2023 CAA Baseball Championship

Award Winners Among Five Players To Watch At 2023 CAA Baseball Championship

Award Winners Among Five Players To Watch At 2023 CAA Baseball Championship

2023 award winners are among the players to watch at the CAA Baseball Championship.

May 23, 2023 by Kyle Kensing
Award Winners Among Five Players To Watch At 2023 CAA Baseball Championship

All it takes is one hot weekend for a player to change the entire complexion of a team's trajectory. And, to that end, an outstanding showing at the 2023 Colonial Athletic Association Championship can launch one of six teams into the NCAA Tournament. 

Plenty of potential difference-makers could step up to the challenge. The following five are leading candidates to take up the charge in pursuit of a CAA title and berth on the road to Omaha. 

Ben Williamson, 3B - William & Mary

Three-time All-CAA honoree put an exclamation point on his third nomination, also winning the 2023 CAA Player of the Year. 

Ben Williamson's outstanding campaign sends him into the CAA Championship with a .399 average in 203 at-bats with a slugging percentage of .680 and OPS of 1.200. 

Williamson combines power, evident in his team-leading 12 home runs, with speed. He has swiped 14 bases on 15 steal attempts through the regular season. 

Cam Maldonado, OF - Northeastern

First-year phenom Cam Maldonado earned 2023 CAA Rookie of the Year to culminate an outstanding season for the freshman, which included his hitting for the cycle in April

Maldonado hit .354, second-best batting average on a Northeastern lineup boasting no shortage of outstanding hitters. Only veteran Mike Sirota's .364 was higher. 

The freshman Maldonado also has 12 home runs ahead of his first CAA Championship, and is one of the premier base-stealers in the Colonial with 30 on 31 attempts during the regular season. 

Cole Mathis, P/Util. - College of Charleston

Cole Mathis teams with CAA Pitcher of the Year Ty Good to give Charleston a dynamic tandem on the mound. Good earned the Colonial's top pitching honors with a league-leading 89 strikeouts over 76 1/3 innings, and amassed a 7-3 record over 14 starts. Mathis, meanwhile, went 5-1 with 13 appearances and 10 starts. 

Mathis' contributions to the Cougars pitching staff alone could play a key role in Charleston's pursuit of the CAA title. Add that Mathis is also the team's leading batter, and his significance doubles. 

Mathis is hitting .332 with a 1.037 OPS and .594 slugging percentage over 187 at-bats. His nine home runs are tied with Luke Wood for second-most on the Charleston roster, and his 47 RBI trail only homers-leader Trotter Harlan. 

With his dual-duty, Mathis has a variety of ways to impact the CAA Championship. 

Justin Cassella, Util. - Elon

Justin Cassella has been a leading producer at the plate for Elon throughout the season, but he's getting especially hot at a most opportune time with a five-game hitting streak heading into the CAA Championship. 

What's more, Cassella connected for multiple hits in four of those five contests, including a pair of two-hit outings back-to-back to close out the regular season against 2022 CAA Championship winner Hofstra. 

Cassella heads into the postseason with a .338 batting average and team-leading 16 home runs. Cassella's 16 home runs lead the Phoenix, and his .719 slugging percentage ranks second in the CAA. 

Trevor Marsh, OF - UNC Wilmington

There may not be a hotter bat heading into the postseason than that of Trevor Marsh. The UNC Wilmington outfielder rides a six-game hitting streak into the CAA Championship, going a Herculean 15-of-23 over that stretch. 

Marsh's incredible flourish to close the regular season puts him at .332 going into the Championship, second among six primary Seahawks hitters with an average of .300 or better. 

His 43 RBI and 11 home runs are second behind only Tanner Thach among all Seahawks, with Thach having 14 homers and 66 RBI. The tandem can cause pitchers plenty of headaches for the duration of the tournament.