TUSCON, Ariz. – With the start of the upcoming 2020 campaign little more than a month away, five Penn State Harrisburg baseball players have been named to the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Division III Players to Watch List.
The Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Division III Players to Watch List is selected annually by NCAA Division III coaches from across the country and compiled by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
BRET WILLIAMS | OF | MOUNT CARMEL, PA.
Williams was recently named a D3baseball.com Preseason First-Team All-American after putting together one of the most impressive seasons in program history a year ago. Following a junior campaign that saw him clinch NCAA Division III Statistical Championships in the categories of hits (88), runs (75) and total bases (161), he was named a First-Team All-American by both ABCA/Rawlings and D3baseball.com. The Mount Carmel, Pa. native was named the NCAA Division III Mid-Atlantic Regional Player of the Year and First-Team All-Region by the ABCA and Rawlings to go along with a D3baseball.com First-Team All-Region honor. The outfielder was named the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) Player of the Year thanks to slashing .431/.514/.789 with an OPS of 1.303, winning the league's batting title and ranking second in the nation in home runs (18) and RBI (70). He added 36 extra-base hits, including 17 doubles, 32 walks and seven stolen bases. Williams was named CAC First-Team All-Conference for the second year in a row after picking up D3baseball.com National Team of the Week and CAC Player of the Week honors earlier in the year.
TRAVIS VAN HOUTEN | UTIL | SAYLORSBURG, PA.
Van Houten's versatility was key to Penn State Harrisburg's success in 2019 and it led to a pair of all-region honors following his junior season. After clinching the NCAA Division III Statistical Championship in the category of runs batted in (71), he was tabbed ABCA/Rawlings First-Team All-Region after earning D3baseball.com Second-Team All-Region recognition earlier in the spring. The Saylorsburg, Pa. native ranked fifth in the country in total bases (132), 19th in hits (74) and 16th in home runs (12). The utility man slashed .385/.478/.688 with an OPS of 1.166 and added 29 extra-base hits, including 12 doubles and five triples. He also walked 35 times and stole four bases. He was also stout on the mound, racking up six wins, a save and 78 strikeouts in 79 innings pitched, while holding opposing hitters to a .277 batting average. For his efforts, Van Houten earned a pair of CAC First-Team All-Conference honors as both a starting pitcher and designated hitter.
ZAK KORONEOS | 1B | TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA
Koroneos is coming off a breakout junior campaign that saw him rank eighth in the nation and second among Penn State Harrisburg players with 13 home runs. The first baseman slashed .260/.359/.525 with 46 hits, including eight doubles to go along with his impressive home run total. The Toronto, Ontario, Canada native drove in 52 runs, scored 35 more, walked 17 times and tallied 93 total bases. He also led all infielders with a fielding percentage of .982.
CHASE SMITH | OF | MARTINSBURG, PA.
Smith turned in a memorable sophomore season that saw him rank third among Blue & White players with 60 hits, including nine home runs, 12 doubles and a triple. The outfielder slashed .309/.433/.521 with an OPS of .954 to go along with 61 runs scored and 38 runs batted in. The Martinsburg, Pa. native walked 23 times, stole a team-high 15 bases, was hit by pitch a team-leading 21 times and racked up 101 total bases. The center fielder also posted a .975 fielding percentage with 117; a number good enough to rank him tops among outfielders.
TYLER JACKSON | RP | PITTSTON, PA.
Jackson put together an impressive sophomore campaign that saw him make 25 appearances and rack up four saves and three wins on the mound in 49.2 innings thrown. The relief pitcher posted a 5.26 ERA and struck out 37 opposing batters. The Pittston, Pa. native recorded 6.70 strikeouts per nine innings and surrendered just 12 walks last spring. Defensively, he also tallied seven assists and two putouts in 10 total chances.
Penn State Harrisburg was ranked No. 24 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's 2020 Preseason NCAA Division III Poll. It is the program's first-ever preseason national ranking. The Blue & White are coming off an historic season that saw them earn a berth in the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament after winning a program-record 33 games.
The Lions open the 2020 season at Randolph-Macon on Friday afternoon, Feb. 21.