CCC Baseball Preseason Poll Video
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The two teams that finished off last year's Commonwealth Coast Conference baseball season will begin this season tied as preseason favorites as Salve Regina and Endicott both earned 74 points in the 2017 CCC Preseason Coaches' Poll.
The Seahawks, the reigning CCC Baseball Champions, earned five of the nine possible first place votes in the voting conducted by the league's baseball head coaches, while the Gulls picked up a pair of first-place votes. Western New England also was listed first on two coaches' ballots and was picked to finish third with 62 points.
Nichols was picked fourth in the poll with 57 points. Curry ranked fifth on the ballot with 43 points, followed by Roger Williams with 34 points. Gordon (33 points), Wentworth (18), and Eastern Nazarene (10) closed out the poll in that order.
While the Wentworth Institute of Technology baseball team may have missed the Commonwealth Coast Conference Tournament a season ago, the Leopards played a lot of close contests, including dropping 11 games by a single run and having 14 of their losses be by a total of 17 runs. Offensively Wentworth returns five of its top eight hitters including senior Jordan Burst (Jackson, N.J.) who hit .382 (42-for-110) with four doubles 26 runs scored, 20 runs batted in, and seven stolen bases. Burst also had an on-base percentage of .382. Sophomore Matt Smith (Horseheads, N.Y.) had a rookie campaign which saw him hit .330 (31-for-94) with 17 runs scored and four stolen bases. Senior Jimmy Temte (Northborough, Mass.) returns to the lineup after hitting .303 (33-for-109) with seven doubles, three triples, and two home runs to go along with 28 RBI and a slugging percentage of .477. Junior Tyler Weninger (Chandler, Ariz.), a 2015 All-CCC selection, hit .298 (34-for-114) with nine doubles, two triples, and a home run as a sophomore while senior Christian Ferri (Bloomfield, N.J.) hit .295 (33-for-112) with six doubles, six stolen bases, and a .444 on-base percentage.
On the mound, Senior Aaron Denis (Dover, N.H.) posted a pair of wins last year to goa long with a save and 42 strikeouts in 54.2 innings of work. Weninger will also be called on to help the Leopards after recording a pair of wins and striking out 28 batters in 48 innings of work. Sophomore Mike Callagee (Emerson, N.J.) also had two wins (2-3) for the Black & Gold a season ago with three of his six starts resulting in complete games. He walked just five batters in 34.2 innings of work.
Wentworth opens the season up by playing at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational. The Leopards will play 10 games down south, beginning with a March 5 doubleheader against New England College.
2017 CCC Baseball Preseason Coaches' Poll
|Team||Points (First Place Votes)|
|T-1.||Salve Regina||74 (5)|
|3.||Western New England||62 (2)|