Binghamton and Stony Brook tied at the top of the preseason coaches' poll.
Binghamton and Stony Brook tied at the top of the preseason coaches' poll.
Courtesy: America East Communications

Binghamton, Stony Brook Selected as Preseason Favorites

Release: 02/04/2014
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — For the first time in America East baseball history, two teams were selected as co-preseason favorites as Binghamton University and Stony Brook University tied atop the 2014 preseason coaches’ poll. Both teams received three first-place votes and 31 points in a vote of the league’s head coaches, who were not allowed to vote for their own team.

The Bearcats are the reigning America East tournament champions after finishing second in the regular season in 2013. It is the first time since 2009 that Binghamton has been selected as the preseason favorite. For Stony Brook, it is the fourth-straight year the Seawolves have finished atop the preseason coaches’ poll after placing fourth in the regular-season a year ago.

Reigning regular-season champion Maine finished with 28 points to come in third place, while Hartford received one first-place vote and 23 points to come in fourth. Albany (17 points) was in fifth, followed by UMBC (9) and UMass Lowell (7) to round out the seven-team poll.

The four-team America East Championship will take place May 22-24 and if necessary on May 25 at LeLachuer Park in Lowell, Mass. The state-of-the-art park is home to America East member UMass Lowell and Boston Red Sox Single A affiliate Lowell Spinners. The winner of the tournament will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Baseball Championship, where Stony Brook advanced to the College Wolrd Series in 2012.

Binghamton Bearcats (30-25, 16-13 AE)
  • Tabbed co-preseason favorite for first time since 2009 after capturing league tournament title for second time in five years.
  • Return all nine position starters and two of their top four starting pitchers.
  • Junior Jake Thomas led the America East with a .371 batting average, hitting five home runs and driving in 37 last year.
  • Thomas is one of three first-team all-conference selections returning for the Bearcats along with second baseman Daniel Nevares and designated hitter Shaun McGraw.
  • Binghamton is the only America East team to finish in the top-three each of the last seven seasons.
  • The Bearcats begin a three-game set with ACC member Duke Feb. 14-16 in Durham, N.C.
Stony Brook Seawolves (25-34, 15-15 AE)
  • Picked as co-preseason favorite, making it the fourth-straight year the Seawolves have been atop the coaches’ poll.
  • The Seawolves have earned a spot in the conference tournament in eight consecutive seasons, the longest active streak of any league member.
  • Three first-team all-conference selections return for Stony Brook including America East Rookie of the Year outfielder Jack Parenty along with first baseman Kevin Courtney and starting pitcher Frankie Vanderka.
  • Parenty led an impressive Seawolf freshman class that also boasted second-team all-conference selections in reliever Tim Knesnik and third baseman Jonny Caputo who return for their sophomore seasons.
  • Stony Brook will commence the season Feb. 14 with a three-game series at Southern Mississippi.
Maine Black Bears (37-22, 20-9 AE)
  • Selected third after capturing their first America East regular-season crown since 2002 and winning 30 games for the third time in four years.
  • Led the conference in team batting average, runs scored, hits, walks, stolen bases, team ERA, and opponent batting average against.
  • Return reigning America East Pitcher of the Year, Tommy Lawrence, who set a conference record with eight wins during America East play. Finished the year 11-3 with a 2.32 ERA and won two games during the America East tournament.
  • Maine kicks off its season Feb. 14 at Miami.
Hartford Hawks (17-36, 13-17 AE)
  • Selected fourth after finished with their best record since joining the America East in 2000 at 13-17 in conference play.
  • The Hawks return 21 letterwinners including junior pitcher Sean Newcomb, who was listed among Baseball America’s Top 50 prospects for the 2014 draft.
  • Hartford starts 2014 at Georgetown Feb. 21.
Albany Great Danes (23-25-1, 16-14 AE)
  • Chosen fifth and will try to get back to the America East Championship for the sixth-straight season.
  • 13 letterwinners return for the Great Danes including first-team all-conference selection Josh Nethaway.
  • The Great Danes start the season in Cary, N.C. on Feb. 14 against Canisius.
UMBC Retrievers (18-30, 9-21 AE)
  • Picked sixth and will try to qualify for the America East Championship for the first time since 2008.
  • The Retrievers open their season at William & Mary on Feb. 28.
UMass Lowell River Hawks (30-19, 15-12 NE10)
  • Start first season in America East and will play 36 of 52 games on the road.
  • Begin play Feb. 14 vs. Monmouth in Cary, N.C.

2014 Preseason Poll

Rank Team (1st place votes) Points
T1 Binghamton (3) 31
T1 Stony Brook (3) 31
3 Maine 28
4 Hartford (1) 23
5 Albany 17
6 UMBC 9
7 UMass Lowell 8