MILLERSVILLE MARAUDERS (40-18)
The Marauders had another successful season in 2013 which included the club reaching the 40 win plateau and was the top seed in the Atlantic Regional for the second time in three seasons. Nevertheless, MU was stopped short of reaching Cary after the team was eliminated a game short of the regional title matchup in a bizarre contest in which Millersville pitchers hit a combined 12 batters. This season, while Head Coach Jonathan Shehan won’t have top prospect Tim Mayza back in the rotation, he will have an experienced bullpen which could make the difference between being one of the final eight teams or being sent home early for the summer.
The offense, which led the PSAC in batting at .315, returns seven of nine starting lineup positions. The team would’ve had to replace only one, but outfielder Jeremy Musser who batted .345 as a freshman, suffered a season-ending injury in the fall. Zach Stone, the PSAC East Player of the Year and Josh Willingham Award semifinalist, wields the most dominating bat in the lineup. Last season Stone hit .406 and tied for 16th nationally in both total hits and on base percentage. Stone hit an incredible .514 against left handed pitching. Other big bats back in the Marauders lineup include Tyler McDonald, Dan Johnson and Tyler Orris. McDonald raised his batting average nearly .100 points last season, finishing the year at .342. His 47 RBI led the team and was third in the conference. Johnson was the school’s first back-to-back All PSAC East First Team selection in over twelve years and spent the season as the team’s clean-up hitter. He hit .321 with fifteen extra-base hits. Orris started every game last season at shortstop and committed only five errors over the final 50 games of the year. He was no slough at the plate either, hitting .285 with a .348 on-base percentage. Orris also had a handsome mustache which fueled his game.
The return of Chris Murphy, the Atlantic Region Pitcher of the Year, gives the Marauders a solid ace. Murphy was the school’s first All American First Team selection after going 12-2 with a 2.29 ERA in an incredible debut season which also included a perfect game and eight complete games. Tad Barton went 8-4 with a 4.37 ERA while tossing three complete games himself and is only four wins away from establishing a new school record for career victories. Jim McDade showed promise as a freshman with 12 starts and 47.1 innings, but will have to lower his ERA and number of hits allowed to be the starter Shehan believes he can be. Incoming freshman Brandon Miller and Enzo Espositio are a pair of new arms that could help MU get back to Cary, as will Logan Grant, a Canadian import via Creighton.