Junior catcher Adrian Celata of the Oglethorpe baseball team is starting his 2017 season the same way he ended his 2016, with All-America honors. The Duluth native earned a spot on the D3baseball.com Preseason All-America First Team, becoming the first Stormy Petrel to garner a Preseason All-America honor from the organization.
Celata had one of the best seasons in Oglethorpe baseball history in 2016, earning First Team All-America honors from D3baseball.com and a Second Team All-America nod from the American Baseball Coaches Association. He also took First Team All-South Region accolades from both organizations. On the conference side, the Oglethorpe catcher was named the SAA Player of the Year and earned a spot on the All-SAA First Team.
His 2016 was one of the best in Division III baseball, though, not just the SAA. He finished fifth in the nation in home runs with 14, and seventh in total bases with 133, while his average of 0.33 home runs per game placed him seventh and his .811 slugging percentage put him eighth. All of those marks placed him first in the SAA. He also finished first in the league with 18 doubles and 46 RBIs, while placing second with a .409 batting average.
Celata earned a spot on the SAA All-Tournament Team with 2 home runs at the event in Conway, Arkansas, including a 2-run walkoff in the team's elimination game against Centre to turn around a 1-run, ninth-inning deficit.
He also was named Male Stormy Petrel of the Year by his peers at the Oglethorpe athletic department's end-of-year Petey Awards.
"I'm looking forward to watching Adrian compete this year," said Oglethorpe head coach Dan Giordano. "He had a great offseason and has worked hard to improve his game. I think he is ready to face the challenges in front of him and help the team win some games."
Celata served as one of three competitors from SAA schools to crack the D3baseball.com Preseason All-America teams. He was joined on the first team by Birmingham-Southern starting pitcher Ryan Gaines, while Rhodes shortstop Bill Munson earned honorable mention.
Additionally, MIT shortstop Austin Filiere took first team honors while Emory pitchers Jackson Weeg and Kyle Monk garnered second team accolades. The Petrels will take on both of those teams during their non-conference schedule in 2017.
D3baseball.com has been honoring athletes with Preseason All-America accolades since 2008. The awards are voted on by a panel of Division III sports information directors from around the nation, as well as by D3baseball.com staff and contributors.