14. SETON HILL GRIFFINS (46-11)
Final 2012 Ranking: 21
Seton Hill ran away with the WVIAC regular season title but were stymied in their quest to capture the conference tournament crown as well thanks to one of those wacky pool play formats which are all the rage as of late. Nevertheless, the Griffs were awarded the top seed in the Atlantic Regional, but where they were eliminated by eventual national champion West Chester. Despite the earlier-than-anticipated loss, Head coach Marc Marizzaldi and SHU did establish a new school record for wins in 2012. Some major cogs are in place for another title run, but with 11 seniors graduating last spring some freshman and transfers will have to contribute quickly if the Griffs will eclipse last year’s success.
A number of everyday players won’t be back on campus, but perhaps the two most potent bats do return. 3B Nicholas Sell excelled as a freshman, winning the team’s triple crown with a .380 batting average, 11 homeruns and 55 RBI. Marizzaldi believes Sell can up big numbers once again, as will his neighbor in the infield, SS Brendan Costantino. Constantino hit .370 and was a terror on the basepaths, swiping 35 bases in 41 attempts. Another pair of experienced bats back in Greensburg are outfielders Jackson Boyd and Cody Herald. Boyd batted .330 with 23 extra-base hits and 22 stolen bases. Herald hit .312 and also had double-digit steals with 13. Transfers Chris Miller from Akron and Brandon Jossey from Ohlone CC could also make waves their first year on the club.
Pitchingwise, three starters who made at least 10 starts will be back on the hill. Alex Haines is slated to be the top arm after going 7-2 with 108 strikeouts in 70 innings pitched. Haines, the WVIAC Pitcher of the Year, has been one of rated the top pro prospects in Pennsylvania and excelled in the NECBL during the offseason with a 0.90 ERA in nine appearances. Like Snell, Brett Sullivan also put up big numbers as a freshman, going 6-2 with a 2.81 ERA during his first season on campus. Brad Schnelle led the trio in ERA at 2.38 and also paced the club in wins with his 9-0 record. Sam Bashioum could put up big numbers as well, as the senior was designated by the staff as the most improved player since the spring.