WINTHROP, Mass. – The Lasell University baseball team has been picked fifth in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference preseason poll, as voted upon by the league's head coaches.
Suffolk University took the top spot in the poll, receiving six of the nine possible first-place votes for 76 points overall. Defending champion Saint Joseph's College of Maine, which last spring won its first conference title since winning five straight and six of seven from 2008-14, finished second in the preseason poll with 71 points and two first-place votes. Johnson & Wales University, which fell to SJC in last year's championship game, took the third spot with the remaining first-place tally and 67 points overall.
Following the top-three, Anna Maria College landed fourth in the preseason poll with 48 points, just ahead of fifth-place Lasell with 46 points. Anna Maria, after going 0-14 in league play back in 2017, has posted six-win campaigns against GNAC foes each of the last two seasons, while Lasell will turn the reigns over to first-year head coach and Lasers alum Billy Uberti.
Making up the remainder of the poll included Albertus Magnus College with 41 points, Colby-Sawyer College with 24 points, Norwich University with 22 points, and Rivier University with 10 points.
The Lasers will have to overcome the loss of 10 seniors from last year's team as well as head coach Greg Harjula, who led the team for nine seasons, including last season's 23-17 campaign which set the program record for wins in a season. Leading the group of returnees in senior catcher Joe Sullivan (East Sandwich, Mass.), who was a Second Team All-GNAC selection in 2019 after ranking among the conference leaders in batting average, home runs, RBIs, and slugging percentage.
The 2020 spring campaign will mark the final GNAC encounter for Suffolk baseball, as the university moves to the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) as a full member beginning with the 2020-21 academic year.
The 2020 GNAC Tournament commences with opening round games on Tuesday, April 28, and winding up with championship weekend on May 2-3. The GNAC Champion receives an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament.
2020 GNAC Baseball Preseason Poll
1. Suffolk (6) - 76
2. Saint Joseph's Maine (2) - 71
3. Johnson & Wales (1) - 67
4. Anna Maria - 48
5. Lasell - 46
6. Albertus Magnus - 41
7. Colby-Sawyer - 24
8. Norwich - 22
9. Rivier - 10
(Courtesy of the GNAC Office)
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