Pitman, N.J. (2/13/19) - Defending NJAC champion Rowan University earned all 10 first place votes as announced by the preseason coaches poll.
Defending regular season champion The College of New Jersey was voted second and Rutgers-Camden third. Ramapo College and Kean University round out the top five predictions, and are followed by William Paterson University, Montclair State University, New Jersey City University, Rutgers-Newark, and Stockton University. 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.
The Cougars return Frank LoGiudice and John Carello who earned All-NJAC selections a year ago. LoGiudice was named first-team and Carello earning a spot on the honorable mention squad. LoGiudice led the team in batting average (.354) and hits (57), while Carello posted a .317 batting average with 44 hits and 22 RBI.
Christopher Rossi returns after leading the pitching staff in wins and ERA in 2018. He is joined by Justin Diefenbach who led the team in innings pitched and strikeouts and Tyler Hopman whose season was cut short in 2018.
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)
- Rowan (10)
- William Paterson (dark horse)
- Montclair State