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Baseball picked first in two more preseason polls
BU co-favorite in America East Coaches' Poll, tabbed first in Baseball America poll
February 4, 2014Tweet
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VESTAL, N.Y. - Less than two weeks before the team’s season opener, Binghamton baseball is continuing to receive accolades as the team to beat in the America East in 2014. In its College Preview edition, Baseball America picked the Bearcats to finish first and in a vote of the conference coaches, BU was picked as the co-favorites alongside Stony Brook in the America East Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
Last week, Collegiate Baseball listed Binghamton as the preseason No. 1 and CollegeBaseballInsider.com referenced the Bearcats and Stony Brook (tie) as the “Team to Beat.”
“It’s nice to know the program has earned the respect of the America East Conference coaches and also from some major college baseball publications,” 22nd-year head coach Tim Sinicki said. “But in the end all the pre-season polls and predictions don’t mean a thing. The conference is getting better each and every year because of hard-working coaches and quality student-athletes, and in order to for us to be playing for a championship in May we will have to play solid baseball from start to finish.”
It’s first time since 2009 that the America East coaches have picked Binghamton first. That year BU won both the conference regular season and postseason titles and also notched the program’s first-ever NCAA tournament victory. The 2014 Bearcats return all nine starting field position players and two starting pitchers from a 30-win team that won the conference title and played in the NCAA Regionals for the second time in five years.
Several individuals also were singled out in the Baseball America preview. Junior outfielder Jake Thomas was named as the “Player of the Year” and junior pitchers Mike Urbanski (2nd) and Jack Rogalla (10th) were listed in its “Top 10 Prospects, 2014-15 Draft” category. The publication cited Thomas’ “control of the strike zone” and also referenced the “rock solid” double-play tandem of senior shortstop John Howell and second baseman Daniel Nevares. Thomas, a first team all-region pick in 2013 is one of three returning first-team all-conference picks (with Nevares and senior DH Shaun McGraw). According to BA, the 3-4 tandem of Thomas and Nevares “anchors a gritty lineup that doesn’t give away outs.”
Binghamton opens with a three-game set at ACC member Duke on February 14-16 in Durham, N.C.