Stony Brook Picked 1st in #AEBASE Preseason Coaches' Poll
BOSTON, Mass. — Reigning America East champions, the Stony Brook Seawolves, are the 2016 America East baseball preseason favorites as the full coaches' poll was unveiled Tuesday afternoon. The Seawolves received four first-place votes and 34 points in a vote of the league's seven head coaches, who were not allowed to vote for their own team.
UMBC was a close second, receiving three first-place votes and 32 points after advancing to the conference title game a year ago. Hartford was next in third place with 25 points, followed by Maine with 20 points. Binghamton (18 points), Albany (11 points) and UMass Lowell (seven points) rounded out the poll.
All six eligible teams in the conference will advance to the America East Championship at LeLacheur Park in Lowell, Mass., home of the UMass Lowell River Hawks and Boston Red Sox Single-A affiliate Lowell Spinners, May 25-28. UMass Lowell will be eligible for the tournament in 2018. The winner of the tournament will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Baseball Championship.
1. Stony Brook Seawolves (35-16-1, 18-4-1 AE)
- Have won 4 of the last 5 America East regular-season titles.
- Won first America East tournament title last season since advancing to the College World Series in 2012
- Return 19 players, including seven positional starters. Among those returning are Ameirca East Player of the Week, Jack Parenty and first-team all-conference selections, Toby Handley and Tyler Honahan. Cameron Stone is also back after recording six saves with a 1.04 ERA in 16 appearances.
- Open the season Feb. 19 vs. Dayton in the Wofford Tournament.
2. UMBC Retrievers (34-20, 14-10 AE)
- Coming off their most successful season since joining the America East, going 34-20 and reaching the America East title game for the first time in program history.
- Return 2015 Pitcher of the Year, Conrad Wozniak, Rookie of the Year, Matt Chanin, along with several all-conference selections.
- Open the season Feb. 19 at Wake Forest, playing a doubleheader against VMI.
3. Hartford Hawks (23-31, 10-12 AE)
- Reached back-to-back America East tournaments for the first time since 1993 last year.
- Freshman class was recognized as one to watch nationall by Baseball America, including Ashton Badzell who is tabbed as the 407th-best incoming player in the country.
- Kyle Gauthier is the top returning starting pitcher after logging a career-high 93 1/3 innings last season.
- Start the season Feb. 26 at North Florida.
4. Maine Black Bears (24-28, 10-10 AE)
- Reached the America East tournament for the sixth-straight season in 2015.
- Tyler Schwanz, who redshirted last season, had an outstanding summer in the FCBL.
- Freshman class has some star power with Jeremy Pena, who was drafted by the Braves, and Zack Quintal, who was the Gatorade Player of the Year in Maine.
- Start the season Feb. 19 at Clemson.
5. Binghamton Bearcats (17-24-2, 6-16-1 AE)
- Return All-Rookie selections Jason Agresti and CJ Krowiak.
- Missed the America East tournament for the first time since 2006 last year.
- Brendan Skidmore is the team's top returning hitter, batting .303 with six home runs a year ago.
- Start the season Feb. 19 at Houston Baptist
6. Albany Great Danes (7-17, 17-29 AE)
- Boast one of the top prospects in the conference in Stephen Woods. He went 3-6 with a 3.98 ERA during his sophomore season, striking out 55 batters in 54 innings.
- Start the season at South Carolina on Feb. 19.
7. UMass Lowell River Hawks (17-26, 10-10 AE)
- Finished tied for third in the America East standings but are not eligible for championship play until 2018.
- Return a solid weekend rotation that includes Andrew Ryan, who led the team with a 2.67 ERA in seven starts.
- Outfielder Ian Strom is touted as one of the best pro prospects in the conference heading into the season after winning the FCBL summer title with the Worcester Bravehearts. He hit .333 last year in 126 at-bats.
|Rank||Team (1st-place votes)||Points|
|1||Stony Brook (4)||34|