Shippensburg University’s baseball team was voted No. 6 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Eastern Division Preseason Coaches’ Poll released Tuesday morning by the league office. The PSAC preseason polls are voted on by the league’s head coaches.
Shippensburg was picked ahead of Lock Haven, Kutztown and Mansfield. Millersville, East Stroudsburg and West Chester split the nine first-place votes and rank atop the poll.
New this season is the addition of Shepherd into the PSAC – which makes for a nine-team Eastern Division. The addition means changes to the divisional schedule to fit all of the necessary league games into the window for play.
In 2020, Eastern Division teams will play a single nine-inning game on Friday at one school. That will be followed by a doubleheader on Saturday at the other school comprised of a seven-inning game followed by a nine-inning game. If the first game of the Saturday doubleheader goes to extra innings, Game 2 becomes a seven-inning game.
Start times have also been changed. Friday nine-inning games will start at 2 p.m., while Saturday doubleheaders will start at noon.
Raiders 2020 Edition
The 2020 edition of the Raiders features 18 returners and 11 newcomers. SU returns five starters, including 2019 PSAC Eastern Division Freshman of the Year Tony Vavaroutsos (Toronto, Ontario/Mary Ward Catholic).
Vavaroutsos, senior Jacob Pollock (Stafford, Va./Mountain View), senior Zack Zoller (Royersford, Pa./Spring-Ford) and junior Ben Werkheiser (Doylestown, Pa./Germantown Academy( Delaware)) will serve as team captains.
SU is under the direction of 14th-year head coach Matt Jones, who has guided the Raiders to 348 victories during his tenure.
Shippensburg opens its season next weekend with a three-game weekend series in California at Stanislaus State.
East (No. of First-Place Votes)
1) Millersville (4)
2) East Stroudsburg (4)
3) West Chester (1)
7) Lock Haven
1) Mercyhurst (4)
2) Seton Hill (3)
3) Cal U (1)
6) Slippery Rock
Bill Morgal is sports information director at Shippensburg University