HAVERFORD, Pa. - The Haverford College baseball team has been picked fourth in the Centennial Conference preseason poll, the conference office announced on Wednesday morning. The head coaches of the conference predict that the Fords will return to the postseason for the 13th time in the last 15 seasons.
Swarthmore, the defending Centennial Conference champions, were picked to repeat that feat unanimously, with all nine possible first place votes and 81 total voting points after reaching the Division III World Series in 2018. Conference runner-up Johns Hopkins were slated to finish second (72 points, one first place vote), while Franklin & Marshall (62 points), edged out the Fords (54 points) for third. Muhlenberg (47 points), Washington College (40 points), Ursinus (40 points), Dickinson (26 points), Gettysburg (17 points), and McDaniel (11 points) are slotted to finish fifth through 10th.
The Fords return a squad looking to return to the postseason after narrowly missing out a season ago. The lineup features D3Baseball.com All-Mid Atlantic Region selection Ethan Lee-Tyson. Lee-Tyson hit. 379 and reached base at team-best .451 clip. He was a pivotal force for the Fords, starting all 36 games. The rising senior captured all-region recognition for the second straight season and will step into the role of co-captain in 2019, along with Jared Turner and Tom Phillips.
Will Karp will return for his junior campaign following a Centennial Conference Gold Glove of the Year campaign and 29 stolen bases, a mark that ranked within the top 15 speedsters in the nation.
A young pitching corps that saw all but 12 starts come from newcomers a season ago will return battle tested in 2019, with Ryan Giovenco, Andrew Johnson, and Nathan Bass all coming off of impressive first-year seasons.
Haverford has captured three Centennial Championships this decade, rising to the top of the conference in 2012, 2014, and 2016. The 2019 campaign will get underway in earnest on March 2 as the Fords head to Union, N.J. to face off with host Kean (11:30 a.m.), before also taking on Susquehanna (2:45 p.m.) in a neutral site contest.