RICHMOND, Va. – The Colonial Athletic Association released its 2019 Preseason Coaches’ Poll on Thursday, Feb. 7, and Elon baseball has been picked to win a tight race for the CAA title.
The Phoenix received four first-place votes and 57 points to sit atop the poll. Close behind and tied for second with 54 points are defending CAA champion UNCW and back-to-back regular season champion Northeastern. The Seahawks got one first-place vote while the Huskies earned the remaining four.
Junior pitcher Kyle Brnovich was named the Preseason Player of the Year, the first for the Phoenix since infielder Casey Jones earned the distinction in 2015. Additionally, juniors Joe Satterfield, Garrett Stonehouse, and George Kirby were picked as honorable mentions.
Brnovich, who hails from Milton, Ga., made 15 starts with an 8-2 record and a 1.71 ERA as a sophomore. He also led the league with 105.0 innings pitched and recorded 147 punchouts, the second-most in league history. The right hander held opponents to a .159 batting average and secured CAA Pitcher of the Week honors three times. After posting 14 strikeouts in a win over No. 30 College of Charleston, he was named a Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week on April 2. Brnovich earned All-CAA First Team honors, was selected a First-Team All-American by Perfect Game/Rawlings and played for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team last summer. In the lead up to the start of the season, he has been tabbed a Preseason All-American by the NCBWA, Collegiate Baseball, Perfect Game, D1 Baseball, and Baseball America.
Satterfield, an infielder from Greenville, S.C., was a Third Team All-CAA selection in 2018. He started 50 of the 53 games he appeared in and batted .268 with 31 runs scored, seven doubles, a triple, four home runs and 43 RBIs. He finished last season with 12 multi-hit games and 13 multi-RBI outings. He also had a 10-game hitting streak and reached safely in 21 consecutive games.
A native of Westport, Conn., Stonehouse earned both Second Team All-CAA and Second Team NCCSIA All-State honors. He appeared in 56 contests, starting 50, and finished last season hitting .268 with 33 runs, nine doubles, one triple, two homers and 38 RBIs. Stonehouse tallied 13 multi-hit performances, 12 multiple-RBI outings, and stole four bases in five attempts. He was named CAA Player of the Week on March 19 after hitting .583 (7-for-12) with three doubles, a long ball, six runs scored and nine RBIs across three games.
Kirby, a Rye, N.Y. product, received Second Team All-Conference and Second Team NCCSIA All-State nods. In 15 starts for the Phoenix last season, he finished 10-3 with a 2.89 ERA with his win total tying for the third-most in program history. With 96 strikeouts in 90.1 innings of work, he held opposing batters to a .256 average. He fanned a career-best 13 hitters and allowed one unearned run in seven complete innings to help the maroon and gold to a win over Hofstra. Like Brnovich, Kirby has also been garnering attention in the past few months as he was a named a Preseason All-American by both Perfect Game and Baseball America.
Elon begins its 2019 season next weekend as the Phoenix hosts Lafayette for a three-game series at Latham Park. Game one is scheduled for a 4 p.m. first pitch on Friday, Feb. 15. Season tickets are still available for the 31-game home schedule. Tickets can be purchased by calling the ticket office at 336-278-6750 or by clicking here.
2019 Preseason All-CAA Baseball Team
C – Vito Friscia, Hofstra
1B – Jake Farrell, Northeastern
2B – Dupree Hart, Charleston
SS – Greg Jones, UNCW
3B – Cole Weiss, UNCW
OF – Kyle Baker, Delaware
OF – Kep Brown, UNCW
OF – Cam Walsh, Northeastern
UT – Jackson Meadows, UNCW
DH – Logan McRae, Charleston
SP – Kyle Brnovich, Elon
SP – Sean Mellen, Northeastern
RP – Andrew Misiaszek, Northeastern
CAA Preseason Player of the Year: Kyle Brnovich, Elon
Honorable Mention: Danny Wondrack, C, Charleston; Joe Satterfield, 1B, Elon; Fox Semones, 2B, James Madison; Ian Fair, SS, Northeastern; Ryan Solomon, 3B, Northeastern; DaVonn Griffin, OF, James Madison; Kevin Mohollen, OF, Delaware; Garrett Stonehouse, DH, Elon; George Kirby, SP, Elon; Billy Sullivan, SP, Delaware; Nathan Ocker, RP, Charleston
2019 CAA Baseball Predicted Order of Finish
1. Elon (4 first-place votes) – 57 points
T2. UNCW (1) – 54
T2. Northeastern (4) – 54
4. Charleston – 47
5. Delaware – 34
6. James Madison – 32
7. William & Mary – 19
8. Hofstra – 14
9. Towson – 13