Baseball lands five on preseason All-CAA team, Phoenix picked to finish fourth
RICHMOND, Virginia – The Colonial Athletic Association released its 2022 Baseball Preseason Coaches Poll on Wednesday morning, Feb. 2, and Elon University’s baseball program was chosen to finish fourth. The Phoenix also had five players named to the preseason All-CAA team: Cole Reynolds, justin caselle, Alex Iadisernia, Joe Savino and Trevor Kirk.
After winning the CAA Championship in 2021, Northeastern was picked to repeat in 2022 as the Huskies received six first-place votes and 62 total points. UNCW comes in second with three first-place votes and 59 points, College of Charleston is third with 48 points, and Elon was picked to finish fourth with 43 points. After the Phoenix in order, James Madison, William & Mary, Towson, Delaware and Hofstra. UNCW infielder Brooks Baldwin and Northeast starting pitcher Cam Schlittler were selected as conference co-preseason players of the year.
A native of Clayton, Del., Reynolds started 41 of the 43 games he appeared in and was named Newcomer of the Year after batting .292 (42 for 144) with a .444 hitting percentage and a .398 on – base percentage. He finished his first campaign with five home runs, seven doubles, 24 runs, 25 RBIs, 24 walks and one stolen base while recording eight multi-rBI games and five multiple-RBI games. He also posted a five-game hitting streak and a 10-game base hitting streak. A two-way player, Reynolds also made four relief appearances and went 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA.
Cassella, an outfielder from Bernardsville, NJ, was named CAA Rookie of the Week on April 13 last season and capped off his freshman season with CAA All-Rookie Team honors. He made 26 starts in 31 games and hit .276 (32 for 116) with a .466 hitting percentage and .364 on-base percentage. His totals for the season included three homers, two triples, nine doubles, 27 runs, 16 RBIs and 11 walks. Cassella also had a huge impact for brown and gold on base paths, stealing 10 bases in as many attempts. He finished with nine multi-hit games and three RBI games, had a four-hit streak and reached base in 11 straight games.
An outfielder from Jackson, NJ, Iadisernia earned All-American Collegiate Baseball Freshman honors and was selected as CAA Co-Rookie of the Year after landing on the All-CAA First and All-Rookie teams. He led the Phoenix at the plate and was third in the league in batting average (.368), was also third in the CAA in slugging percentage (.626), was the fourth hardest hitter to strike out ( 8.7) and finished fifth in hits. per game (1.45). He also finished in the CAA’s top 10 in homers (10), runs scored (39), doubles (13) and on-base percentage (.448). He broke the program’s freshman circuit record and was named CAA Co-Player of the Week on April 13.
Savino is a right-handed pitcher from Ronkonkoma, NY, who ranked first in AAC and 15th nationally with a 7.00 strikeout ratio last season. He was also first in the league and 26th nationally with 1.15 walks allowed per nine innings, was fourth in the conference with a 1.09 WHIP, and fifth with 10.56 strikeouts per nine innings. Savino made nine starts in 12 appearances, went 0-3 with a 3.02 ERA and led the Phoenix with 70 strikeouts.
A right-handed pitcher from Wake Forest, North Carolina, Kirk went 4-1 with a 3.28 ERA in 19 appearances and one start last year. He finished third on the team with 51 strikeouts while holding opposing batters to an average of .204. On April 18 at William & Mary, he set season highs with nine strikeouts and 5.1 innings out of the bullpen while keeping the Tribe to two runs (one earned) on two hits and a walk . On May 26, at the CAA Championship Tournament, Kirk was victorious over fifth-seeded W&M after pitching 4.1 scoreless relief innings. He struck out five, allowed one hit and did not walk.
Elon opens his season at home against Fairfield February 18-20 at Latham Park and the Phoenix will host this year’s CAA Championship Tournament May 25-28. Season passes are on sale for $60 and can be purchased online or by contacting the Elon box office at 336-278-6750.
2021 All-CAA Preseason Baseball Team
C – Matt Suggs, UNCW
SI – Brooks Baldwin, UNCW
SI – Danny Crossen, North East
SI – Harlan Trotter, Charleston
IF – Cole ReynoldsElon
SI – Max Viera, North East
SI – Ben Williamson, William and Mary
FROM- justin caselleElon
DE – Jeff Costello, Northeast
DE – Chase DeLauter, James Madison
FROM- Alex IadiserniaElon
DE – Will Kennedy, Hofstra
UT – Jack Cone, William and Mary
DH – Tanner Steffy, Charleston
SP – Ty Good, Charleston
SP – Sebastian Keane, North East
SP- Joe SavinoElon
SP – Cam Schlittler, North East
PR – Hunter Hodges, UNCW
RP- Trevor KirkElon
CAA Pre-Season Co-Player of the Year: Brooks Baldwin, UNCW and Cam Schlittler, Northeast
Honorable Mention: Jared Kirven, C, Charleston; Joseph Carpenter, IF, Delaware; Joseph Mershon, IF, Charleston; Taber Mengero, IF, UNCW; Carson Bell, DE, James Madison; Dillon Lifrieri, DE, UNCW; Jake Dunion, DH, Delaware; Kyle Novak, DH, James Madison; Nick Janowicz, PS, Towson; Wyatt Scotti, SP, Northeast; Lliam Grubbs, PR, James Madison
Expected finish order of 2022 CAA baseball
1. North East (6 first place votes) – 62 points
2. UNCW (3) – 59
3.Charleston – 48
4. Elon – 43
5. James Madison – 30
6. William and Mary – 27
7. Towson – 24
8. Delaware – 18
9. Hofstra – 13