PUEBLO, Colo. (January 30, 2017) – The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association released its preseason regional poll and Colorado State University-Pueblo Baseball was picked to finish ninth in the South Central Region. Pack senior Brandon Castaneda earned preseason Second Team All-South Central Region honors.
The Pack finished 28-19 in 2016. They return three starting pitchers and their closer. However, only two offensive starters return for the ThunderWolves.
Castaneda (Azusa, Calif.) earned Second Team All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference honors as junior in 2016. Playing second base for the Pack, Castaneda hit .327 with 19 RBIs. Castaneda ranked second on the Pack with 24 bases on balls. He finished his season with a .420 on base percentage, three stolen bases, and 21 runs scored. As a defender, Castaneda totaled a .968 fielding percentage.
In 2017, Castaneda plans to switch to shortstop. Only Castaneda and Gilbert Sauceda (So., Indio, Calif.) return from the Pack's starting offense a year ago. Both players were part of the Pack winning a Plains Division Title and finishing as the runner-up in the RMAC Baseball Tournament last spring.
Castaneda and the rest of the Pack will begin play this weekend when they host Emporia State University in a three-game set beginning Friday at 1 p.m. at Rawlings Field. CSU-Pueblo's season opening series will continue Saturday at 1 p.m. and wrap up Sunday at 12 p.m.
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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.