Skyhawks have won 30 games in last five of seven years, including five NE10 playoff appearances
EASTON, Mass. (February 2, 2017) – The Stonehill College baseball team has been picked eighth in the 2017 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Preseason East Region Poll, as voted on by sports information directors in the region, announced the association on Friday.
Stonehill went 24-20 overall last season with a 9-12 Northeast-10 Conference record just missing NE10 playoffs. The Skyhawks have made it to NE10 playoffs five years out of the past seven and have also made two NCAA East Regional appearances.
Solomon returns to the mound leading the Skyhawks in saves, with nine last year
Three-time NE10 Coach of the Year Pat Boen enters the upcoming season reaching the 500-win mark, making him the all-time winningest coach in Stonehill baseball history. Boen has been coaching the Skyhawks since 1998 and has mentored the team to 14 NE10 tournaments and three NCAA appearances. Boen holds a 517-370-3 (.583) overall record and a 310-215 (.590) NE10 mark heading into this season.
Stonehill was picked eighth in the East Region Preseason Poll with 22 points, as four other NE10 teams were also among the top 10. Defending conference champion, Southern New Hampshire University ranked first receiving 85 points, and five first-place votes. Franklin Pierce University followed with 82 points and four first-place votes. St. Thomas Aquinas College (N.Y.) was picked to finish third with 73 points, as Felician University (N.J.) (61 points), Molloy College (N.Y.) (42 points) and the University of Bridgeport (Conn.) (38 points) followed. Merrimack College was tabbed seventh with 37 points, 15 points in front of the Skyhawks. Rounding out the top 10 was Chestnut Hill College in ninth with 18 points and Adelphi University in 10th with 10 points.
Returning from last years' squad includes left-handed pitcher Jeremy Roberts (Reading, Mass./Malden Catholic) who has averaged a 3.04 ERA for his three years in 33 appearances with his lowest, 2.78, from last years' time on the mound. The senior co-captain ranked first overall on the pitching staff last year.
Patrick Hurley (Roslindale, Mass./Catholic Memorial) joins Roberts as co-captain and fellow left-handed pitcher. Last year, Hurley tallied a record of 4-2, improving his career mark to 7-2 in two seasons. The senior also recorded 27 strikeouts in 45 innings pitched.
Bowler led the Skyhawks in putouts and double plays last year
Senior Patrick Nicholson (Middleboro, Mass./Middleboro) will also see time on the hill as he returns from injury last year. The left-handed pitcher was named to the NE10 All-Conference third team selection after averaging a 2.90 ERA in 59 innings pitched and a 7-1 record with two saves.
At the plate, Steve Lee (Braintree, Mass./Braintree) finished third on the team with 46 hits, which includes 11 doubles, four homeruns and 22 RBIs. The senior's four homeruns ranked tied for first among the 2016 squad, as his doubles and 34 runs scored ranked second. Lee appeared at third for 44 games, averaging a .910 fielding percentage and turning 12 double plays.
Classmate Eddie Bowler (Hingham, Mass./Hingham) made a solid contribution as he averaged a career-best .264 batting average, where he cranked out 34 hits, eight doubles, and 23 RBIs. The senior ranked sixth among the Skyhawks launching 34 hits in his 129 at bats. Bowler started at first for 39 games, where he recorded 284 putouts averaging a .977 fielding percentage and turned 13 double plays.
Senior Aubrey Solomon (Groton, Mass./Lawrence Academy) also returns to the mound for the Skyhawks, as he matched his career-high nine saves in a season, bringing his total to 18 in three years. The right-handed reliever struck out 34 batters in his 22.2 innings pitched.
The Skyhawks added 12 freshmen this year after losing only seven seniors from the 2016 squad. Included in that mix are five pitchers, four infielders, two outfielders, and one utility player.
Stonehill is scheduled to open its 2017 campaign against Mercy College in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on Thursday, February 23 as the team competes in the Ripken Experience Northeast Challenge. The Skyhawks are then slated to head to Southern Florida for 10 games in early March before heading to New York for a doubleheader on Saturday, March 18 against Molloy College. The squad will host American International College on Wednesday, March 22 for its first home contest.
For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks "Front Row" mobile app, powered by PrestoSports, on iTunes and the Android Market.
National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association East Region Poll
|Southern N.H. University (5)
Franklin Pierce University (4)
St. Thomas Aquainas College (N.Y.)
University of Bridgeport (Conn.)
Chestnut Hill College
|Others Receiving Votes:
Le Moyne College
Wilmington University (Del.)
University of New Haven
() first-place votes