In their preseason poll, the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference baseball coaches have chosen the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford to win the league championship this season.

The Panthers were the runners-up at last year's conference tournament, losing in extra innings in the championship game to Frostburg State University.  The defending champion Bobcats were a very close second in the balloting, with La Roche College voted to the #3 spot, right on the heels of both higher ranked teams.

Pitt-Bradford senior third baseman Tim Lentz (Freedom, PA/Freedom HS) is the coaches' selection as Preseason Player of the Year.  Lentz was a member of the all-conference second team last season, hitting .410 with a .650 slugging percentage and 48 hits to help UPB to a 23-19 record and a runner-up finish in the conference tournament.

Last year's all-conference first team pitcher, Jeff Butterworth (North Cambria, PA/ Hagerstown CC) is the AMCC's Preseason Pitcher of the Year.  The La Roche junior was the workhorse in the Redhawks' line-up.  He started ten games last season and won six, fanning 43 in 57.1 innings of work.

The AMCC welcomes three new members to the conference this season:  Hilbert College, Medaille College, and Mount Aloysius College.  The conference will receive an automatic bid to the national tournament for the first time in Spring 2005.    

Preseason Rankings:
1. University of Pittsburgh at Bradford
2. Frostburg State University
3. La Roche College

Preseason Player of the Year:
Tim Lentz, Pitt-Bradford

Preseason Pitcher of the Year:
Jeff Butterworth, La Roche

                                        Players to Watch

FROSTBURG STATE (6-6 AMCC, 26-18 overall)
P Daryl Keys (Salem Central HS/Salem, NY)...SR...2004 record was 2-3...5.17 ERA with 1 shutout...fanned 35.

CF Kyle Mahan (Potomac HS/Woodbridge, VA)...JR...second team all-AMCC in 2004...hit .325 with 10 doubles and 3 triples...was 17-for-21 in stolen base attempts...

HILBERT (5-3 NEAC, 6-18 overall)
SS Sam Gioia (West Seneca West HS/West Seneca, NY)...SR...First Team All-NEAC and Player of the Year in 2004...batted 3.16 with 17 RBI and 6 HR...also a basketball standout, named to All-AMCC second team this season.

OF Matt Markott (Lake Shore HS/Angola, NY)...JR...Second Team All-NEAC last season...led all outfielders with 44 put-outs...also hit .237 with 5 RBI.

LA ROCHE (7-5 AMCC, 18-17 overall)
P Jeff Butterworth (North Cambria HS/North Cambria, PA)...JR...AMCC first team all-conference pitcher in 2004...6-3 record overall, 6-2 in conference...in 57.1 IP he fanned 47 and walked 23.

C Nick Wendell (Bedford HS/Everett, PA)...SO...2004 stats include a .362 batting average, team-high 8 doubles, .412 slugging percentage and .381 on base percentage...threw out 78% of runners.

LAKE ERIE (2-10 AMCC, 6-28 overall)

P James Knight (Conneaut HS/Conneaut, OH)...JR...made 12 appearances, starting 9, in
2004... 2-7 record...struck out 53 in 63.1 innings pitched...5.12 ERA ...5 pick-offs.

SS/2B Matt McNany (Franklin HS/Franklin, PA)...JR...did not play due to injury in 2004...
2003 stats included 72 AB in 22 games played...batted .417 with 30 hits, 13 RBI, 14 BB and 5
stolen bases in 6 attempts.

MEDAILLE (4-4 NEAC, 13-21 overall)

C Steve Grieco (St. Marys of Lancaster HS/Buffalo, NY)...SR...three-time All-NEAC
selection...hit .354 in 2004 with 23 RBI.
P/OF Kevin Maluchnik (Niagara Falls HS/Niagara Falls, NY)...SO...named to the NEAC
all-conference team as a freshman...2004 stats included .375 BA, 7 doubles, and 15 RBI.

MOUNT ALOYSIUS (7-23-1 overall)
P/SS Joe Hinton (Central Martinsburg HS/Roaring Spring, PA)...SO...team MVP for the Mounties...responsible for 3 of the team's 7 wins on the mound, picking up 2 saves...batted .295 with 23 hits.

OF Steve Paskowski (Indiana HS/Indiana, PA)...SO...batted .373 with 31 hits and 22 RBI.

PENN STATE ALTOONA (7-5 AMCC, 17-20 overall)
SS Tony Petulla (Phillipsburg HS/Phillipsburg, PA)...SO...transferred to PSA from Div. II Clarion...PSAC Rookie of the Year last season...led the PSAC in hitting with a .444 average.

P Eric London (Dubois HS/Dubois, PA)...JR...strong 2004 with a 4-1 record and 4.12 ERA.

PENN STATE BEHREND (6-6 AMCC, 20-15-1 overall)
OF Shane Elzer (Trinity HS/Washington, PA)...JR...first team All-AMCC in 2004...named to ABCA Mid-Atlantic Team...led team in BA (.377), doubles (10), triples (8) and RBI (32)...voted team MVP...his .679 slugging percentage was AMCC best...ranked fourth nationally in triples per game...majoring in economics.

P Chris McCartney (Baldwin HS/Pittsburgh, PA)...JR...led team in wins, IP, starts...limited opponents to .228 average...AMCC leader in ERA at 2.32 and ranked nationally...voted team's most valuable pitcher after posting 6-2 mark with 5 complete games...pitched in relief in 15 games as a freshman...majoring in electrical engineering.

PITT-BRADFORD (9-3 AMCC, 23-19 overall)
3B Tim Lentz (Freedom Area HS/Freedom, PA)...SR...Second team all-conference in 2004...hit .410 with 13 doubles, 5 home runs and 29 RBI
P Bobby Wyant (Rocky Grove HS/Rocky Grove, PA)...SR...5-5 record last season...3.52 ERA, 80 strikeouts.

PITT-GREENSBURG (5-7 AMCC, 13-21 overall)
P/IF Stephen D'Uva (Central Catholic HS/Pittsburgh, PA)...SR...2004 record on the mound was 4-4 (3-2 AMCC, 3 complete games)...4.93 ERA, 4.52 in conference competition.

SS Todd Deloplaine (North Catholic HS/Pittsburgh, PA)...SO...second team all- conference last season...hit .279 (.302 AMCC)with a .409 on-base percentage...11-for-14 in stolen base attempts...on defense he had a .952 fielding percenatge.