Top 25 Breakdown: No. 24 UNC WilmingtonSeason Preview
2016 Record: 41-19. RPI: 30.
Coach (Record at school): Mark Scalf (840-624-1, 25 years).
Ballpark: Brooks Stadium (Capacity: 3,000).
Postseason History: 8 regionals (active streak: 2), 0 CWS trips, 0 national titles.
More: Fall Report on UNC Wilmington
UNC Wilmington's Projected Lineup
|C||Nick Feight, Jr.||.349/.410/.726||21||91||1|
|1B||Zack Canada, Jr.||.308/.376/.447||4||29||2|
|2B||Brian Mims, Jr.||.371/.443/.614||14||64||4|
|3B||Terence Connelly, R-Sr.||.267/.365/.311||0||7||2|
|SS||Kennard McDowell, R-Sr.||.231/.288/.368||7||40||3|
|LF||Daniel Stack, Sr.||.284/.355/.472||10||39||5|
|CF||Robbie Thorburn, Sr.||.364/.427/.511||3||28||20|
|RF||Casey Golden, Sr.||.311/.400/.554||9||31||2|
|DH||Mason Berne, Jr.||Tr.—Spartanburg (S.C.) Methodist JC|
|RHP||Alex Royalty, So.||8-2||4.71||72.2||57||22||0|
|RHP||Logan Beehler, R-So.||Tr.—Pitt (N.C.) CC|
|RHP||Josh Roberson, Jr.||0-1||6.04||22.1||22||28||0|
|RP||Austin Magestro, Jr.||5-3||2.59||48.2||66||23||3|
Grading The Seahawks
Just as scouts grade prospects using the 20-80 scouting scale, we use a 20-80 scale to evaluate teams in our top 25. A score of 50 in each category is average, relative to a typical NCAA tournament team; 55 is slightly above-average; 60 is above-average (plus); 70 is well above-average (plus-plus); 80 is top of the scale, historically strong. Accordingly, 45 is fringe-average or slightly below-average; 40 is below-average; 30 is well below-average; and 20 is the extreme in that direction.
The Seahawks welcome back seven regulars from a team that ranked eighth in the nation with a .320 batting average and third nationally in scoring (8.4 runs per game). Clearly, this is one of college baseball’s most explosive offenses, and it has a strong argument as the very best. The one knock on UNCW’s lineup is that it is predominantly righthanded, with just two lefties in the projected lineup: slashing leadoff man Thorburn and seasoned bat handler Connelly, a disciplined contact hitter with a 110-84 career BB-SO mark. Connelly was an all-conference player as a junior in 2015, so his return from injury helps ensure this lineup remains deep.
UNCW is an aggressive bunch that will rack up its share of strikeouts, but free swingers like Mims, Golden, Canada and Stack make up for their whiffs by providing valuable run production. The centerpiece of the lineup is Feight, an extraordinarily mature hitter who controls the strike zone and drives the ball to all fields with authority. He and Mims both earned All-America honors a year ago and will give opposing pitchers fits again in the heart of the order. McDowell and Thorburn took important steps forward with their bats in the fall. Stack came out of nowhere to emerge as an all-conference player last year after taking over for the injured Connelly; he’s got good feel for his barrel and plenty of bat speed. This is a deep lineup with no holes from one through nine.
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