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MD JUCO Preview: CCBC Essex


Kyle Campbell
Maryland Scouting Director

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JUCO programs across the state of Maryland began preseason practices back in early January. As the calendar quickly turns and with several teams getting ready to open up their 2019 campaigns in the next few weeks, we begin our coverage of the Maryland JUCO Conference with a preseason preview of all fourteen schools. In each preview, we will take a look back at the 2018 season, examine key players that have moved on or left the program, look at some new faces and key players for the upcoming season, and finally take a sneak peak at whats ahead for the 2019 season. We continue our preseason previews with a look at the CCBC Essex Knights.

 

CCBC Essex 2019 SEASON PREVIEW

Head Coach: Mike Carter (9th Season)  k
Mascot: Knights
2018 Record: 30-26
2018 MD JUCO Finish: 5th Place
2018 DII Region XX Finish: Champions
2018 DII Northeast District Finish: Champions
2018 DII World Series Finish: 7th Place
Twitter Handle: @Essex_Baseball_
CLICK HERE to view the CCBC Essex Baseball Website
CLICK HERE to view the CCBC Essex 2019 Baseball Schedule
CLICK HERE to view the CCBC Essex 2019 Baseball Roster

 

2019 PBR JUCO NATIONAL PRESEASON RANK: NR

 

Returning Players with 2018 Postseason Honors

Nelson Laviosa: All-Maryland JUCO - Second Team / NJCAA All-Region XX DII - First Team / NJCAA All-Northeast District

Returning Starters: 3

PLAYER POS GP AVG OBP SLG R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Nelson Laviosa RF 55  .360  .414  .513  41  71  14  54  16 
Robbie Leon OF/2B 36  .231  .380  .260  20  24  10 
Nolan Watson C 42  .209  .312  .246  25  28 

 

Returning Pitchers: 1

PLAYER POS APP W L S IP H R ER BB K ERA
Kale Hynes RHP 10  22.1  22  12  21  3.63 

 

Key Losses

PLAYER POS GP AVG OBP SLG R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Julio Creazzola SS 54 .266 .318 .338 41 55 7 4 0 19 39
Mitch Fyffe OF 53  .271  .361  .436  45  49  14  25 
Luke Shaffer 1B 44  .331  .444  .554  32  46  30 
PLAYER POS APP W L S IP H R ER BB K ERA
Adam Biss LHP 11  58.0  51  44  27  54  62  4.19 
Chris Otero RHP 10 4 6 0 57.1 47 36 23 25 67 3.61
Caleb Smith RHP 20  78.0  61  32  20  19  56  2.31 
Franco Velasquez RHP 11  35.2  29  27  20  21  30  5.05 

 

Adam Biss (Emmanuel College)
Julio Creazzola (Point Park University)
Mitch Fyffe (Frostburg State University)
Jimmy Husar (Wilson College)
JC Llaser (LSU Shreveport)
Luke Schaffer (Shenandoah University)
Caleb Smith (Frostburg State University)
Franco Velasquez (Frostburg State University)

 

Top Newcomers

Pat Barrett RHP Southern Regional (NJ) / Rowan Burlington CC
Kiani Marquez RHP Puerto Rico / Kashaskia College
Luke Nakich SS Archbishop Curley (MD)
Gage Shaffer
RHP/1B Frankfort (WV)

 

Key Players for 2019

Pat Barrett (Fr.) RHP Southern Regional (NJ) / Rowan Burlington CC
Nelson Laviosa (So.) RF Ronald Reagan (FL)
Robbie Leon (So.) OF/2B Parkville (MD)
Kiani Marquez (So.) RHP Puerto Rico / Kashaskia College 
Luke Nakich SS (So.) Archbiship Curley (MD)
Gage Shaffer RHP/1B (Fr.) Frankfort (WV)
Nolan Watson (So.) C Southern Regional (NJ)

 

2019 Committed Players

None at this time. 

 

2019 Season Snapshot

The 2018 NJCAA DII Region XX and Northeast District champions will look to defend those titles this year under 9th year head coach Mike Carter. The Knights went undefeated in the Region XX Tournament last season knocking off top seed Frederick CC and took two one-run ballgames from perennial Region XIX powerhouse Mercer County (NJ) in the Northeast District best-of-three series to advance to the school's first trip to the World Series in over 25 years. CCBC Essex opened in Enid, Oklahoma at the NJCAA DII World Series with a win against Scottsdale CC (AZ), before falling in a heart-breaker to #2 national seed Parkland College (IL) 6-5, and Scottsdale CC (AZ) thereafter in the consolation bracket. 

With two DII Region XX titles (2006 and 2008) in the past three years, CCBC Essex has asserted themselves as one of the top programs in the Maryland JUCO Conference. 2019's team will look to continue the Knights recent run of success but will need to do so without some key pieces from last year's squad. Eight sophomores off last year's roster have moved on to play at four-year colleges / universities highlighted by Adam Biss (Emmanuel College), Julio Creazzola (Point Park University), Mitch Fyffe (Frostburg State University), Luke Schaffer (Shenandoah University), Caleb Smith (Frostburg State University), and Franco Velasquez (Frostburg State University). 

Sophomore Kale Hynes is the lone returning arm for the Knights but he will be joined by a solid group of newcomers to help get it done on the mound in 2019. Sophomore transfer RHP Kiani Marquez and freshman RHP Pat Barrett, RHP Gage Shaffer, LHP Jeff Young, and RHP Carson Coffey will be leaned on heavily to keep them in games while All-Maryland JUCO Second Team selection and NJCAA DII Region XX First Team member Nelson Laviosa returns to anchor the offense. Sophomore returners Robbie LeonLuke NakichNolan Watson and the previously mentioned freshman two-way RHP/1B Shaffer will look to bolster the lineup. 

CCBC Essex will head south to kick off their 2019 season with a 4-game set at USC Lancaster before returning home to open up Maryland JUCO Conference play and a tough early portion of their schedule. Expect to see this young group of Knights grow throughout the season under Coach Carter's leadership and once again be in contention to defend that NJCAA DII Region XX title come playoff time.

 

More Maryland JUCO Preseason Previews