The Shippensburg University men’s baseball team was voted 9th in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Atlantic Region Preseason Poll for this upcoming season, being one of only six PSAC schools to be included in the rankings.
Despite losing six seniors and some impact players, the team will look for growth this upcoming season. There will be 16 players returning to the squad, including second baseman Jimmy Spanos, who was voted to the second team of the Division II Preseason Atlantic Region Team. Spanos led the Red Raiders with a .331 batting average and 53 hits last season. He should be able to build upon these numbers as his role expands in his senior season.
After Spanos, the Red Raiders will look to senior first baseman and outfielder Cody Ezolt to be an impact bat in their offense. Ezolt was tied for the team lead with nine home runs, last season, and his power will be necessary in the middle of team’s lineup to help the offense produce on a consistent basis.
In terms of the SU pitching staff, the team returns top starting pitcher Marcus Shippey, who led the Red Raiders in starts, ERA, innings pitched and batting average. Shippey will enter his junior season and, like Spanos, he should be able to build upon his previous success. Behind Shippey, the Red Raiders will look to sophomore pitcher Mark Curtis, who made seven starts last season, to fortify the top of their rotation for the season.
The Red Raiders will open the season on Saturday with a doubleheader at Belmont Abbey in North Carolina, with their home opener not scheduled until Sunday, March 7, against Le Moyne.