MANSFIELD, Mass. – The Southern New Hampshire University baseball team was picked to finish second in the Northeast-10 Northeast Division, according to the Northeast-10 Preseason Coaches' Poll that was released Tuesday.
The Penmen picked up two first-place votes and 93 total points to finish behind defending NE-10 Champion Franklin Pierce University, which garnered the other 13 first-place votes and 104 total points. Stonehill College finished third with 79 points, while Merrimack College registered 60 points to narrowly beat out Bentley University (56) for fourth place. Assumption College (36), Saint Anselm College (33) and Saint Michael's College (15) rounded out the remainder of the Northeast.
In the Southwest Division, the University of New Haven was projected to take the top spot with six first-place votes and 77 total points. Pace University was next with three first-place votes and 65 points, while Adelphi University finished third with one first-place vote and 62 points. Southern Connecticut State University (58 points, three first-place votes) and Le Moyne College (52 points, two first-place votes) accounted for the remainder of the first-place votes and were selected fourth and fifth, respectively. American International College (38) and the College of Saint Rose (19) finished off the Southwest poll.
Southern New Hampshire, led by eighth-year head coach and two-time regional coach of the year Scott Loiseau, finished 31-14 a year ago and made its fourth straight NCAA East Regional appearance, where it was eliminated by Franklin Pierce. The Penmen closed the year ranked 18th in the NCBWA Division II Poll.
The Penmen were selected 20th in the Preseason National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Division II Poll and second in the NCBWA East Region Poll two weeks ago, in addition to placing two student-athletes on the Preseason NCBWA All-East Region Team in outfielder Carson Helms (Farmington, Conn.), who was tabbed for the First Team, and junior shortstop Manny Cruz (Wolcott, Conn.), who found a spot on the Second Team.
The Penmen kick off the 2016 season with a five-game trip to South Carolina from Feb. 26-28. SNHU starts out against Dominican (N.Y.) College with a 10 a.m. doubleheader on day one.
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2016 Northeast-10 Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Franklin Pierce - 104 (13)
2. So. New Hampshire - 93 (2)
3. Stonehill - 79
4. Merrimack - 60
5. Bentley - 56
6. Assumption - 36
7. Saint Anselm - 33
8. Saint Michael's - 15
1. New Haven - 77 (6)
2. Pace - 65 (3)
3. Adelphi - 62 (1)
4. So. Connecticut - 58 (3)
5. Le Moyne - 52 (2)
6. American Int'l - 38
7. Saint Rose - 19