Blue Devils Picked Third in Coaches Poll

Blue Devils Picked Third in Coaches Poll

The Central Connecticut baseball team was picked to finish third in the Northeast Conference Baseball Coaches Poll released on Wednesday.  The Blue Devils finished 26-25-1 a season ago, including a 17-14 mark in NEC play.

The Blue Devils have qualified for six straight, and 10 of the last 11, NEC Tournaments, which will be held for the second straight season at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, CT.  The tournament will take place on May 17-20, 2012.

Head Coach Charlie Hickey is beginning his 13th year as the head coach of the Blue Devils, and his teams have won four NEC titles during his tenure.  The most recent came in 2010.

In his 12 seasons Hickey has posted a 183-118 record in NEC action. During that time Central Connecticut has posted a 341-276-5 overall record.  Entering the 2011 season his record stands at 447-337-5.

The Blue Devils return six starters from a year ago, including First Team All-Conference selections Mitch Wells and Jake Matuszak.  Wells, a senior third baseman this season, hit .360 with a team-best 73 hits, 43 runs batted in and 34 runs scored.  He slugged .468 and had a team-high .426 on-base percentage.  Matuszak hit .328 in his first season with the Blue Devils, and was second on the team with 36 runs scored.  He started 49 of his 50 games played, and had an on-base percentage of .418.

Second Team All-Conference selection J.P. Sportman, a sophomore, hit .289 while starting 47 of 50 games played.  He had 52 hits and drove in 34.

Central returns its top four hitters and five of its top six from 2011.

Central opens the 2012 season on Mar. 2 on the road at Towson.  Their home opener is Mar. 14 against Albany.

2012 NEC Baseball Poll
1. Monmouth (4)
2. Sacred Heart (4)
3. Central Connecticut (1)
4. Bryant
5. LIU Brooklyn
6. Mount St. Mary's
7. Wagner
8. Quinnipiac
9. Fairleigh Dickinson

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