NEWTON, Mass. – The Lasell College baseball team has been selected fifth out of nine teams in the 2019 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) preseason poll, in voting by the league's head coaches.
Four-time defending champion Suffolk University received eight first-place votes and topped the poll with 80 points, while long-time GNAC power Saint Joseph's College of Maine, which captured five straight titles from 2010-14, garnered 71 points and the final first-place nod.
Johnson & Wales University, which advanced to the GNAC Championship in 2015 and 2017, finished third in the poll with 63 points. Anna Maria College was selected fourth with 45 points, as the Amcats look to take another step forward; after going 0-14 in GNAC play in 2017, Anna Maria went 6-8 against league foes last spring.
Lasell finished fifth in the poll with 43 points, followed by Albertus Magnus College (33 points), Colby-Sawyer College (29), Norwich University (25) and Rivier University (16). For Colby-Sawyer, it marks the Chargers' first season as a GNAC core member as they will compete in the league for the first time this spring.
The Lasers return 23 veterans from last year's squad, which finished 10-21 overall and placed fourth in the GNAC with a 7-7 mark under head coach Greg Harjula. Included in the group of returnees are three All-Conference selections -- senior third baseman Andre Marchesseault (Cheshire, Conn.) and sophomore outfielder/pitcher Sean Doris (Lincoln, R.I.), who were named to the All-GNAC First Team, and senior second baseman/pitcher David Marsell (Baldwinsville, N.Y.), who was voted to the Third Team.
The 2019 GNAC Baseball Tournament will feature the top-six teams from the regular season, beginning on Tuesday, April 30 with the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds hosting a single-elimination round. Following bye protection for the top two seeds, those two programs will host one contest as part of the double-elimination portion of the playoffs, prior to the tourney switching to historic Fraser Field in Lynn, Mass. on Saturday-Sunday, May 4-5, 2019.
The GNAC champion receives an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Baseball Tournament.
2019 GNAC BASEBALL PRESEASON POLL
1) Suffolk (8) - 80
2) Saint Joseph's Maine (1) - 71
3) Johnson & Wales - 63
4) Anna Maria - 45
5) Lasell - 43
6) Albertus Magnus - 33
7) Colby-Sawyer - 29
8) Norwich - 25
9) Rivier - 16
-- 30 --