ORONO, Maine -- The University of Maine baseball team was selected third in the 2014 America East Preseason Coaches' Poll, released on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. The Black Bears, the reigning regular-season champions, received 28 points in the poll.
Binghamton and Stony Brook were selected as co-preseason favorites. Both teams received three first-place votes and 31 points overall. Maine was third followed by Hartford with one first-place vote and 23 points overall. Albany finished with 17 points followed by UMBC with nine points and America East newcomer UMass Lowell with 8.
Maine returns the nucleus of its team from last season, which won 37 games and played in the 2013 America East title game. Among those are leading returning hitter Troy Black (Mississauga, Ontario) who hit .363 with 31 runs scored and 24 RBI. Brian Doran (Ayr, Ontario) finished with a .312 batting average with 32 runs scored and 23 RBI. Sam Balzano (Portland, Maine) hit .299 with 42 runs scored and 21 RBI. He led the team in stolen bases with 21. Alex Calbick (Burnaby, British Columbia) finished with a .280 average with 30 runs scored and 33 RBI. Scott Heath (Westbrook, Maine) hit .279 with 20 runs scored and 25 RBI, while Colin Gay (Franklin, Mass.) chipped in with a .259 average with 39 runs scored and 26 RBI. He stole 18 bases.
Maine returns America East and ECAC Pitcher of the Year Tommy Lawrence (West Haven, Conn.). He set the school record for wins in a season with 11, finishing with an 11-3 mark. Lawrence posted a 2.32 ERA in 104.2 innings, striking out 78 batters on the season. Maine also returns Jake Marks (Sarnia, Ontario), Shaun Coughlin (Northford, Conn.) and Burk FitzPatrick (Berwyn, Pa.) who all finished with a pair of saves on the season. Heath is also expected to see considerable innings on the mound this season.
Among the newcomers who are expected to make an immediate impact are Steven Adam (Tecumseh, Ontario), Jacob Gosselin-Deschesnes (Montreal, Quebec), Patrick Coughlin (Cambridge, Ontario), Skylar Marcado (Bronx, N.Y.), Jake Osborne (Burlington, Ontario) and Jeff Gelinas (Saco, Maine).
Maine kicks off the 2014 campaign when it travels to Miami for a three-game set with the Hurricanes Feb. 14-16. First pitch on Friday night is scheduled for 7 PM.