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Baseball picked fourth in America East Preseason Coaches’ Poll
Despite winning regular season title in four of last five years, BU placed in bottom half
February 15, 2012Tweet
Contact: John Hartrick (email@example.com)
VESTAL, N.Y.—Binghamton baseball has been picked to finish fourth out of six teams in the America East Preseason Coaches’ Poll, the conference announced on Wednesday. The Bearcats, who have captured four of the last five regular season titles and own the highest league win percentage of any team since 2004 (64%), are set to open their season with a three-game set at VCU on February 24-26.
Stony Brook (24 pts.) received four first-place votes and is the favorite to win the 2012 title. Maine (22 pts.), which won the 2011 crown, received two first-place votes and is second in the poll. Albany (15 pts.), Binghamton (14), Hartford (10) and UMBC (5) round out the rankings.
“I really like our ball club and I really don’t like preseason polls,” 20th-year head coach Tim Sinicki said of his team’s position, the program’s lowest in seven years. “So I am fine with just preparing our team for the season and letting them decide where we finish come May.”
Binghamton returns 17 letterwinners, five starting field position players and three starting pitchers from a team that won 13 conference games (21-28 overall) to place third. Despite graduating four all-conference players from 2011, Sinicki returns three all-conference selections and two more unanimous all-rookie picks from last spring.
Heading the list are a pair of first-team all-conference picks in senior ace Mike Augliera and senior first baseman Dave Ciocchi. Augliera ranks 21st in the country among active strikeout leaders with 170 and posted a 1.41 earned run average against America East opponents last spring. Ciocchi, voted the league’s best first baseman in each of the last two seasons, hit .343 from the No. 3 spot in the order in 2011.
Reigning all-rookie selections John Howell (SS) and Bill Bereszniewicz (OF) highlight a young but talented roster that includes seven new pitchers and 14 first-year players.
The Bearcats will play their entire 2012 slate off campus as construction finishes up on the team’s new facility, which is set to be complete in July. That means upwards of 50 games away from home in the 13-week season. Binghamton will split its 10 “home” games between sites at Cornell University and NYSEG Stadium in downtown Binghamton.
Sinicki, the league’s Coach of the Year four times in the last seven years, is the longest-tenured coach at Binghamton and enters the 2012 season with 408 career wins.