February 6, 2013

BASEBALL PICKED TO WIN NORTHEAST-10 CONFERENCE SOUTHWEST DIVISION

South Easton, Mass. – The Le Moyne College baseball team has been picked to win the Northeast-10 Conference Southwest Division, as voted on by the conference's 16 head coaches and announced by the conference office on Wednesday morning.

The Dolphins, who won the Northeast-10 Championship after finishing second in the Southwest Division regular-season standings last year, received 14 of the possible 16 first-place votes and 112 total points to claim the Southwest Division's top spot in the preseason poll. Southern Connecticut State, which the Dolphins knocked out of the Northeast-10 Championship last May, was selected first on one ballot to finish second in the poll with 92 points. Pace, which was picked to finish seventh in the division last year, but ended up winning the division, earned the final first-place vote and 81 points to place third. New Haven, which upset Pace in the opening round of the NE-10 Championship, was picked to repeat as the fourth-place finisher with 75 points. Adelphi was selected fifth with 63 points, while Saint Rose landed in sixth place with 42 points. Assumption and American International were picked to close out the standings with 25 and 22 points, respectively.

In the Northeast Division, Franklin Pierce, which the Dolphins defeated in the Northeast-10 Championship game, was selected first after earning 12 first-place votes and 108 total points. Southern New Hampshire, which failed to make the Northeast-10 Championship last year, but won the NCAA East Region championship, garnered the final four first-place votes and 99 points to place second. UMass Lowell, which placed sixth in the Northeast Division last year, was selected to finish third this year with 92 points, while Stonehill was a distant fourth with 61 points. Saint Anselm, which won the division after being predicted to finish fifth, was picked fifth again this year with 57 points. Bentley, last year's third-place team, was picked sixth with 50 points, while Merrimack landed in seventh place with 40 points and Saint Michael's was selected eighth with 15 points.

The Dolphins, who went 43-15-1 last year and reached the East Region championship game, return 17 letterwinners, including six starting position players and one starting pitcher from last year's squad that posted five wins over ranked teams (two over then-#6 Mount Olive and three over Franklin Pierce).

Le Moyne, which enters the season ranked 18th in the NCBWA Preseason Poll and 21st in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Preseason Poll, opens the regular season with a doubleheader at #1/4 Mount Olive on Saturday, February 16 at 12:00 p.m. The Dolphins open their home schedule with a Northeast-10 crossover doubleheader against Franklin Pierce on March 23 at 1:00 p.m. and begin divisional play at American International on March 27 at 3:30 p.m.

The top four teams from each division qualify for the conference championship, with opening round action (1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3 matchups from each division) taking place on Tuesday, May 7. The four winners advance to the four-team, double-elimination portion of the tournament, hosted by the highest remaining seed from the Southwest Division, which will run from Thursday, May 9 to Saturday, May 11.

-agate-

2013 Northeast-10 Conference Baseball Preseason Poll

Northeast Division
1. Franklin Pierce (12) – 108, 2. So. New Hampshire (4) – 99, 3. UMass Lowell – 92, 4. Stonehill – 61, 5. Saint Anselm – 57, 6. Bentley – 50, 7. Merrimack – 40, 8. Saint Michael's – 15.

Southwest Division
1. Le Moyne (14) – 112, 2. Southern Connecticut State (1) – 92, 3. Pace (1) – 81, 4. New Haven – 75, 5. Adelphi – 63, 6. Saint Rose – 42, 7. Assumption – 25, 8. American Int'l – 22.
( ) – Indicates number of first-place votes