2020 NEAC Baseball Season Preview

Penn State Abington eyes back-to-back titles in 2020
Penn State Abington eyes back-to-back titles in 2020

LATHAM, N.Y. – The 2020 North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) baseball campaign gets underway this weekend when Gallaudet University and Penn State Berks scheduled.

Penn State Abington was declared champions last season after rain, and unplayable conditions forced the cancellation of the final day of play at the 2019 NEAC Baseball Tournament. Keuka College is the defending regular-season champions with a 15-3 conference record a season ago.  

Full Schedule

Cazenovia College
Head Coach: Cory Schad, Second Season
2019 Record: 4-25, 1-17 NEAC
2019 Postseason: None
Key Returner/Player to Watch: Dan Freese, Miguel Rivera, Jake Bianchi, Anthony, Kane, and Kamm Cassidy
Key Losses: Bobby Antonacci
Coach’s Season Outlook: The Cazenovia College baseball team returns some strong players who will look to lead a young team. Coach Schad brought in a talented recruiting class that he expects to contribute right away and help the Wildcats get back to the playoffs.

Gallaudet University
Head Coach: Curtis Pride, 12th Season
2019 Record:
9-30, 2-16 NEAC
2019 Postseason:
None
Key Returner/Player to Watch:
Winston Lane III (Sr., 3B) - .330 BA, 31 hits, 23 runs, 18 RBI, 8 SBs, .915 Fielding Pct.
Key Losses:
Cameron Upton (SS) - ABCA All-South Region Third Team, D3baseball.com All-South Region Third Team, All-NEAC First Team - .440 BA, 24 RBI, 62 hits, 33 runs, 8 doubles, 17 SBs
Coach’s Season Outlook:
This year is the first year that the conference will be divided into two divisions, North and South Divisions. There is no question that the South Division will be extremely competitive, especially with the addition of Penn State Harrisburg.  With virtually everyone returning from last year, we look forward to the challenge of improving our standing from last year and finishing in the top six in our conference.

Keuka College
Head Coach: Rick Ferchen, Seventh Season
2019 Record:
25-16, 15-3 NEAC
2019 Postseason:
NEAC Tournament
Key Returner/Player to Watch:
Ken Howe, Brooks Vertoske, Dan Steve, Anthony Brown, Ryan Seales, Sean Sheets
Key Losses:
Dan Bamann, Tyler Freedman
Coach’s Season Outlook:
Will be very young but will have solid pitching and defense from returners with good team speed and young talent.  Will depend a lot on our upper-class leadership to mentor our Freshmen and Sophomore class.

Lancaster Bible
Head Coach: Frank DiFilippo, Second Season
2019 Record:
12-20, 8-10 NEAC
2019 Postseason:
None
Key Returner/Player to Watch:
Josh Saufley (So., INF/OF – 47 hits, 38 runs, 28 RBI, 5 HR, .364), Luis Padilla (Jr., INF – 30 hits, 22 runs, 15 RBI, 5 HR, .345), Jake Hahn (Jr., C – 26 hits, 11 runs, 18 RBI, 9 2B, .329), Dan Zimmerman (Sr., P – 5-5, 51.1 IP, 6.66 ERA, 60 K)
Key Losses:
Will Welsh (OF – 58 hits, 42 runs, 43 RBI, 9 HR, .453), Jacob Schenck (INF – 48 hits, 31 runs, 39 RBI, 9 HR, .366)
Coach’s Season Outlook:
We have a really young team this season, but we are building a good foundation. We have good energy so far and will need that to help us win games. I think as the season goes on, we will only get stronger. The NEAC is a good baseball conference, especially with the addition of Penn State Harrisburg, and I believe we have a good, tough non-conference schedule that will help us prepare for a tough NEAC slate.

Penn College
Head Coach: Christopher Howard, 14th Season
2019 Record:
14-22, 11-6 NEAC
2019 Postseason:
NEAC Tournament
Key Returner/Player to Watch:
Nathan Holt (RHP), Brittan Kittle (C), Jacob Carles (OF), Alex Flicker, Colton Riley, Joe Fatzinger, Cameron Dick, Jake Wagner
Key Losses:
Devon Sanders
Coach’s Season Outlook:
We have a very young team mixed with some important upperclassmen. There will be a lot of learning on the job, but we have some talent in key areas.

Penn State Abington
Head Coach: Josh Copskey, Third Season
2019 Record:
23-17, 14-3 NEAC
2019 Postseason:
NEAC Champions, NCAA South Regional Participant
Key Returner/Player to Watch:
Ryan McCarty, Jaden Himmelreich, Zach Morales, Paul Woodley, Darrien Mogel, Jacob Kurtz, Demetrius Deramus, Brandon Hightower, Mike Keith, Stevie Stevenson, Luke Falcon
Key Losses:
Joe Rizzo, Pat McDonald, Brett Guaglionona, Tyler Dipatri
Coach’s Season Outlook: Looking forward to a great season in what should be a highly competitive conference. We have a good group of student-athletes returning from the previous year with a mix of strong newcomers. Hoping to make the NEAC postseason tournament.

Penn State Berks
Head Coach: Justin Konnick, Eighth Season
2019 Record:
25-14, 13-5 NEAC
2019 Postseason:
NEAC Title Game
Key Returner/Player to Watch:
Mason Pennypacker (OF), Dante Salerno (OF), Alex Laudenslager (P), Tyler Kreitz (3B), Hunter Sentz (P), Drew Skrocki (P) … Trovinger (OF), Ben Berkel (P), Ziggy Bowles (P)
Key Losses:
Toby Welk (SS), Dalton Hughes (2B), Austin Madeja (OF)
Coach’s Season Outlook: Our goal is to compete for the NEAC Title. We graduated three very accomplished four-year seniors and will need to find a replacement for their production. There is a solid group of returners, and we have a talented group in freshman and transfers that we will need to step it up.

Penn State Harrisburg
Head Coach: Ryan Brown, Eighth Season
2019 Record:
33-15-1, 14-7 Capital Athletic Conference
2019 Postseason:
NCAA Tournament, CAC Final
Key Returner/Player to Watch:
Bret Williams (Sr.), Travis Van Houten (Sr.), Zak Koroneos (Sr.), Michael De Leon (Sr.), Chase Smith (Jr.), Zach Gettys (Jr.), Tyler Jackson (Jr.), Zach Gettys (Jr.), Ryan McSorley (Jr.), Casey Winters (Jr.)
Key Losses:
Miguel Torres (ABCA All-America Second Team)
Coach’s Season Outlook:
Penn State Harrisburg returns to the NEAC for the 2020 season after five years of competition in the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC). The Lions are led by 2019 consensus first-team all-American and ABCA Mid-Atlantic Regional Player of the Year Bret Williams, as well as ABCA and D3baseball.com All-Region honoree Travis Van Houten. all-conference starter Zach Gettys returns to a formidable rotation that includes Van Houten, Michael De Leon, and reliever Tyler Jackson. The Blue & White also return seven starters to a lineup that ranked third in the nation in scoring and home runs a year ago. The Lions will look to build off a 2019 campaign that included the program's first NCAA Tournament victory. Penn State Harrisburg is ranked No. 24 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's Division III Preseason Poll.

SUNY Cobleskill
Head Coach: Lance Ratchford, Second Season
2019 Record:
16-22, 9-9 NEAC
2019 Postseason:
NEAC Tournament
Key Returner/Player to Watch:
Sophomore INF Joseph Ciatto, the NEAC 2019 Rookie of the Year/2nd Team All-NEAC/.327 BA, 31 R, 19 RBI, 14 SB … Junior INF Eddie Garcia .298 BA, 35 R, 10 2B, 1 HR, 26 RBI, 15 SB … Sophomore 3B Frank Leger .313 BA, 29 R, 1HR, 19 RBI … Junior P Daniel Wade, 4-3 W/L, 4.12 ERA, 2 CG, 1 SHO … Junior 1B/OF Nick Thomas All-Mountain Valley Conference at Hudson Valley CC .378 BA, 8 HR, 33 RBI, 30 R … Junior Jarrod Williams P/DH/1B, All-NJCAA Region III Team/All-Mid States Conference .315, 36 RBI, 24 R, 47 H … Freshman Anthony Macchetto, SS, First Team All-League and Third Team All-Conference at Saddle Brook High School in New Jersey
Key Losses:
Nate Carinci (1B), .221, 10 2B, 1 HR, 21 RBI, 16 R
Coach’s Season Outlook: The Fighting Tigers will be looking to build on a 2019 season that saw them post one of the best turnaround efforts in the country improving from 3-28, 2-14 NEAC in 2018 to 16-22 overall with a 9-9 conference record in 2019 and qualify for the league playoffs for the first time in program history. 

SUNY Poly
Head Coach: Patrick Barker, First Season
2019 Record:
10-26, 7-11 NEAC
2019 Postseason:
None
Key Returner/Player to Watch:
Bradley Dietz, Dean Natalizio, Jake LaFerriere, Jake Montrose, Michael Cough, and Nick LaBella all returning to the Wildcat lineup. Key additions of Kyle Liddy, in the middle of the lineup, Josh McCaff, Luke Carpenter, Kevin Flynn, Dylan Sheely, and Ci'an Kenny to the rotation.
Key Losses:
Jeremiah Horton, Sebastian Pannuto, Brett Flint
Coach’s Season Outlook:
Addressed some needs in the offseason, adding depth to the pitching rotation and some power to the middle of the lineup. With a new coaching staff and a great core of returners, the Wildcats are poised for a successful 2020 season.


Wells College

Head Coach: Ryan Stevens, First Season
2019 Record:
18-22, 9-9 NEAC
2019 Postseason:
NEAC Tournament
Key Returner/Player to Watch:
Dylan Nolan (Sr., C), Zach Kemp (Sr., P), Jared Strait (Sr., P), Mark Yorkey (Sr., P/INF), Jordan VanHerpe (Sr., Outfield), Tanner Dunkel (Sr., INF), Tyler Young (Sr., P/INF), JUCO transfer Daniel Santiago (INF), Luke Eitner (P/UTL), Chase Sebastian (P), Cole Murray (INF/P) and Austin Jordan (P/INF).
Key Losses:
Pitchers Matt Morgan-Pitcher and Alexander Mott
Coach’s Season Outlook: The Wells baseball program returns an 11-man senior class and a strong core from last year’s NEAC Final 4 team. With a strong veteran core and good recruiting class this year, the Wells Express looks to make another run at postseason play and the NEAC title.

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The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has 12 NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Cazenovia College, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Morrisville State, Penn College, Penn State Abington, Penn State Berks, Penn State Harrisburg, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Poly, and Wells College. Associate members are: Alfred State (M Lacrosse), Cedar Crest College (W Swimming), College of Saint Elizabeth (M Tennis & M Volleyball), D’Youville College (W Lacrosse), Hilbert College (M&W Lacrosse), Medaille College (M&W Lacrosse), Rutgers University – Camden (M Golf), SUNY Potsdam (M Volleyball) and Wilson College (M Volleyball). The NEAC has also partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sport of men’s tennis and women’s tennis. For more information, please visit: www.neacsports.com.