Jan. 4, 2012
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The University of Cincinnati baseball team is predicted to finish the 2012 season seventh in BIG EAST Conference standings after the league announced its preseason coaches’ poll and all-conference team on Wednesday.
The Bearcats, who finished 2011 in a four-way tie for fourth place in the BIG EAST with a 14-13 league record and 30-27 overall, received 64 votes to place seventh in the preseason poll, which was voted on by the conference’s 12 head coaches.
Cincinnati returns seven of eight position players, led by All-BIG EAST outfielders Justin Glass (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) and Braden Kline (Warsaw, Ind./Warsaw Community). Glass, a 2011 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American and second-team all-conference selection, batted .326 with four home runs, 45 RBI and a .398 on-base percentage last season. After moving from catcher to the outfield last year on his way to being named a third-team all-conference choice, Kline hit .326 with five home runs and 31 RBI.
On the mound, the Bearcats welcome the return of junior right-handers Zach Isler (Union, Ky./Covington Catholic) and Andrew Strenge (Yardley, Pa./Holy Ghost Prep). Last season Isler pitched in 24 games with three starts and finished with a 5-3 record and a 4.41 ERA with 26 strikeouts in 51 innings pitched. Strenge, a 2010 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American, ended 2011 with a 4.54 ERA and 56 punchouts in 73.1 innings pitched.
St. John’s University was picked to win the conference after finishing second in the league and making the NCAA Championship last season. The Red Storm returns its entire starting pitching rotation and six starting position players from last year’s squad.
The UC baseball team has begun preseason training this week in preparation for its season opener on Feb. 17 against Purdue University in Clearwater, Fla. as part of the BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge.
Season tickets for the 2012 UC baseball season are currently on sale. To purchase season tickets for all 30 home games at Marge Schott Stadium, contact the UC ticket office by calling 1-877-CATS-TIX or online at catstix.com.
Click here to view to complete BIG EAST release.
2012 Preseason BIG EAST Baseball Coaches’ Poll
1. St. John’s (8) 118
2. Louisville (4) 110
3. Connecticut 92
4. USF 88
5. Seton Hall 77
6. Notre Dame 69
7. Cincinnati 64
8. Pittsburgh 60
9. Rutgers 42
10. West Virginia 39
11. Villanova 19
12. Georgetown 14
(first-place votes in parentheses)
2012 Preseason All-BIG EAST Team
Pos. Name, Class, School
P Justin Amlung, Jr., Louisville
P Matt Iannazzo, Sr., Pittsburgh
P Kyle Hansen, Jr., St. John’s
P Jon Prosinksi, Jr., Seton Hall
C Joe Pavone, Sr., Connecticut
1B Trey Mancini, So., Notre Dame
2B L.J. Mazzilli, Jr., Connecticut
SS Matt Wessinger, Sr., St. John’s
3B Tim Martin, Sr., Connecticut
OF Rand Ravnaas, Sr., Georgetown
OF Stewart Ijames, Sr., Louisville
OF Jeremy Baltz, Jr., St. John’s
DH Dan DiBartolomeo, Sr., West Virginia
Preseason BIG EAST Player of the Year:
Jeremy Baltz, OF, St. John’s
Preseason BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year:
Justin Amlung, RHP, Louisville