Tulane picked second in AAC preseason baseball poll
Aviles, Engelhard, Hoffman and Lee tabbed preseason all-conference
NEW ORLEANS – The Tulane University baseball team was picked to finish second in the American Athletic Conference preseason poll which was announced on Wednesday by the league office.
The Green Wave scored 36 votes in the preseason poll and received one first place vote.
In addition to its second-place preseason ranking, Tulane placed redshirt senior Luis Aviles and sophomores Chase Engelhard, Tyler Hoffman and Bennett Lee on the preseason all-conference team.
Aviles earned the preseason nod following a 2021 campaign where he appeared in 53 games, drilled seven home runs and drove in 40 RBI. His 40 RBI ranked third on the team a year ago. The Palmeto Bay, Florida, native also served as a reliable player behind the plate and in the field, as he posted a fielding percentage of .981.
Engelhard was selected to the team after he established himself as one of the more consistent players on the squad, making starts in 53 of the Green Wave’s 55 games. He also posted a .299 batting average and led the team in home runs (9) and RBI (52). Following the year, he was selected as a Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American.
Hoffman was selected to the squad after he established himself as a consistent midweek and weekend starter. As a freshman, he saw action in 13 games and made 12 starts. In his 13 appearances, the Mobile, Alabama, native struck out 74 of the 227 batters he faced and limited opponent hitters to just a .194 average.
Lee was tabbed preseason all-league after he posted a banner rookie campaign in 2021. The Tampa, Florida, native closed the 2021 regular season as the team leader in batting average (.440) and slugging percentage (.600). In 34 games, Lee also collected four home runs, 28 RBI and posted an incredible .527 on-base percentage. Following the year, he was named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Freshman All-America, Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-America, AAC First Team honoree and AAC Newcomer Position Player of the Year.
The Green Wave enter the spring in the hopes of building off their successful 2021 campaign where they finished second in the American Athletic Conference – the nation’s No. 5-ranked RPI league. Following the regular season, Tulane advanced to the semifinals of the AAC tournament. In addition, Tulane reeled off 12 straight wins – the most in over 20 years.
Tulane opens the 2022 campaign against UMass Lowell on Feb. 18 inside Greer Field at Turchin Stadium with the first pitch set for 6:30 p.m.
The Green Wave is under the direction of Travis Jewett, who begins his sixth season as the head coach of the Green Wave this spring.
2022 American Athletic Conference Baseball Preseason Poll
East Carolina (6) – 48
Tulane (1) – 36
Cincinnati – 30
Wichita State – 29
UCF – 28
USF (1) – 26
Houston – 20
Memphis – 7
* – First place votes in parenthesis
Preseason Player of the Year
Paul Komistek, R-Jr., OF, Cincinnati
Preseason Pitcher of the Year
Carson Whisenhunt, So., East Carolina
Preseason All-Conference Team
P – Carson Whisenhunt, So., East Carolina*
P – Jack Jasiak, R-So., South Florida*
P – Tyler Hoffman, R-Jr., Tulane
P – Jace Kaminska, So., Wichita State*
RP – C.J. Mayhue, So., East Carolina
C – Bennett Lee, So., Tulane
1B – Garrett Kocis, Sr., Wichita State
2B – Chase Engelhard, So., Tulane
SS – Alex Freeland, So., UCF
3B – Carmine Lane, R-So., South Florida
OF – Gephry Pena, R-Jr., UCF
OF – Cole Harting, So., Cincinnati
OF – Paul Komistek, R-Jr., Cincinnati*
OF – Griffin Merritt, R-Jr., Cincinnati
OF – Drew Brutcher, So., South Florida
DH – Tom Josten, R-Jr., UCF
DH – Luis Aviles, R-Sr., Tulane
TULANE BASEBALL ON ESPN+ AND WRBH 88.3 FM
Coverage of all Green Wave baseball home games and selected road games can be seen live on ESPN+. Fans can also listen to all Tulane baseball games on the radio by tuning into WRBH 88.3 FM. Tulane baseball radio broadcasts also can be heard on the Tulane Athletics app and The Varsity Network app.
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