Baseball Selected Third in NJAC Preseason Coaches Poll

Montclair, NJ (2/15/12) – The Montclair State baseball team was picked to finish third in the recently released 2012 New Jersey Athletic Conference Baseball Coaches Preseason Poll.

The Red Hawks finished behind defending champion Kean University and Rowan. Ramapo, Rutgers-Newark and The College of New Jersey occupy spots 3-6 with William Paterson, dark-horse selection Richard Stockton, Rutgers-Camden and New Jersey City University rounding out the poll.

Montclair State University, which finished its 2011 campaign with a 21-18 overall record and a 10-8 mark in conference, was selected to finish third, the same position the Red Hawks placed in the NJAC Tournament last season.

Currently the longest tenured baseball coach in the league, Red Hawk skipper Norm Schoenig has produced a 681-376-10 overall record during 24 seasons at the helm of the MSU program. Montclair returns a pair of all-conference players from its 2011 squad, including senior catcher Kevin Bond (Cedar Grove, NJ / Cedar Grove) and senior left-handed pitcher Sean Hille (Edison, NJ / St. Joseph’s).

MSU opens up its 2012 schedule on Friday, March 2 at the Piedmont Spring Break Tournament in Demorest, GA. Montclair will play three games, including its opener against Millsaps College (MS). Montclair will then head to Port Charlotte, Florida for the Snowbird Classic where it will play seven games which will feature two contests against defending national champion Marietta College on March 13 and 15.

The Red Hawks’ first home game is slated for Tuesday, April 3 at Yogi Berra Stadium versus Eastern Connecticut in matchup of teams that have won seven NCAA Division III titles.

NJAC conference play begins on Saturday, March 31 with all 10 conference teams in doubleheader action. Montclair State will be at Campbell’s Field in Camden to face Rutgers-Camden.

The 2012 league schedule will again feature a format with no byes, meaning all 10 league teams will play single games every Thursday and Friday and doubleheaders every Saturday during the conference season. The schedule also features teams facing the same opponent on Thursday and Friday at alternating sites.   

The top six conference regular season finishers will advance to the double-elimination 2012 NJAC Championship Tournament which will feature all tournament games played at campus sites. First round games will be hosted by higher seeds on Tuesday, May 1. Second round games will also be hosted by higher seeds on Thursday, May 3. All remaining teams will then travel to the site of the highest remaining seed for the conclusion of tournament play on Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6. The winner of the 2012 NJAC Tournament receives the conference’s automatic qualification to the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament.