Rowan Voted Unanimous Preseason Favorite For NJAC Baseball Title
Defending NJAC champions earned all 10 first place votes in preseason coaches poll.
PITMAN, NJ – Defending NJAC champion Rowan earned all 10 first place votes as the Profs are the unanimous selection to defend their conference title based on the results of the preseason coaches poll. Defending regular season champion TCNJ was voted second, and Rutgers-Camden third.
Ramapo and Kean round out the top five predictions, and are followed by William Paterson, Montclair State, New Jersey City, Rutgers-Newark, and Stockton. William Paterson was voted this year’s dark horse team.
NJAC baseball will be strong once again after sending three teams to the NCAA Tournament last season. Three of the four major award winners from last year return, including Player of the Year Tommy McCarthy (TCNJ), Pitcher of the Year Ian Scheidemann (Rutgers-Camden), and Rookie of the Year RJ Concepcion (Rutgers-Camden).
Only two seniors were on last year’s NJAC All-Conference First Team and just 11 of the 36 total all-conference honorees were seniors, meaning that 10 first teamers and 25 total all-conference players will be back on the field this season.
Pitching will be the name of the game for NJAC baseball this year as the top four pitchers by ERA from last year are back, including two All-American hurlers in Scheidemann and Rowan’s Danny Serreino. Serreino led the league last year with a 1.25 ERA and he is joined by teammate Andrew DiPiazza who was second in the NJAC last year with a 1.49 ERA. Scheidemann (1.69) and Ramapo’s Jon Brignoni (1.79) were third and fourth in the league, respectively, last season. Most conference teams will enjoy experienced pitching staffs this year with the majority of throwing talent back on the mound in 2019.
Pitching will not be the only highlight, however, as three of the top five and eight of the top 10 hitters by batting average return this season. Camden’s Nolan Gerold headlines the group of returning top hitters after ranking third in the conference last year with a .385 batting average. Rowan duo Dillon Mendel (4th; .376) and Anthony Harrold (6th; .373) and TCNJ pair Thomas Persichetti (7th; .368) and Danny Borup (9th; .357) are back this season, as well as Stockton leader Garrhet Reedy (5th; .375), NJCU’s Nick LoGatto (9th; .367), and William Paterson’s Dan Carter (10th; .354).
With experienced depth up and down the lineups throughout the conference along with many talented transfers and rookies moving in, there is deserved optimism among all 10 programs as the 2019 season gets underway.
Kean and Rutgers-Newark open their schedules this weekend with their first games on Friday, Feb. 15, and most of the rest will be in action by the following weekend.
2019 NJAC Baseball Preseason Poll:
(First place votes in parentheses)
1. Rowan University (10)
2. The College of New Jersey
4. Ramapo College
5. Kean University
6. William Paterson University (dark horse)
7. Montclair State University
8. New Jersey City University
10. Stockton University
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