Baseball Picked Fifth in Landmark Conference Preseason Poll

Scranton has been picked fifth in the Landmark Conference preseason coaches poll.
Scranton has been picked fifth in the Landmark Conference preseason coaches poll.
Ian McIntosh Pat Rohr Kevin Haag Bobby Hegarty Brandon Peters Connor Harding

 

The University of Scranton baseball team has been picked to finish fifth in the Landmark Conference this spring according to a preseason poll of the conference's coaches.  The Royals, who went 22-21 last year and finished as the league's runner-up, captured 23 points in the balloting.

Defending conference champion Catholic was tabbed as the preseason favorite after picking up 48 points and three first-place votes.  Elizabethtown was picked second with 43 points and three first place votes, Susquehanna was slotted third with 42 points and one first place vote, and Moravian came in fourth with 38 points.

Drew came in fifth in the poll, sitting behind the Royals with 19 points while Juniata was chosen seventh with 18 points.

Scranton, coached by Mike Bartoletti in his 17th season, is looking to replace 14 players lost to gradation for last year's squad that earned the third seed in the Landmark Conference playoffs with an 11-7 mark conference opponents and were within one win of a conference championship before falling to Catholic in the title game.

The Royals will look to four players who started 20 or more games last season to carry the offensive load. 

Sophomore Connor Harding (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal) batted .356 with 52 hits, 28 RBI, and 28 runs scored while going 16-for-19 in stolen base attempts. 

Junior Kevin Haag (Ossining, N.Y./Ossining/Bridgton Academy (Maine)) hit .316 with 43 hits including 13 doubles, one triple, and two home runs while totaling a team-leading 33 RBI and scoring 31 runs.

Senior Ian McIntosh (Newtown, Pa./LaSalle College H.S.) batted .313 last spring with 11 extra-base hits including one home run while driving in 31 runs and scoring 16 runs.

Junior Brandon Peters (Peckville, Pa./Valley View) started 24 games and totaled 20 hits including eight doubles, one triple, and two home runs while adding 20 RBI and 14 runs scored.

On the mound, the Royals will look for a pair of veterans to lead the pitching staff.

Senior Pat Rohr (Audubon, Pa./Devon Prep) earned Second Team All-Landmark Conference honors last spring after going 4-1 in eight starts with a 4.26 ERA while striking out 29 batters in 44.1 innings of work. 

Junior Bobby Hegarty (Wantagh, N.Y/Wantagh) also returns to the mound for Scranton after going 3-3 with two complete games in eight starts last spring.  He fanned 23 batters and posted a 4.55 ERA in a team-high 55.1 innings pitched.

Scranton will open the 2019 season at home on February 23 against Albright with the first pitch at Volpe Field set for 1 p.m. 

The Royals are scheduled to play nine non-conference games before opening Landmark Conference play with a three-game series against Susquehanna that will be played on Friday and Saturday, March 15 and 16, in Port Charlotte, Fla. to close Scranton's spring break trip.

The top four teams will qualify for the Landmark Conference playoffs which Scranton will host for the second straight year Friday-Sunday, May 10-12, at Volpe Field.

2019 Landmark Baseball Preseason Poll

() indicates first-place votes

  1. Catholic – 48 points (3)
  2. Elizabethtown – 43 points (3)
  3. Susquehanna – 42 points (1)
  4. Moravian – 38 points
  5. Scranton – 23 points
  6. Drew – 19 points
  7. Juniata – 18 points

--ROYALS--