LOCK HAVEN, Pa. (Feb. 13) – With 11 players returning, the Vulcans were picked to finish third in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Western Division in a vote of the league coaches, announced the conference office on Friday.
The California University of Pennsylvania baseball team was picked behind Slippery Rock and IUP in the pre-season coaches’ poll. The Rock led the PSAC West teams with three first-place votes, while both IUP and Cal U received two first-place votes. Conference-newcomer Mercyhurst landed in fourth place, while Lock Haven ranked fifth. Clarion and Gannon rounded out the divisional standings in sixth and seven place, respectively.
Last season’s PSAC West champion, Shippensburg shifted to the Eastern Division with the expansion of the league and is ranked second behind pre-season PSAC East favorite West Chester, who received five first-place votes.
The Vulcans finished tied for third in the PSAC West standings last year with a 12-8 league mark and a 28-18 overall record. Cal U returns four position starters, including junior Sam DiMatteo (Center, Pa./Center). An All-PSAC West First-Team selection, DiMatteo finished tied for fourth in the league with eight home runs and fifth with 18 stolen bases.
The pitching staff welcomes back PSAC West Rookie of the Year Randy Sturgill (Leechburg, Pa./Leechburg), along with senior Jon Squeglia (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shaler) who earned all-league honors.
Cal U begins the 2009 campaign next Friday, Feb. 20, with a road doubleheader against Ohio Valley. First pitch is set for 12 p.m