ROCK HILL – Newberry has been picked to finish third in the South Atlantic Conference by the league's baseball coaches, while two Wolves have been selected to the preseason all-conference teams.
Newberry edged out Tusculum by one point for third place in the preseason poll after a third-place finish in the standings a season ago at 16-8 in league play. Defending regular-season champion Catawba was picked to repeat, garnering nine first-place votes, while Lincoln Memorial, last year's second-place team in the standings and tournament champions, was voted to finish second.
The Wolves were represented by senior designated hitter Ben Herring and sophomore starting pitcher Evan Estridge on the preseason all-SAC first team.
Ben Herring (DH) – Herring led the team and was 12th in the SAC with a .366 batting average in 2017. The junior’s .519 slugging percentage led the team and he accumulated 37 RBI’s despite not playing in 10 of Newberry’s 50 games. He had five games of three or more hits last season, including a team-high three game with four hits apiece.
Evan Estridge (SP) – A Chapin native, Estridge worked his way into the starting rotation by the season’s second weekend and finished his freshman season with a 5-2 record and 3.86 ERA. He recorded 45 strikeouts and 11 walks in his 63.0 innings of work and allowed opponents to hit .290 off him. His most impressive performance came in a complete-game shutout over Mars Hill in which he struck out 11 batters with just one walk, an effort that earned him Southeast Region and SAC Pitcher of the Week honors.
PRESEASON SOUTH ATLANTIC CONFERENCE COACHES' POLL
PRESEASON ALL-SAC FIRST TEAM
OF – Luke Setzer, Catawba
OF – Logan Augustine, Lincoln Memorial
OF – Brett Brubaker, Mars Hill
1B – Timmy Wages, Lincoln Memorial
2B – Kyle Smith, Catawba
SS – Tyler Adams, Lincoln Memorial
3B – Brett Langhorne, Carson-Newman
C – Matt Honeycutt, Mars Hill
DH – Ben Herring, Newberry
SP – Hunter Shepherd, Catawba
SP – Zac Brown, Mars Hill
SP – Evan Estridge, Newberry
RP – Griffin Hollifield, Coker
PRESEASON ALL-SAC SECOND TEAM
OF – William Thomas, Anderson
OF – Mason Ewers, Lincoln Memorial
OF – Ty Andrus, Wingate
1B – Chance Bowden, Catawba
2B – Daulton Martin, Tusculum
SS – Tyler Miller, Anderson
3B – Christian Stampler, Mars Hill
C – Andrew Llewellyn, Wingate
DH – Bradley Brown, Wingate
SP – Jared Mathewson, Mars Hill
SP – Will Gardner, Carson-Newman
SP – Hunter Hamilton, Wingate
RP – Dominic Morabito, Lincoln Memorial