TUCSON, Ariz. – With the 2019 NCAA Division II baseball season just over the horizon, the Nova Southeastern Sharks earned a No. 20 preseason ranking in the annual poll by Collegiate Baseball News, while seniors Samuel Duran and Christian Demby received individual recognition from the national publication.
The Sharks last appeared in the mid-May 2018 CBN rankings and climbed as high as No. 9 after being ranked 12th in the 2018 preseason poll. Just two years removed from a National Championship, the Sharks finished 35-16 last season, making it to the NCAA Regionals for the fourth consecutive year.
The Sharks return 24 players from a year ago, including 14 pitchers with game experience. One highlighted player, Duran was named to CBN’s Preseason All-America team. The Melbourne, Fla. native is coming off a .384-hitting junior campaign in which he collected 33 RBI and 44 runs off a team third-most 63 hits, including a team-high 14 doubles, five home runs, three triples and 13 steals. A Gold Glove candidate, Duran tallied 85 putouts to top all outfielders, committing just one error in the process.
CBN also tapped Demby on its list of Players to Watch. A two-way player for the Sharks from Southwest Ranches, Fla., Demby batted .302 a year ago as an outfielder after transferring from NC State, logging 23 RBI and 16 runs, while hitting seven doubles and three home runs. On the mound, Demby tossed 5.0 innings in three appearances and projects to see more frames in 2019.
The Sharks open up the 2019 campaign at home on Feb. 1, hosting Tusculum at the NSU Baseball Complex.