Western New England receives 7 of 8 first-place votes
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (February 13, 2019) – The Western New England University baseball team has been picked first in the 2019 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Preseason Coaches' Poll, which was released on Wednesday by the league office.
The Golden Bears received first-place votes from seven of the eight head coaches in the CCC, topping the poll with 63 points.
2018 CCC runner-up Salve Regina garnered the final first-place nod and finished second with 54 points, while Endicott (49 points), Roger Williams (39) and Gordon (29) rounded out the top five. The final three spots in the poll went to Nichols (25), Wentworth (18) and Curry (11).
Western New England will look to defend its CCC title this spring with the majority of the key pieces back from last season's championship squad.
Two-time CCC Coach of the Year Dan Gomez begins his sixth season at the helm of the WNE Baseball program in 2019 with a career record of 122-83-1 (.595). Gomez's team will be led by senior shortstop Alex Loparco (Riverside, Conn.), the 2018 CCC Player of the Year, and senior left-handed pitcher Bob Hamel (Southwick, Mass.), last season's CCC Pitcher of the Year. Six other All-CCC honorees return for Western New England, including senior designated hitter Joe Cassella (Wallingford, Conn.), who also earned All-Region honors along with Loparco and Hamel.
The 2019 campaign gets underway on Saturday, March 2, when Western New England takes on Wheaton College at Clark University in Worcester. After playing seven games at the Spartan Southern Classic in Lexington, South Carolina from March 15-21, the Golden Bears open their home and CCC schedules against Wentworth Institute of Technology at Trelease Park on Saturday, March 23.