RICHMOND, Va. – On Wednesday morning the Colonial Athletic Association announced the 2020 Baseball predicted order of finish and Preseason All-CAA Team. James Madison baseball was selected sixth out of nine participating universities.
The Dukes also claimed three spots on the Preseason All-CAA Team with senior Brett Ayer and sophomores Trevon Dabney and Kyle Novak earning positions. Two more Dukes earned honorable mentions in the form of Nick Stewart and Fox Semones.
JMU finished the 2019 campaign 31-26 and posted an 11-13 record in conference play. The Dukes returned to the CAA Tournament for the first time since 2016, but were eliminated in two games. JMU also became the first team in Cal State Fullerton history to blank the Titans in consecutive nights in Fullerton, California.
Brett Ayer was selected to the Preseason All-CAA team in 2020, after posting a 4-1 record in relief. The senior left-hander appeared in 16 games for the Dukes, pitching 35 and 2/3 innings, allowing 24 hits and 13 runs, 10 of which were earned. Ayer faced 128 batters and posted a .188 batting average against for the Dukes.
Kyle Novak was up for the 2019 CAA Rookie of the Year award in the conference, posting a .303 batting average and collecting 57 hits last season. The sophomore knocked in 28 runs and struck out only 18 times last season. The JMU designated hitter stole three bags and had an on base percentage of .389.
In conference play Novak batted .354 and collected 29 hits. He walked 10 times and had an on base percentage of .430. All three of Novak's stolen bases came in conference play.
Trevon Dabney was also up for the 2019 CAA Rookie of the Year award for the conference. The sophomore third baseman led the team in batting average, edging out Novak, batting .306 on the season. Dabney led the Dukes in hit by pitches, wearing 24 and scored 43 runs from the lead off position.
In CAA play Dabney batted .264 and led the team in runs scored with 16. He was hit by seven pitches and was second on the team in home runs with three, including back-to-back leadoff home runs on consecutive days against Delaware.
Nick Stewart and Fox Semones both earned honorable mentions on the All-CAA Preseason Team after successful seasons for the Dukes. Stewart posted a 2.74 ERA and went 4-5 on the bump. He struck out 61 batters and allowed 56 hits. Semones missed only one game of action last season, collecting a .257 batting average. He also produced 11 doubles and drove in 30 RBIs.
JMU Baseball will open the season on the road at No. 16 NC State. First pitch for opening day is scheduled for 3 p.m. on February 14th.