The third group of Collegiate Baseball Daily’s preseason awards includes Conference USA, the Ivy League, the MAAC, MAC, and MEAC. Thirteen players are listed- two each from Charlottesville, Strasburg, Staunton, and Covington, and then one each from Front Royal, Harrisonburg, Charles Town, Waynesboro, and New Market.
Conference USA (Six players!)
- Reynaldo Pastrana (Front Royal 2016), from Marshall, was named preseason first team at catcher. For the Herd in 2018, Reynaldo hit 355/406/620 in 200 at-bats, with 37 runs, 50 RBIs, 14 doubles, 13 home runs, and an 18/50 BB/K ratio. He only batted 29 times for Front Royal back in 2016, but he hit 6 doubles and a home run in those at-bats- he slugged .621!
- Former Harrisonburg Turk (2016-17) Bryan Arias, from Texas-San Antonio, is first team at second base. Bryan was great for UTSA in 2018, slashing 335/416/543 in 221 at-bats, with 49 runs, 35 RBIs, 16 doubles, 3 triples, 8 home runs, and a 29/52 BB/K ratio. For the Turks in 2016, Arias hit 266/387/381 in 139 at-bats, with 5 doubles, 1 triple, 3 home runs, and a 26/38 BB/K ratio. In 2017, he “slumped” to 236/299/343 in 140 at-bats, with 4 doubles, 1 triple, and 3 home runs, along with a 12/28 BB/K ratio. (He didn’t really slump- he had 4 fewer hits in 1 fewer at-bat than the year before. That’s one batted ball that finds a gap every other week!)
- Old Dominion’s Vinnie Pasquantino, who manned first base for the VBL Champion Charlottesville Tom Sox in 2017, was named to the second team (at first base). For ODU in 2018, Vinnie hit 299/325/439 in 107 at-bats, with 6 doubles and 3 home runs, even though he was out for much of the year with a back injury. For the Tom Sox in ’17, Vinnie was the 13th best hitter in the league, slashing 336/401/500 in 134 at-bats, with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 4 home runs, and a solid 14/15 BB/K ratio.
- Another former VBL champ, UAB’s Carter Pharis (Strasburg 2016), was named to the second team at third base. Pharis hit 299/392/477 in 197 at-bats for UAB in 2018, with 15 doubles, 1 triple, 6 home runs, and a 23/37 BB/K ratio. For the Express all the way back in 2016, Carter was the 4th best hitter in the league, slashing 342/440/535 in 155 at-bats, with 13 doubles, 1 triple, 5 home runs, and an outstanding 21/19 BB/K ratio.
- Florida Atlantic’s Gunnar Lambert (Charles Town 2015) was honorable mention at catcher. Gunnar hit 246/393/486 in 183 at-bats for FAU in 2018, with 4 doubles, 2 triples, 12 home runs, and a 42/40 BB/K ratio. Four years ago for the Cannons, Lambert hit 216/331/284 in 102 at-bats, with 7 doubles and a 18/27 BB/K ratio.
- Gabe Montenegro (Waynesboro 2018), from Southern Miss, was also honorable mention, but at outfield. The young man from Guatemala hit 295/393/388 in 227 at-bats for Southern Miss in 2018, with 11 doubles, 2 triples, 2 home runs, and a 30/37 BB/K ratio. For the Generals just a couple months ago, Gabe hit 311/361/344 in 90 at-bats, with 3 doubles and a 7/17 BB/K ratio.
- Will Simoneit (Staunton 2018), from Cornell, was named preseason honorable mention at third base. Will was excellent for Staunton last summer, slashing 340/431/547 in 106 at-bats, with 10 doubles and 4 home runs, and was named the league’s 12th best hitter. (And was also one of the league’s top prospects.) For Cornell in 2018, Will hit 308/380/406 in 143 at-bats, with 8 doubles and 2 home runs.
MAAC (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference)
- Niagara’s Pete Battaglia (Covington 2018) is preseason all-league at first base. Pete hit 357/443/595 in 168 at-bats for Niagara in 2018, with 15 doubles, 2 triples, and 7 home runs. He hit 250/408/321 in 56 at-bats for the ‘Jacks last summer.
- Anthony Lazar (Charlottesville 2018), from Marist, is preseason all-league at second base. Anthony hit 305/415/506 in 154 at-bats for Marist in 2018, along with 11 doubles, 1 triple, and 6 home runs. He hit 293/420/371 in 116 at-bats for the Tom Sox in 2018, along with an excellent 23/24 BB/K ratio.
- Rider’s Riley Mihalik played in Covington for parts of two seasons- 2016 and 2017. In 2016, he hit 429/500/592 in 49 at-bats, and then 275/370/525 in 40 at-bats in 2017. He hit 281/367/468 in 171 at-bats for Rider in 2018, and has now been named preseason all-league at designated hitter.
MAC (Mid-American Conference)
- Michael Jacob (Staunton 2016), from Toledo, is preseason all-league at starting pitcher. For Toledo in 2018, Michael went 2-9, 4.75, with a 1.53 WHIP, 4.5 BB/9, and 7.1 K/9 in 77 2/3 innings. He pitched only 3 1/3 innings for Staunton back in 2016, but he was lights-out for Chillicothe in the Prospect League last summer, going 5-1, 3.06, with a 9.9 K/9 in 53 innings.
MEAC (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference)
- Outfielder Justin Hayes (Strasburg 2018), from Norfolk State, is first team preseason all-conference. Justin hit 347/438/413 in 167 at-bats in college in 2018, with a super 23/22 BB/K ratio and 28 stolen bases. He hit 286/351/371 in 175 at-bats for the Express last summer, with 9 doubles and 11 stolen bases.
- Also from Norfolk State, righthanded starter Chase Anderson (New Market 2018) made the preseason all-conference team as well. Chase went 7-5, 3.12 in 98 innings in college in 2018, with a 1.41 WHIP, 3.5 BB/9, and 7.2 K/9. He struck out 10 in 9 2/3 innings for the Rebels last summer.