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Monmouth tops tight NEC
regular-season champion Monmouth is the favorite to repeat in
the Northeast Conference Preseason Poll, in voting by the
league’s head coaches and released by the conference office.
The Hawks received four first-place votes, as did
second-place and defending NEC tourney champ Sacred Heart.
Central Connecticut State collected the final first-place vote
and came in third, followed by Bryant, LIU Brooklyn, Mount St.
Mary’s, Wagner, Quinnipiac and Fairleigh Dickinson.
Monmouth returns six position starters and 18
letterwinners, including a pair of weekend starting pitchers in
Pat Light (pictured) and Dan Smith.
The Pioneers got complete games in the 2011 NEC
tourney from Troy Scribner, Nick Leiningen and Kody Kerski, who
all return for the 2012 campaign. The trio allowed just four
earned runs in 27 tourney innings.
The season begins on Friday, Feb. 17, with
conference play starting the weekend of March 16-18. Conference
series will again be four-game sets. The top four teams will
advance to the 2012 NEC Tournament from May 17-20 at Dodd
Stadium in Norwich, Conn.
2012 NEC Preseason Coaches Poll
Team (First Place) (2011 NEC, Overall Records)
1. Monmouth (4) (25-7, 36-19)
2. Sacred Heart (4) (23-9, 34-23)
3. Central Connecticut State (1) (17-14, 26-25-1)
4. Bryant (19-12, 30-23)
5. LIU Brooklyn (19-11, 28-23)
6. Mount St. Mary’s (7-25, 15-35)
7. Wagner (12-20, 18-33)
8. Quinnipiac (11-21, 15-32)
9. Fairleigh Dickinson (9-23, 12-38)
(photo courtesy of Monmouth
Media Relations Office)