move into the MEAC is complete, and the Tigers return their ace in Jr. RHP Kyle McGowin (6-5, 3.15), who ranked sixth in the country in strikeout-to-walk ratio (6.5 strikeouts per walk). He hopes to become the first Savannah State player drafted since 2003 and already has a big league tie—his aunt is the granddaughter of Ty Cobb.

Delaware State dominated the league regular season but fell short in the conference tournament. Coach J.P. Blandin led the team to its first winning record since 2004 last season, tying the school record with 40 victories. The Hornets return the league player of the year in Sr. 1B Ryan Haas (.360/.468/.483), part of a talented infield that includes Srs. 3B Cameron Cecil (.327/.456/.417) and 2B J.P. Frey (.357/.407/.413), a plus runner. Blandin is excited to add juco transfer RHP/OF Hassan Evans from Herkimer (N.Y.) JC, an unsigned 38th-round pick of the Cubs.

Maryland-Eastern Shore has a new coach in Pedro Swann, a Delaware State alum who played 25 big league games over parts of three seasons from 2000-2003.

• League doormat Coppin State is trying to shed the label, one it has earned with four seasons of 1 or 0 victories since 1998. Third-year coach Sherman Reed has overhauled the roster in his time there and seven freshmen starters took their lumps, including two freshmen pitchers, Madison Neddo and Lawrence Jarboe, who transferred after going a combined 0-27. Jr. OF Chris Kashangaki returns to the lineup after being academically ineligible in 2012 and hopes to boost a lifeless offense after stealing 40 bases in 47 tries in 2010-2011.

Howard no longer has a baseball program, but MEAC baseball fans mourned the Jan. 27 death of Chuck Hinton, who coached at the D.C. school and MEAC member for 12 seasons before stepping down in 1987. Hinton played parts of 11 seasons in the major leagues, mostly with the Senators and Indians, earning an all-star nod in 1964 with Washington. He was a career .264/.332/.412 hitter (a 109 OPS+ according to baseball-reference.com) and had a 228-245-2 record with Howard.