Eagles' baseball picked as pre-season favorite in NAC race
March 1, 2009
Dave Beyer, Sports Information Director
Benedictine University has been selected to win the 2009 Northern Athletics Conference Baseball title according to the coaches' preseason poll.
The Eagles received three first place votes and 126 poll points, five more than Rockford College who was picked second in the poll with four first place votes.
Benedictine (26-17, 17-5 NAC) and Rockford (27-17, 17-5) were NAC co-champions in 2008, with Rockford winning the NAC Tournament for the second consecutive year.
Benedictine returns three first team All-NAC players in Matt Brewer (Sr., OF), Kevin Graham (Jr., OF) and Rick Porcaro (SR., DH). 2008 NAC Rookie of the Year Jake Thompson (SO., P) also returns from last year's championship squad.
Porcaro was also a first team All-Central Region selection in 2008. Additionally, Thompson was recognized on the NAC's honorable mention all-conference list, as was senior relief pitcher Dan Vincenti (who set a BU season reord for saves in 2008 with seven).
Rockford returns a first team All-NAC member Shaun Dascher (Sr., OF) and two honorable selections (Chris Brockman, Sr., 1B; Tyler Clay, Jr., OF) from last year's team.
Aurora University (25-15, 15-7) was chosen third in the poll with 118 points and two first place votes. The Spartans finished last season in a three-way tie for third place with Concordia University Chicago and Marian University, but missed out on the NAC Tournament due to tiebreakers, as only the top four teams advanced to the tournament.
Concordia Chicago (32-13) was picked fourth with 112 points and a first place vote. CUC posted the best overall record in the NAC last season with the most wins (32) and highest winning percentage (.711) and finished second in the NAC Tournament for the second consecutive season.
Edgewood College (21-17, 13-9) was selected fifth in the poll with 103 points and a first place vote, while Marian (19-19-1) was picked sixth garnering 93 points and a first place vote to round out the top half.
Concordia University Wisconsin (18-19, 11-11) was picked seventh and Dominican University (17-19, 10-12) eighth, exactly where both teams finished in last season's standings.
Lakeland College (9-27, 6-16) and MSOE (11-22, 6-16) tied for ninth in the poll, while Wisconsin Lutheran College (7-31, 6-16) was chosen 11th and Maranatha Baptist Bible College (5-25, 1-21) 12th.
The Northern Athletics Conference tournament champion will automatically qualify for the 2009 NCAA Division III Baseball Championship Tournament.
1. Benedictine University (3), 126
2. Rockford College (4), 121
3. Aurora University (2), 118
4. Concordia University Chicago (1), 112
5. Edgewood College (1), 103
6. Marian College (1), 93
7. Concordia University Wisconsin, 76
8. Dominican University, 63
9. Lakeland College, 42
11. Wisconsin Lutheran College, 28
12. Maranatha Baptist Bible College, 12
First place votes in parentheses.
(information courtesy NAC sports information office)
Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ben.edu.