Senior outfielder Chris Hoyt was selected to the 2016 Preseason NCBWA All-East Region First-Team after his standout 2015 season.
Skyhawks are coming off their first-ever at-large bid and third bid overall to the NCAA Tournament
EASTON, Mass. (February 4, 2016) – The Stonehill College baseball team has been picked fifth in both the 2016 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Preseason East Region Poll, and the D2 Baseball News preseason ranking of the East Region.
Stonehill went 34-15-1 a season ago, matching the program's record for wins set in 2000. The Skyhawks earned their first-ever at-large bid and third bid overall to the NCAA Tournament following a run to the NE-10 Conference Championship game. Stonehill was eventually knocked out of the NCAA tournament by St. Thomas Aquinas, ending its record setting season.
Three-time NE-10 Coach of the Year Pat Boen enters the upcoming season just seven wins shy of 500 for his career, with a record of 493-350-3 (.583). Now in his 19th year at the helm of the baseball program, Boen has guided Stonehill to 30 wins and an NE-10 Tournament appearance in five of the last six seasons.
Stonehill was picked fifth in the NCBWA Preseason East Region Poll with 53 points, ahead of NE-10 members University of New Haven (13 points), Pace University (11 points), Adelphi University (6 points) and Merrimack College (2 points). Defending conference champion Franklin Pierce University topped the preseason East Region top-10 with 86 points and six first-place tallies, while the Ravens also landed in the NCBWA National Poll, ranked 5th. Southern New Hampshire University (80 points, two first-place votes), Wilmington University (68 points, one first-place vote) and St. Thomas Aquinas College (60 points) rounded out the top-five of the East Region poll.
Stonehill was also picked fifth in the D2 Baseball News preseason ranking of the East Region. Saint Thomas Aquinas was selected fourth, Wilmington third, Southern New Hampshire second and Franklin Pierce rounded out the top five, claiming the top spot in the preseason ranking.
Senior Outfielder Brian Campbell will look to build off of his tremendous summer when he was named to the D2 Baseball News Summer All-American Team.
Key returners from last season's squad include 2016 Preseason NCBWA All-East Region First-Team selection, senior outfielder Chris Hoyt (Walpole, Massachusetts/Xaverian Brothers), Second-Team selection senior outfielder Brian Campbell (Franklin, Massachusetts/Mount Saint Charles), Second-Team selection sophomore starting pitcher Michael Young (Mashpee, Massachusetts/Pope John Paul II), senior catcher Eric Schneider (Camarillo, California/St. Bonaventure) and junior closer Aubrey Solomon (Groton, Massachusetts/Lawrence Academy).
Hoyt enjoyed a stellar 2015 campaign, collecting All-NE-10 first team honors as well as being placed on the NCBWA All-East Region team. The senior was also named to the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings NCAA Division II All-East Region second team. Hoyt led the Skyhawks with his .341 batting average last season to go with 8 doubles, 25 RBI and 36 stolen bases. In 141 career games, Hoyt is a .300 hitter with 23 doubles, 54 RBI, 99 runs scored, and 66 stolen bases.
Campbell will also look to shoulder some of the offensive load in 2016. The Franklin, Massachusetts native is coming off of a standout 2015 season, garnering All-NE-10 second team honors as well as being named to the D2 Baseball News Summer All-American team. Campbell batted .323 to go along with 11 doubles, 3 home runs, 27 RBI and 49 runs.
The return of catcher Eric Schneider will give the Skyhawks a formidable top of the batting order, as the senior batted .339 with 6 doubles and 28 RBI last spring. Schneider recorded a season-high twelve-game hitting streak from April 12 - April 26 and registered 20 multi-hit games, including five games with at least three hits.
Solomon, who earned All-NE-10 third team recognition as the team's closer last season, is expected to return to Stonehill's bullpen this spring. Solomon Emerged as one of the top closers in the conference during his sophomore season, leading the NE-10 with nine saves and posting a 2.28 earned run average with 28 strikeouts in 23.2 innings of work.
Young will take on the role of Stonehill's ace this spring after being named NE-10 Rookie of the Year during the 2015 season. He appeared in 15 games (five starts), going 5-2 with a 0.67 earned run average (2nd in NE-10) and produced 50 strikeouts in 53.1 innings pitched. Young allowed four earned runs all season and issued just ten walks, giving him a 5/1 K/BB ratio.
Stonehill is scheduled to open its 2016 campaign against Mercy College on Thursday, February 25th in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina as part of the Ripken Experience Northeast Challenge. The Skyhawks are then slated to head to Palm Beach, Florida in early March before eventually hosting Franklin Pierce, a rematch of last season's Northeast-10 Conference Championship for their home opener on Saturday, March 26th at Lou Gorman Field.