Feb. 8, 2011

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA - The University of Massachusetts Boston Baseball team was ranked first in the 2011 Little East Conference pre-season coaches poll, it was announced today by the conference office. The Beacons received 61 total points and six out of eight first place votes. This is the first time UMass Boston has received the top recognition as well as being ranked higher than fourth in the poll.

The Beacons, who are ranked 10th in the ABCA/Collegiate Baseball Newspaper pre-season poll and 13th in the NCBWA/ pre-season poll, finished the 2010 season ranked ninth in the ABCA/Collegiate Baseball Newspaper national poll and 12th in the NCBWA/ national poll with a 32-17 record and their first-ever appearance in the Division III College World Series. The team broke nearly every team record in school history, while various individual standards also fell during the campaign.

Looking ahead to the 2011 campaign, the Beacons return seven starters from last year's team and should vie for another run at the LEC championship. Four UMass Boston players were listed on's Players to Watch list including senior LHP James Dalton (Apopka, FL), senior second basemen Ryan Walsh (Newton, MA), senior catcher Tim Fontaine (Worcester, MA) and junior centerfielder Mark McCormack (Shelton, CT). Walsh was also named to the pre-season All-American second team earlier in the month.

UMass Boston opens the 2011 season in Florida playing in the Russmatt Tournament from March 10-18 that features an outstanding field with games against four regionally ranked teams from 2010 as well as match-up on March 15 vs. SUNY-Cortland who also appeared in the 2010 Division III College World Series and were ranked No. 4 in this year's NCBWA/ pre-season poll.

2011 Pre-season Poll Results
Institution                   First Place Votes            Total Points
UMass Boston                   6                           61
Keene State                         1                            49
Eastern CT State                  1                            49
Univ. of Southern Maine        -                            42
Rhode Island College            -                            34
UMass Dartmouth                 -                            24
Western CT State                 -                            18
Plymouth State                     -                            11