WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Led by reigning Colonial Athletic Association Pitcher-of-the-Year Mat Batts, UNCW placed four players on the league’s preseason all-conference squad and three other players were honorable mention.

Batts became the first Seahawk hurler to be the league’s top pitcher after posting a 9-4 record and a 3.47 earned run average as the Seahawks’ Friday starter. In CAA play, the lefthander posted a 7-2 mark and a 2.96 ERA while walking just eight batters and holding opponents to a .229 batting average. Batts went the distance on five occasions and struck out 72 hitters.

Joining Batts on the preseason All-CAA squad were returning All-CAA first-teamers Kelly Secrest, Ryan LaGrange and third-team selection Luke Dunlap.

Secrest earned first-team honors for the first time after leading the staff with a career-high eight saves. The lefthander posted a 3-1 mark and a 3.57 ERA overall and fanned 53 batters in 53 innings over 31 appearances.

LaGrange exploded in 2013, earning second-team Academic All-America honors on the strength of a .370 batting average with 14 doubles and five home runs. The Wilmington native is the Seahawks top-returning hitter this season.

Dunlap, who led the team with 46 runs batted in, also moved into the starting lineup in 2013 and responded with an All-CAA season, hitting .338 with 15 doubles and six round trippers. In April, Dunlap hit .476 with 23 RBI’s while fashioning a career-long 16-game hitting streak.

Earning spots on the honorable mention team were infielder Terence Connelly, righthanded pitcher Jordan Ramsey and designated hitter Corey Dick.

As a freshman, Connelly was the only Seahawk to start all 61 games. He finished with a .290 batting average and was second with a .455 on base average, which was fueled by a team-record 19 hit by pitches. In conference play he hit .321, scored 14 runs and drove in 13.

Ramsey led the conference with a career-best 2.34 ERA while posting a 6-6 record in 16 starts. He held opponents to a meager .236 batting average and struck out 83 batters in 104 innings. Baseball America ranked him 75th on its preseason college draft list.

Dick, who was a third-team All-CAA honoree in 2013, rounds out the Seahawk contingent. Dick finished last season with a .294 batting average and was second with nine home runs. His 40 RBI’s were second on the club. Dick hit .338 with a team-leading five homers against conference pitching as a sophomore.

The Seahawks open the 2014 season on Feb. 14 with a 4 p.m. start against VMI in game two of the Hughes Bros, Challenge. Joining the Seahawks and Keydets over the weekend will be Virginia and Kentucky.