Baseball picked to repeat as champs in preseason poll

Matt Senk

Feb. 7, 2013

Cambridge, Mass. - Coming off the heels of its fourth America East Championship title and its "Shock the World" run to the College World Series, the Stony Brook baseball team has been picked to repeat as America East champions in the coaches preseason poll, the conference announced Wednesday.

The conference's six head coaches voted with each coach not allowed to vote for his own team. The Seawolves received four out of a possible five first-place votes to garner 23 points. Maine finished second with one first-place vote and 19 points. Binghamton received the last first-place vote and scored 18 points. Albany placed fourth (13), followed by Hartford (12) and UMBC (5).

This is the fifth time since joining America East that Stony Brook has been declared the preseason favorite, joining the 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2012 teams. The Seawolves are four-time America East tournament champions, winning the crown in 2004, 2008, 2010 and 2012. The Seawolves also have captured the regular season championship in each of the last two seasons.

Stony Brook returns 18 letterwinners from last season's College World Series team, including All-America East selections Brandon McNitt (Chino Hills, Calif.), Frankie Vanderka (Levittown, N.Y.), Tanner Nivins (Kitchener, Ontario), Cole Peragine (Belle Ewart, Ontario), Steven Goldstein (East Meadow, N.Y.) and Kevin Krause (Staten Island, N.Y.).

Last season, after winning the America East championship, the Seawolves upended Miami (FL), Missouri State and Central Florida to win the Coral Gables Regional and advance to the Baton Rouge Super Regional against six-time national champion, LSU. The Tigers took game one, but Stony Brook bounced back to win games two and three to shock the world and advance to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

The Seawolves capped the 2012 campaign with 52 wins, a program record, and laid claim to being the first-ever America East team and first Northeast Region team since 1986 to reach the College World Series. Head coach Matt Senk was named the National Collegiate Basetball Writers Association (NCBWA) National Coach of the Year, and outfielder Travis Jankowski was named the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) National Co-Player of the Year.

The America East Championship, a four-team, double-elimination tournament, takes place May 22-24 on the campus of the top seed.