Golden Bears face top-ranked UMass Boston in home opener on Thursday
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (March 27, 2018) – Western New England University's 9-3 start to the 2018 campaign, which included a 7-1 showing last week at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational, has earned the Golden Bears a No. 7 ranking in the initial New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) Poll of the season.
Western New England and Wheaton College both earned eight points and tied for seventh place in the poll, which is voted on by coaches in the region.
UMass Boston, which was ranked No. 1 in the latest national poll released March 20, also holds the top spot in the NEIBA Poll with all five first place votes and 40 points.
UMass Dartmouth and Endicott are ranked second and third with 31 and 29 points respectively, while Mitchell (20), Southern Maine (17) and Springfield (11) round out the next three spots.
Through 12 games this spring, the Golden Bears have scored a Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC)-high 96 runs, while their seven home runs, 56 walks, 33 stolen bases, and .421 slugging percentage also lead the CCC.
Western New England swept this week's CCC awards with junior outfielder Joe Cassella (Wallingford, Conn.) earning Player of the Week honors, while senior Jake Kawiecki (Burlington, Conn.) and freshman Clay Tucker (Chelmsford, Mass.) were named the Pitcher and Rookie of the Week, respectively.
The Golden Bears are scheduled to host UMass Boston in their home opener at Trelease Park on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. in a battle of regionally ranked programs.