March 15, 2007


Rhode Island College Baseball Picked Fourth in
Little East Conference Coaches Preseason Poll


Providence, RIThe Rhode Island College baseball team was picked to finish fourth in the 2007 Little East Conference Coaches’ Preseason Poll. Head Coach Jay Grenier’s team is 2-4 on the season and is currently in Florida. The Anchormen return a talented squad this spring, led by sophomore outfielder Chris O’Connors (North Kingstown, RI), the 2006 Little East Conference Rookie of the Year and First Team All-Star.


     All eight of the Little East Conference coaches cast a ballot, but they were not allowed to vote for their own team. A first-place vote received seven points, while a second place vote earned six points.


The University of Southern Maine’s baseball team sits atop the conference standings in the annual Little East Conference Coaches’ Preseason Poll released this afternoon by the conference office. The Huskies received six first place votes and 48 total points to begin the 2007 slate as the conference frontrunner, while Eastern Connecticut earned the remaining two first place ballots and 43 points to finish second.


Under the direction of Head Coach Ed Flaherty, Southern Maine has posted 21 consecutive seasons with at least 20 victories, including recording at least 30 wins eight times. Last season, the Huskies registered an overall record of 32-17, including an 11-3 mark in the conference circuit. Flaherty led his charges to a share of the Little East Conference Regular Season Championship and the top seed in the conference tournament. Southern Maine fell in the semifinals of the Little East Conference Tournament, but earned an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament field. The Huskies welcome back 19 student-athletes from last season, including a trio of All-Conference first-team selections. Southern Maine will host Johnson & Wales in its season opener on March 17.


The defending Little East Conference Tournament Champions, Eastern Connecticut, was just five points off the pace. A year ago, the Warriors captured the NCAA Division III Auburn Regional Championship to advance to the World Series in Grand Chute, Wisconsin. Under the watchful eye of Head Coach Bill Holowaty, Eastern Connecticut posted an overall record of 36-20, including an 8-6 mark in the conference circuit. The Warriors return 16 letterwinners from last season’s tournament run, including All-American Shawn Giliblair (Windham, CT) After a pair of rainouts, Eastern Connecticut will open its campaign at Whittier College on March 16.


Keene State College secured the No. 3 position with 38 total points. Last season, the Owls earned a share of the regular season championship with Southern Maine and the second seed in the conference tournament. Under the direction of Head Coach Ken Howe, Keene State advanced to the championship round of the tournament fray, where they fell to Eastern Connecticut. The Owls earned their second consecutive berth in the Eastern College Athletic Conference Tournament, but torrential rains cancelled the remainder of the tournament. Keene State kicks off its 2007 slate under the warm Arizona weather.


Rhode Island College and the UMass Boston sit in the fourth in fifth positions, separated by just four points. The Anchormen earned 30 points, while the Beacons tallied 26. Rhode Island College and UMass Boston each qualified for the ECAC Tournament last spring, where the Anchormen posted a 9-4 victory over the Beacons in the opening round.


UMass Dartmouth (14) and Western Connecticut (14) are tied for the sixth, while Plymouth State University (9) rounds out the 2007 Coaches’ Baseball Preseason Poll.