Suffolk Ranks First in Baseball Pre-Season Poll
Courtesy of Great Northeast Athletic Conference Sports Communications
Natalie WestDirector of Communications
Suffolk University, the 2009 GNAC Champions, has been selected as the GNAC Baseball preseason favorite in a vote conducted by GNAC Coaches. St. Joseph's ME was edged to second place by two points, while Johnson & Wales placed third and Albertus followed in fourth. Rounding out the top six teams is Emerson ranked in 5th and Lasell in 6th place.
1. Suffolk (46)
2. St. Joseph' ME (44)
3. Johnson & Wales (34)
4. Albertus (28)
5. Emerson (22)
6. Lasell (19)
#1 Suffolk University
Coming off a tremendous season, Suffolk finished 2010 with a conference best 13-1 record but fell to the Monks in the GNAC tournament. The Rams look to continue their winning record this year with several key players returning and led by five- time Coach of the Year recipient, Cary McConnell.
Suffolk will return six all-conference and all-tournament selections from 2010 including senior outfielder, Andrew Babb. Babb, first team all-conference and all-tournament, batted .387 and added 31 RBIs. Second-Team all-conference selection junior Mark Addesa will add strength to the middle-infield at shortstop while also contributing offensively after batting .288 with 22 RBI. The Rams also return senior Nick Travelyn, sophomore Chris Stanley, senior Alex Torres, and sophomore Matt Sliney who earned Third-team all-conference honors in 2010.
The Rams begin their season on March 11th against Webster at 4:00pm.
#2 St. Joseph's College Maine
The Monks are picked to finish second in the pre-season coaches poll after winning the GNAC Championship in 2010. Head Coach Will Sanborn will enter his 19th as the Monks' leader for 2011 with a .633 winning percentage.
St. Joe's has several starters returning, led by seniors Todd Keneborus and Chris Campbell, and junior Sam Murray. All three players have been selected as "Players to Watch" for the 2011 season by Collegiate Baseball Magazine. Last season, Keneborus hit .464 with 65 RBIs, collected GNAC Player of the Year as well as national honors including third team all-conference for D3baseball.com, ABCA/Rawlings and all-NEIBA.
The Monks begin their season on March 13th against Curry at 1:00pm at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational.
#3 Johnson & Wales University
Johnson & Wales finished the 2010 season with a 15-28 overall record and 8-6 conference record. The Wildcats reached the semifinal round of playoffs, but were knocked out by top seeded Suffolk.
The Wildcats return several top performers for the 2011 season including all-conference honorees seniors Nick Alosco and Teddy Katz, and junior Zach Boyes. Alosco earned first team honors for his batting average of .321 with 42 RBIs, 7 HRs, and 40 runs scored, while also playing well at second base. Boyes helped the Wildcats in his rookie season batting .346 and Katz will also contribute after hitting .340 with 29 RBIs with 6 HRs.
The Wildcats next game is March 15th against WPI at 3:30pm.
#4 Albertus Magnus College
The Falcons will look towards another winning season under Head Coach Brian Leighton in 2011.
Although losing two all-conference selections to graduation, senior shortstop Kyle Catechman will return to the 2011 squad after topping the team in most offensive categories last year. Catechman was named third-team all-conference after collecting 44 hits and an OB% of .453. Albertus also returns seniors Chris Dady, Bobby Bengienvengo, and Adam Platner to lead the young team.
The Falcons will begin their season on March 5th against Rivier
#5 Emerson College
The Lions come off their most successful campaign yet after setting a school record in 2010 with the most wins season, and winning a GNAC tournament game. Although Emerson lost much of their pitching depth to graduation they have several talented underclassmen that will step up in 2011.
The Lions will look to GNAC all-conference selection senior Peter Maltzen and juniors Geoff Lopes and Ryan Garber, to lead the team. Lopes will provide the offensive strength after batting .434 last year. Additionally, Emerson has several newcomers to the team including freshmen and transfers that will add depth to their roster.
Emerson begins their season on March 6th against Mitchell College in Leesburg, Fl.
#6 Lasell College
The Lasers went 6-26 overall and 5-9 in the conference in 2010. However, with experienced players returning and under the new leadership of Head coach Greg Harjula, Lasell looks forward to very successful season.
Lasell returns junior Josh Sullivan and senior Conor Cavanagh, both who received GNAC all-conference honors in 2010. Sullivan earned a 1.93 ERA in conference play while obtaining victories against powerhouse St. Joe's and Johnson and Wales. Cavanagh hit .305 in 2010, while adding 19 RBIs and 57 putouts in the outfielder.
The Lasers began their season on March 5th with a 6-4 win against NYU Polytechnic in Brooklyn, NY.