WESTWOOD, Mass. - The Clark University baseball team was tabbed fifth in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) 2018 Baseball Preseason Coaches' Poll as announced by the league office on Thursday afternoon. After an impressive NEWMAC Championship run in 2017, claiming the programs first title since 2009, Babson has been tabbed as the preseason favorites with five first place votes. Voting for the preseason poll is conducted by the eight baseball coaches.
Close behind the Beavers is Wheaton, who enters the season at No. 2 with three first place votes after a stellar postseason performance traveling to the 2017 NCAA World Series. MIT sits at No. 3 while No. 4 WPI and No. 5 Clark follows. Rounding out the remaining slots is No. 6 Springfield, No. 7 Coast Guard and No. 8 Emerson.
Under head coach J.P. Pyne the Cougars notched a school-record 26 victories in 2017 and made their first postseason appearance since 2010. They return All-American and New England Player of the Year Kyle Bonicki (Waterbury, Conn.) and the 2017 NEWMAC Pitcher of the Year Cal Slepkow (Rehoboth, Mass.). Bonicki became the program's first-ever All-American in 2017 while earning New England Player of the Year honors from D3 Baseball. Now a two-time first-team all-conference selection, Bonicki finished the year ranked in the top ten in the NEWMAC in several statistical categories, including batting average (.391) runs scored (50), hits (61), doubles (20), triples (7), stolen bases (12), on-base percentage (.462) and slugging percentage (.686). Slepkow was named both the NEWMAC and Worcester Area Pitcher of the Year after going 6-1 with a 2.70 ERA.
2018 NEWMAC Baseball Preseason Coaches' Poll
Rank (First Place Votes)
1. Babson (5)
2. Wheaton (3)
7. Coast Guard
For the full release from the NEWMAC click here.