Cambridge, Mass.—The UMBC baseball team has been selected to finish in sixth place, according the coaches of the America East in the 2015 America East Preseason Poll. The poll was announced by the conference office on Tuesday afternoon.
Last year's regular season champions, Stony Brook (35), just edged out Maine (28) as the conference preseason favorites. Following the Black Bears is reigning back-to-back tournament champion Binghamton, who received 25 points and a first place vote. Hartford (22, 1 first place vote), UMass Lowell (19) went fourth and fifth just ahead of the Retrievers (10). Albany rounds out the seven team field garnering eight points.
UMBC will look to improve on their 17-29, 7-17 AE record from a year ago. "Our conference is historically good. Every team is well coached and you have to play well to get a win in the America East," Head Coach Bob Mumma said about the upcoming season.
The Retrievers will return a pair of All-Rookie Team members from a year ago in Hunter Dolshun (Warwick, N.Y./Warwick Valley) and Andrew Casali (New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan). Dolshun led the team with a .304 batting average, knocking in 22 runs and slugging three home runs. Casali hit a stout .264 on 47 hits, with seven of those as doubles, one triple and three homers.
UMBC will have a slew of transfers looking to make an immediate impact. JUCO transfers Kevin Little (Weldon, Calif./Kern Valley/Taft College) and Conrad Wozniak (Cypress, Texas/Cypress/Frank Phillip College) will add depth to the pitching rotation. Patrick Phillips (Richmond, Va./The Steward School/Old Dominion) and Tim Kelly (Hampton, Va./York/Virginia Tech) will bring Division I experience to Baltimore on the mound.
The Retrievers will hit the road to open up the 2015 campaign with a three game set at North Carolina A&T on Feb. 20-22.