Navy Predicted Second in Patriot League Preseason Baseball Poll
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – The Patriot League announced its annual baseball preseason poll on Thursday and revealed that Navy has been predicted to finish second in the vote held amongst conference coaches and sports information contacts. The reigning Patriot League regular season champions, the Midshipmen (37-17, 16-4 PL in 2017) received four first place votes and 38 total points to rank second behind the Bucknell Bison, who tallied six first place votes and 43 points.
Following the top two teams, Holy Cross (two first place votes), Lehigh and Army are tightly packed in positions three through five with respective point totals of 29, 27 and 25. Lafayette rounds out the preseason poll in sixth with 18 points.
Led by the Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year, Logan Knowles (Sr., Port Orchard, Wash.), the Mids have a league-high four players on the Preseason All-Patriot League Team. One of four returning players from last year’s 14-player All-Patriot League First Team, Knowles earned the nod as the conference Preseason Player of the Year after posting a junior year stat line of a .330 batting average, .437 on-base percentage, 56 runs scored, 70 hits, 14 doubles, six triples, 23 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. In each of those categories, minus doubles and RBIs, he ranked fifth or better in the league. Navy’s senior team captain, Knowles is slated to patrol center field for the Mids for the second straight season.
Joining Knowles on the Preseason All-Patriot League Team is fellow outfielder Stephen Born (Sr., Strafford, Pa.), as well as juniors 1B Christian Hodge (Winder, Ga.) and RHP Noah Song (Claremont, Calif.). Born, a 2016 First Team All-Patriot League honoree, hit .282 with 41 runs scored, 55 hits, 12 doubles, two home runs and 37 RBIs as a junior in 2017. He ranked top-10 in the Patriot League in runs, RBIs and doubles. 2017 saw Hodge join the Mids’ regular starting lineup at 1B. After recording just 32 at bats as a freshman in 2016, Hodge broke through in 2017 and was a pivotal piece in the middle of Navy’s lineup. He posted a .276 batting average and .423 slugging percentage with 30 runs scored, 43 hits, seven doubles, four home runs and 25 RBIs, while fielding his position at a .988 clip. Song, a 2017 Second Team All-Patriot League selection, will look to continue his ascent up the ranks of the Patriot League’s best pitchers in 2018. Last season as Navy’s number one starter, Song recorded a 6-4 record and 3.67 ERA with 89 strikeouts over 76.0 innings and 13 starts. During a break in his summer training, Song competed in the Cape Cod Baseball League and tossed 10.0 innings for the Harwich Mariners, while notching nine strikeouts with three runs allowed for a 2.70 ERA.
Bucknell’s Connor Van Hoose was selected as the Patriot League Preseason Pitcher of the Year.
Across the entire 12-man preseason team, five of the conference’s six clubs are recognized with players as Holy Cross contributes three, Bucknell and Lafayette two and Army one.
The top-four teams in the regular season will earn a bid to the Patriot League Tournament, which will begin May 12-13 with a best-of-three semifinal series being played at the top two seeds. The two winners will then play at the site of the higher seed in a best-of-three championship series on May 18-20 with the winner earning an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
Navy opens its 2018 campaign next Friday, Feb. 16 with the first of three games in a round-robin tournament at Wake Forest University. The Mids will play single contests against Gardner-Webb (Feb. 16), Wake Forest (Feb. 17) and Georgetown (Feb. 18). Conference play for Navy kicks off on the weekend of March 17-18 in Lewisburg, Pa. versus Bucknell.
2018 Patriot League Baseball Preseason Poll
- Bucknell (6 first-place votes) - 43 points
- Navy (4) - 38
- Holy Cross (2) - 29
- Lehigh - 27
- Army West Point - 25
- Lafayette - 18
Preseason Major Award Winners
Player of the Year: Logan Knowles, Navy, Sr., OF
Pitcher of the Year: Connor Van Hoose, Bucknell, Sr., RHP
2018 Preseason All-Patriot League Baseball Team
SP: Connor Van Hoose, Bucknell, Sr.
SP: Noah Song, Navy, Jr.
RP: Danny Barlok, Holy Cross, Jr.
C: Jon Rosoff, Army West Point, Sr.
1B: Christian Hodge, Navy, Jr.
2B: Steven Cohen, Lafayette, Sr.
SS: Luke Johnson, Bucknell, Sr.
3B: Thomas Russo, Holy Cross, Sr.
OF: Stephen Born, Navy, Sr.
OF: Logan Knowles, Navy, Sr.,
OF: Austin Masel, Holy Cross, So.
DH: John Selsor, Lafayette, Sr.