LEWISBURG, Pa. – After earning First Team All-Patriot League honors a season ago, Bucknell seniors Sam Clark and Brett Smith were named to the Preseason All-Patriot League Baseball Team, released by the conference office on Tuesday. The duo makes their first appearance on the 12-player preseason squad, which was decided by a vote of the league’s head coaches and sport information directors.
The preseason poll was also released, and the Bison finished in a tie with Lehigh for third with 30 points. Holy Cross was chosen as the preseason favorite with 46 points and six first-place votes. Navy, the reigning Patriot League Champion, was picked second with 43 points and five first-place tallies. Rounding out the six-team ballot were Army West Point (13) and Lafayette (12).
Clark enjoyed a strong junior campaign, appearing in 46 games, all starts, hitting .282 with three home runs, 26 RBIs and 22 runs scored. He posted 12 multi-hit games along with six multi-RBI contests. He excelled in league play, hitting a team-best .338.
Smith earns his fourth All-Patriot League citation. In addition to his first team honors last year, he earned Second Team All-Patriot League accolades in 2015 and was crowned Patriot League Rookie of the Year in 2014.
Smith has been a catalyst for Bucknell since his arrival to Lewisburg. One of two Bison to start all 52 games last season, Smith ranked top-10 in the Patriot League in triples (1st, 7), hits (3rd, 74), stolen bases (3rd, 13,), slugging percentage (6th, .463), run scored (t-8th, 39) and on-base percentage (10th, .399).
Smith is a career .292 hitter and continues to move his way up the Bucknell record book in several categories. He enters this season fifth in program history in walks (72) and tied for seventh in triples (11). He has 169 hits in 150 career games.
The Bison open the 2017 season with a three-game set with Marist in Cary, North Carolina, beginning on Friday.
2017 Baseball Preseason All-Patriot League Team Major Awards
Player of the Year: Anthony Critelli, Holy Cross (Sr., 1B)
Pitcher of the Year: Brendan King, Holy Cross (Sr., RHP)
SP: Brendan King, Holy Cross (Sr.)
SP: Noah Song, Navy (So.)
RP: Jon Escobar, Holy Cross (Sr.)
C: Adrian Chinnery, Navy (Sr.)
1B: Anthony Critelli, Holy Cross (1B)
2B: Kris Lindner, Army (Sr.)
SS: Travis Blue, Navy (Sr.)
3B: Sam Clark, Bucknell (Sr.)
OF: Brett Smith, Bucknell (Sr.)
OF: Bill Schlich, Holy Cross (Sr.)
OF: Jacen Nalesnik, Lehigh (Sr.)
DH: Stephen Born, Navy (Jr.)
2017 Baseball Preseason Poll
1. Holy Cross, 46 points (6 first-place votes)
2. Navy, 43 (5)
3. Bucknell, 30
- Lehigh 30
5. Army, 13
6. Lafayette, 12