18. GRAND VALLEY STATE LAKERS (43-16)
Final 2012 Ranking: 17
The Lakers ended a their season with their 11th straight NCAA Division II postseason appearance, going 2-2 in the Midwest Regional to finish in the top twenty of the final rankings. It was the final season for long time Lakers skipper Steve Lyon who retired at the end of the season after compiling a 552-205-2 record at GVSU. This season will be the first under new Head Coach Jamie Detillion who had been a ten-year tenured assistant under Lyon. Detillion’s team is talented, but the pitching is untested and depending on the development of some new arms could find themselves competing for Cary or chasing Lyon’s shadow.
The outlook for 1B Giancarlo Brugnoni is sky high for the 2013. After mashing 15 homeruns (at one time homering in four consecutive at bats) and batting .339 during the regular season, Brugnoni hit another 20 homeruns for the Chillicothe Paints for the wood bat Prospect League. More big years are also anticipated from OF Mike Nadratowski led the team in batting at .414 and also added 21 stolen bases and SS Kevin Zak who was the team’s second leading hitter at .377. Transfer Stuart Eisler from Macomb CC is also expected to execute and deliver right away after batting .368 with 35 stolen bases for the Monarchs.
Detillion’s biggest concern going into the new season will be how quickly the arms are replenished after ¾ of last year’s starting staff graduated. The only regular starter back is Anthony Campanell who went 8-2 with a 3.08 ERA. There is some good news out of the bullpen as GVSU will have closer Brad Zambron back on the mound this season. Zambron was named a Second Team All American by the ABCA after earning a miniscule 0.52 ERA in 34.2 innings with 16 saves. There is also hope that former Vadosta State and Oakland Univeristy pitcher Kyle Teague can contribute after redshirting in 2012, as well as Chris Ward, who earned All-Ohio Community College Athletic Confence honors at Owens Community CC after transfering from Cleveland State before the program was terminated.