Baseball Selected Second In America East Preseason Poll
ORONO, Maine-- The University of Maine baseball team was selected second in the 2013 America East Preseason Coaches' Poll, released on Wednesday, Feb. 6. The Black Bears received one first-place vote in the poll and 19 points overall.
Stony Brook was chosen to defend their 2012 championship, as the Seawolves were selected first with 23 points overall and four first-place votes. The Black Bears were second, followed by Binghamton who had 18 points and one first-place vote. Albany was selected fourth with 13 points, while Hartford was close behind with 12 points. UMBC was predicted to finish sixth with five points.
Maine finished 28-28 a year ago and 11-11 in America East play. The Black Bears advanced to the championship round of the America East Tournament, falling to Stony Brook. The Black Bears return 17 letterwinners and six starters from last season.
Maine returns many talented players for the upcoming season along with a group of newcomers. Co-captain Michael Fransoso (Portsmouth, N.H.) and Shaun Coughlin (Northford, Conn.) were each named to the America East First Team a year ago, while Scott Heath (Westbrook, Maine) earned a spot on the America East All-Rookie Team.
Fransoso hit .327 last season with 59 runs scored and 26 RBI. He has 18 doubles, five home runs and four triples to go along with 19 stolen bases. Also solidifying the infield are juniors Troy Black (Mississauga, Ontario) and Alex Calbick (Burnaby, British Columbia). Black hit a team-high .338 last season with 30 runs scored and 21 RBI. He stole 17 bases and had five doubles. Calbick posted a .287 batting average with 40 runs scored and 43 RBI. He had 18 doubles and five home runs on the season.
Colin Gay (Franklin, Mass.) returns to anchor the outfield. He hit .299 last season with 34 runs scored and 28 RBI. Heath, Mike Connolly (Bridgewater, Mass.), Fran Whitten (Westborough, Mass.) are all expected to contribute in the field and on the mound this season. Heath hit .293 with 11 doubles in his rookie season. Connolly finished 5-6 on the mound with a 5.40 ERA. Whitten hit .290 with 33 runs scored and 32 RBI. He had 11 doubles and three home runs. He was also 2-4 on the mound with 31.2 innings pitched.
Coughlin finished 4-5 on the mound last season with a 3.98 ERA and a team-high three complete games. He struck out 51 batters on the season, while walking just 19 in 83.2 innings. Co-captain D.J. Voisine (Plainville, Conn.) appeared in 17 games and was 4-0 with a 3.98 ERA. Opponents batted just .262 against Voisine. Tommy Lawrence (West Haven, Conn.) a transfer who sat out last season, is expected to have a great impact on the Maine pitching staff.
Maine begins the season with a four-game series with Auburn beginning on Friday, Feb. 15. First pitch is scheduled for 4 PM in the opener.