The Canisius College baseball team was picked second in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference preseason coaches poll released by the conference office on Thursday. Junior Garrett Cortright was named to the preseason All-MAAC team.
An All-MAAC Second-Team selection as a sophomore, Cortright went 6-6 with a 3.50 earned run average in 16 appearances (14 starts) during the 2012 season. Canisius posted a 5-2 record in his seven starts of the opening game of MAAC series. The Hamburg, N.Y. native ranked second in the conference with 76 strikeouts, allowed three or fewer earned runs in 11 of 14 starts and went at least six innings in 10 of his final 11 starts. Cortright earned MAAC All-Tournament Team honors for the second consecutive season. The 6-foot-5 righty allowed one run in eight innings in the Griffs' 1-0 first-round victory and also threw two shutout innings of relief in the championship game against Manhattan.
Canisius earned 72 points in the poll, trailing defending league champion Manhattan (74). Rider was picked third (59), followed by Marist (57) and Fairfield (48). Siena (31), Niagara (29), Saint Peter's (18) and Iona (17) completed the poll. The Griffs, who have made an appearance in the MAAC Championship in each of the last six tournaments, were selected to finish in the top three of the MAAC standings for the sixth consecutive season.
Canisius returns eight of nine starters from its everyday lineup, top four starting pitchers and the MAAC Relief Pitcher of the Year from last year's team that went 33-27.
The Griffs opens the 2013 season with four neutral-site games at the USA Baseball Complex in Cary, N.C. The Golden Griffins face Albany on Friday, Feb. 15, with first pitch set for 3 p.m.