TOWSON, Md. - The Catholic University baseball team was tabbed fourth in the 2020 Landmark Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, as announced by the league office Tuesday morning.
The Cardinals, who went 27-16 and finished third in last year's conference tournament, received 31 total points from voting.
Susquehanna was picked first with 60 points and six first-place votes after their 2019 conference championship. Elizabethtown followed with 37 points and one first-place vote for second place. Moravian, who beat Catholic to advance to last year's championship, tied for fourth with 31 points as well.
The Cardinals will compete after losing an accomplished 2019 senior class, including leading hitters Bailey Lewis and Ryan Tracy as well as a couple weekend starters in Jon Mierzwa and David Gately, but head coach Ross Natoli and his 2020 senior class will lead the team to compete for another conference championship.
Among the returnees are 2019 All-Landmark Conference members Nolan Lundholm and Ross Dean. Lundholm hit .356 and was fourth in the Landmark in RBIs with 37. He led Catholic in doubles (15), walks (25), and on-base percentage (.460). Dean returns as an integral conference weekend starter for Catholic after a 5-2 season on the mound and striking out 50 batters in 55.2 innings. Fellow seniors Connor Sullivan (.336, 48 H, 13 RBI, 10 SB) and Eric Moore (3-2, 3.03 ERA, 19 K) also return to lead the outfield and bullpen, respectively.
The Cards begin their season on the road against St. Mary's (MD) on Tuesday, February 18. Catholic then starts a stretch of home contests with a doubleheader versus Montclair State on Saturday, February 22. After a spring break trip filled with five games in South Carolina, the team begins its quest for a sixth Landmark Conference championship upon returning home with a three-game series at home against Elizabethtown on Saturday, March 14.
The Landmark Conference Championship Tournament is slated for Friday, May 8 through Sunday, May 10 at Scranton.
2020 Landmark Baseball Preseason Poll
() indicates first-place votes
- Susquehanna – 60 points (6)
- Elizabethtown – 37 points (1)
- Scranton – 36 points
- Catholic – 31 points
Moravian – 31 points
- Drew – 24 points
- Juniata – 12 points