SUNY Poly baseball picked second in NAC west

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The top two teams from last spring, SUNY Cobleskill in the West and Husson University in the East, are predicted to repeat as divisional top seeds this season, according to a vote by league coaches.

Three out of four coaches in the West division picked The Fighting Tigers to top the division. SUNY Poly picked up the remaining first-place vote and second place in the poll. SUNY Canton and Cazenovia College tied for third place.

The SUNY Poly (9-12, 8-7) team is built around a young core of new players, especially on the pitching staff, paired with returning starters in the outfield, behind the plate and on the right side of the infield. Six of seven returning starters are position players, including All-Conference second baseman Chris Ling, providing leadership and continuity to help the Wildcats reach the postseason with head coach Patrick Baker.

Three NAC East coaches provided first place votes for the Eagles. Thomas College received two first-place votes to finish just behind Husson. Northern Vermont-Lyndon is third, UMaine-Farmington fourth and UMaine-Presque Isle fifth.

The top two teams from the East and West Divisions qualify for the championship tournament. The four championship teams will compete in a double-elimination tournament. Initial seeding will take place within each division, and then teams will be reseeded one through four for the tournament. The host site alternates, which means the top seed in the West will host this spring.

The NAC champion will represent the conference in the 2022 Division III championship tournament.

The 2021 season unfolded differently due to the pandemic, with early postseason rounds occurring within each division and only the top two teams facing off for the title. SUNY Cobleskill defeated SUNY Poly in the West while Husson defeated Thomas College in the East to earn divisional series titles. After trading wins to start the three-game championship series, Husson won the rubber match over Cobleskill and advanced to the NCAA tournament.

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