Jan. 31, 2009


Monmouth Made Northeast Conference Favorite


Monmouth has been made the favorite in the Northeast Conference for the third time in the past four years, in voting by the league’s head coaches and released by the conference office.


The Hawks received five first-place votes. Central Connecticut State collected two first-place votes and placed second. Wagner earned the final first-place vote and came in third, followed by defending tournament champion Mount St. Mary’s, Quinnipiac, Long Island, Sacred Heart and Fairleigh Dickinson.


Monmouth lost the 2008 NEC Player of the Year in shortstop Kyle Higgins, but return DH Nick Pulsonetti, who hit .326 a season ago with 11 home runs. Third baseman Ryan Terry is also back after batting .328 and being named NEC Rookie of the Year. Junior Ryan Buch (6-1, 3.66) (pictured right) will anchor the pitching staff for the Hawks.


The season begins on Friday, Feb. 20. The top four teams will compete in the conference tournament May 21-23 in New Britain, Conn.


Northeast Conference Preseason Poll

1. Monmouth (5) (37-16, 20-5)

2. Central Connecticut State (2) (25-24, 18-9)

3. Wagner (1) (27-28, 17-11)

4. Mount St. Mary’s (21-33, 13-11)

5. Quinnipiac (16-36, 9-19)

6. Long Island (16-31, 7-15)

7. Sacred Heart (12-41, 10-18)

8. Fairleigh Dickinson (15-38, 10-16)

(photo courtesy of Monmouth Media Relations Office)