SOMERSET, NJ – The Sacred Heart University baseball team was projected to finish fifth at the conclusion of the 2019 season, as the Northeast Conference released its Preseason Coaches Poll Friday afternoon.
The Pioneers failed to reach the program's NEC Tournament for the first time in 10 years, finishing league play at 12-16 and 17-35 overall.
Offensively, the Pioneers will look to be led by Jake Frasca, who was second on the team with 55 hits and a .307 batting average last season. The Pioneers also return top base-stealer Elijah Brown, who led the Pioneers with 18 steals in 2018.
On the bump, the Pioneers return three key pitchers for this season's rotation in senior Brent Teller, Cooper Thompson and Frasca. All three pitchers ranked were tied for the team lead with four wins apiece. Teller led the Pioneers with 79 innings pitched, which ranked sixth in the NEC. He also led the Pioneers with 77 strikeouts, which ranked fourth in conference.
Bryant was selected as the choice to win the NEC this season, the 2018 regular season champs were unanimous selections, garnering all six votes. Last year's NEC tournament champions, LIU Brooklyn was picked second, Wagner was selected third, followed by Mount St. Mary's fourth. SHU was picked to finish in fifth, while Central Connecticut and Fairleigh Dickinson rounded out the preseason poll in sixth & seventh.
Preseason Poll Results (unanimous)
1. Bryant (6)
2. LIU Brooklyn
4. Mount St. Mary's
5. Sacred Heart
6. Central Connecticut
7. Fairleigh Dickinson