Three-time NE-10 Coach of the Year Pat Boen enters his 18th season with Stonehill in 2015.
Skyhawks set to open 2015 campaign next Thursday against Felician College in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
EASTON, Mass. (February 13, 2015) – The Stonehill College baseball team has been picked to finish third in the Northeast Division of the 2015 Northeast-10 Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, the league office announced on Wednesday.
Stonehill is coming off a 30-20 (17-10 NE-10) season in which the Skyhawks reached the knockout round of the NE-10 Tournament after posting an 11-4 victory at Franklin Pierce University in first round action. Stonehill has won 30 games and appeared in the NE-10 Tournament four times in the last five years.
Three-time NE-10 Coach of the Year Pat Boen begins his 18th season at the helm of the baseball program in 2015. Boen, who has a career record of 459-335-2 (.578), has guided the Skyhawks to two NE-10 Tournament championships and two NCAA Tournament appearances during his tenure.
Stonehill, which was picked to finish seventh in the 2015 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Preseason East Region Poll, received 77 points in the Northeast Division portion of the NE-10 poll. Franklin Pierce was selected first with 99 points and eight first-place tallies, while Southern New Hampshire University checked in second with 95 points and six first-place votes. Bentley University, which was predicted to finish fourth with 67 points, received the final first-place vote for the Northeast Division. Southern Connecticut State University (81 points, six first-place votes) was the coaches' pick to capture the Southwest Division crown.
Junior leftfielder Brian Campbell led the Skyhawks with a .318 batting average in 2014 and is a career .329 hitter.
Despite losing the program's all-time wins leader in Zack Soulier (Milford, Connecticut/Jonathan Law) to graduation and consensus All-East Region selection Jim Duff (Garden City, New York/Garden City) to the Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft, Stonehill still figures to have one of the strongest starting rotations in the conference this spring.
Senior righthander Armand Rugel (Middletown, Rhode Island/Middletown), who earned All-NE-10 and American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings All-East Region second team recognition as the team's closer last season, is set to make his return to the starting rotation in 2015. Classmate Neal Horan (Mashpee, Massachusetts/BC High), who went 1-1 with a 0.89 ERA in five starts early last season before suffering an arm injury, and sophomore lefthander Jeremy Roberts (Reading, Massachusetts/Malden Catholic), a 2014 NE-10 All-Rookie team selection, will join Rugel in the rotation.
Key returners on offense include senior shortstop Dan Fratus (Plymouth, Massachusetts/Plymouth North), junior leftfielder Brian Campbell (Franklin, Massachusetts/Mount Saint Charles), and senior catcher Eric Schneider (Camarillo, California/St. Bonaventure). A 2012 All-Conference second team selection, Fratus hit .280 last spring with four home runs, ten doubles, 28 RBI, 28 walks, and 21 runs. Campbell led the Skyhawks with his .318 batting average to go with 16 doubles, three triples, and 24 RBI, while Schneider recorded five triples and knocked in a team-high 29 runs.
Stonehill is scheduled to open its 2015 campaign against Felician College next Thursday, February 19th 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 for 12 games before eventually hosting Assumption College for their home opener on Tuesday, March 31st at Lou Gorman Field.