NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - The Little East Conference has released the 2014 Preseason Coaches' poll in which they have selected the Beacons to finish third this season after collecting a combined 43 points. The defending conference champions and 2013 national runner-up Huskies of the University of Southern Maine were picked to repeat having earned all eight first place votes and 64 total points Tuesday afternoon.
UMass Boston will begin its 2014 season on Friday, March 14 when they face Edgewood College (Wis.) in Fort Myers, Florida as part of a nine game spring trip. This season, head coach Brendan Eygabroat will feature one of his most experienced rosters since the Beacons 2010 historic run to the Division III College World Series.
This season the Beacons welcome back All-Conference pitcher Kyle Szatrowski (Agawam, Mass.) and outfielder Jamill Moquete (Boston, Mass.). They will also feature senior pitcher Lucas Ilges (Gloucester, Mass.), who last season shutout the Huskies of Southern Maine in dominating fashion. All three players were featured on the Collegiate Baseball Top Division III Players to Watch For in 2014 list.
Moquete, who was named an FCBL All-League selection during the summer, is entering his senior season as one of the top prospects in the Little East Conference. Last season the Boston native finished second on the team with a .319 average and finished with a team-leading 20 stolen bases. He recorded with team-best .474 slugging percentage and drove in a combined 16 runs on 43 hits (seven doubles, 1 triple, four home runs).
For Szatrowski and Ilges the duo should serve as a one-two punch for the Beacons bullpen this season. In 2013, Szatrowski recorded an impressive 2.65 ERA and a 5-2 record overall. He struck out 26 batters in 57.2 innings of work and picked-up his first win of the year after shutting down then nationally-ranked St. Joseph's College (Maine). Ilges' junior season was just as strong as he finished the year with a 3.72 ERA in 12 total appearances. In 55.2 innings he struck out 42 and allowed just 11 walks.
Selected to finish second on this year's preseason poll was Eastern Connecticut State University who earned a total of 53 points. UMass Dartmouth was selected fourth with 39 points, followed by Keene State College in fifth with 38 points. Rhode Island College was selected sixth after earning 21 points. Rounding out the preseason poll was Plymouth State University in seventh (18 points) and Western Connecticut State University in eighth (12 points).
2014 Little East Conference Preseason Baseball Poll
1. University of Southern Maine 64 points (8)
2. Eastern Conn. State University 53 points
3. UMass Boston 43 points
4. UMass Dartmouth 39 points
5. Keene State College 28 points
6. Rhode Island College 21 points
7. Plymouth State University 18 points
8. Western Conn. State University 12 points
( ) - First Place Votes