ROCK HILL — The Newberry College baseball team is picked fifth in the annual South Atlantic Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll, which was released Monday. In addition, the Wolves are tied with Wingate for most players on the preseason all-conference team with six picks.
Newberry picked up 71 points in the poll with two coaches selecting Newberry as the first place pick. Catawba has nine first place votes and has 97 points, with Tusculum and Wingate tied for second at 78 points. Conference newcomer and 2013 Division II College World Series Coker is just ahead of the Wolves with 76 points.
The Wolves have four first team preseason all-conference selections. First baseman Albert Baur, third baseman Ryan Cranmer, designated hitter Eric Barbieri and starting pitcher Jonathan Rosenberger are on the first team. Joining that quartet on the second team are catcher Chas Goodwin and outfielder Jermale Paige.
Baur had a breakout year as a sophomore in 2013 and was also strong in summer league play, where he was a Northwoods League All-Star. He earned third team all-Southeast Region honors from the NCBWA after earning second team all-SAC honors.
He was the only Newberry player to start in all 51 games, led the team and finished third in the conference with a .371 batting average. His 54 RBIs tied for the conference lead. He led the league with 78 hits and was third with 19 doubles. He had eight homeruns to finish fifth in the conference and his 47 runs scored finished fourth in the league.
He was the SAC’s Gold Glove winner at first base with only five errors on the season and a .987 fielding average. He was also named to the Tino Martinez Award watch list as just a sophomore. He was twice named SAC Player of the Week.
Cranmer excelled as a junior in 2013 in his first season in scarlet and gray. He was named second team all-Southeast Region by the ABCA and the NCBWA. He was Newberry’s first-ever first team all-SAC infielder and was a starter in the Coastal Plain League all-star game in the summer, where he led the league in homeruns and was second in slugging percentage.
He was fourth in the SAC with a .368 batting average and tied for fourth in the league with 50 RBIs. His 50 runs scored were third in the conference and he was second in the conference with a .466 on-base percentage, a .632 slugging percentage and 30 walks. He had 10 homeruns to rank fourth in the league and was 21-for-21 on stolen base attempts to rank second in the league in steals and notch the most steals in the league without being caught. He was one of only two Wolves to play in every game last season.
Barbieri earns his first all-SAC honor after being named a Jewish Sports Review All-American and Southern Collegiate League All-Star in the summer of 2013. In his first season at Newberry, Barbieri finished in the top 10 in the South Atlantic Conference in homeruns, hits, doubles and RBIs. He hit for a .335 average with 64 hits, 16 doubles, eight homeruns and 46 RBIs, splitting time between designated hitter, outfield and first base.
He was also named all-SAC Tournament, going 7-for-16 (.438) in the tournament with four doubles, a homerun and three RBIs.
Rosenberger enters his junior season as one of the top starters in the SAC. He was named second team all-Southeast Region last season by both the ABCA and the NCBWA after earning first team all-SAC honors.
He led the Wolves to success in the league with an 8-2 record and 2.51 earned run average. His eight wins ranked third in the conference, and his ERA was fifth in the league. He allowed 23 runs in 75.1 innings pitched, striking out 54 and walking only 22, with opponents hitting .228 against him. He won his first six conference starts in order and allowed no more than four earned runs in any start. He was named to the Tino Martinez Award watch list in just his second season.
Goodwin earns his first-ever all-SAC honor entering his senior season. Defensively, he caught 14 runners attempting to steal and had the highest average of runners caught stealing in conference play. Offensively, he was 12th in the league with a .427 on-base percentage thanks to ranking 12th in the conference by drawing 24 walks.
He was also fourth in the conference with eight sacrifice bunts. He was also named a 2013 Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree, carrying an outstanding grade point average while double majoring in chemistry with a biochemistry concentration and biology and working in Newberry’s athletic communications office.
Paige remains on the all-SAC second team after earning that honor in the 2013 season. He was Newberry’s first all-SAC outfielder in nine years after notching a .345 batting average with 50 hits, 33 runs scored, 14 RBIs and 11 steals. He had a .977 fielding percentage.