Baseball Voted First In Patriot League Preseason Poll, Sweeps Major Awards
WORCESTER, Mass. – The Holy Cross baseball team was selected to finish first in the Patriot League Preseason Poll, as voted on by the conference’s head coaches and media relations directors. In addition, seniors Anthony Critelli and Brendan King were named the league’s preseason Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year, respectively. Seniors Bill Schlich and Jon Escobar also earned spots on this year’s Preseason All-Patriot League team.
Holy Cross was voted first in the Patriot League Preseason Poll, earning 46 points in the voting process with six first-place votes. Coming in second was defending Patriot League Champion Navy, who received 43 points with five first-place votes. 2016 Patriot League Tournament participants Bucknell and Lehigh tied for third place in the poll, as each team received 30 points in the voting process. Rounding out the rest of the poll were Army West Point in fifth with 13 points, and Lafayette in sixth with 12 points.
Critelli, a first team All-Patriot League selection in 2016, saw action in all 57 games for the Crusaders last season. In that time, he led Holy Cross with 225 total at-bats and 41 RBIs while posting a .462 slugging percentage. He also tied for the team lead with nine home runs on the season, which rank second all-time in school history. Critelli ranked second on the team with 16 extra-base hits (15 doubles, one triple) and tied for second in runs scored with 31.
King, another first team All-Patriot League selection last year, made 13 appearances with 13 starts in 2016, while posting a record of 7-2. He held an overall ERA of 2.84 through 82.1 innings pitched while leading the Crusaders with 74 strikeouts on the season. In conference play, King posted an ERA of 1.09 through 33.0 innings pitched in conference play this year, earning an undefeated record of 4-0 in five starts with 29 strikeouts.
Schlich earned second team All-Patriot League honors in 2016 after appearing in 52 games on the year. He led Holy Cross with a .313 batting average, notching 25 RBIs with 27 runs scored and three home runs. Schlich also led the Crusaders with 19 extra-base hits, including 17 doubles and a pair of triples. He posted a team-best slugging percentage of .478, while ranking second on the roster with an on-base percentage of .373.
Escobar made 19 appearances in relief on the mound for Holy Cross in 2016. He held an ERA of 2.08 through 26.0 innings pitched, while tossing 35 strikeouts. Escobar also tied for second on the Crusaders with two saves for the season. Facing 94 batters on the year, he held opponents to an overall batting average of .181.
Holy Cross is scheduled to begin its season this weekend, as the Crusaders travel to Central Connecticut State for two games on Feb. 18 and 19.
Patriot League Baseball 2017 Preseason Poll
1. Holy Cross, 46 points (6 first place votes)
2. Navy, 43 (5)
3. Bucknell, 30
- Lehigh, 30
5. Army West Point, 13
6. Lafayette, 12
Patriot League Baseball Preseason Player of the Year: Anthony Critelli, Holy Cross, Sr., 1B
Patriot League Baseball Preseason Pitcher of the Year: Brendan King, Holy Cross, Sr., RHP
2017 Baseball Preseason All-Patriot League Team
SP: Brendan King, Holy Cross, Sr.
SP: Noah Song, Navy, So.
RP: Jon Escobar, Holy Cross, Sr.
C: Adrian Chinnery, Navy, Sr.
1B: Anthony Critelli, Holy Cross, Sr.
2B: Kris Lindner, Army West Point, Sr.
SS: Travis Blue, Navy, Sr.
3B: Sam Clark, Bucknell, Sr
OF: Brett Smith, Bucknell, Sr.
OF: Bill Schlich, Holy Cross, Sr.
OF: Jacen Nalesnik, Lehigh, Sr.
DH: Stephen Born, Navy, Jr.
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