- Rams open 2016 season on Friday, February 26th -
New York, N.Y. - The results of the 2016 Skyline Conference Baseball Preseason Coaches Poll were released and the SUNY Old Westbury Panthers have been selected to capture the title after winning the conference tournament last spring.
Head coach Rod Stephan's Panthers (26-13, 10-4 Skyline in 2015) received seven of the nine first-place votes in the poll, en route to 63 voting points. The 2015 Skyline Conference regular-season champion, St. Joseph's-Long Island (20-17, 13-1) received one first-place vote and 56 points, while 2015 championship runner-up Farmingdale State (19-17, 8-6) received the other first-place vote and 51 total points.
Maritime (12-18, 7-7) was slotted fourth in the poll with 39 points -- just two ahead of first-year Skyline member St. Joseph's-Brooklyn (24-18 overall). Mount Saint Mary (29), Purchase (22), Mount Saint Vincent (19) and Yeshiva (8) rounded out the nine teams.
Farmingdale State returns senior first baseman/pitcher Dalton McCarthy (Manorville, N.Y.) who last season was named Second Team All-Conference after batting .292 with 21 RBI and seven extra-base hits. Sophomore pitcher Ryan O'Connor (Babylon, N.Y.), who earned Third Team ABCA/Rawlings All-Region and Second Team All-Conference honors in 2015, enters his sophomore year at Farmingdale State. O'Connor posted a team-best 6-1 record with 21 K's and only six walks in 38.1 innings pitched.
FSC opens the 2016 season at the Fayetteville Tournament against Frostburg State on Friday, February 26th at 3:00 p.m. The Rams will then play Pitt-Greensburg on Saturday at noon and Brockport State on Sunday at 9:00 a.m.
The first home game for the baseball team will be a non-conference matchup versus William Paterson on Tuesday, March 8th. Farmingdale State will begin conference play on April 1st with a home DH against Yeshiva.
The 2016 Skyline Conference Baseball Championship will kick off May 4 with first-round, single-elimination contests matching the number 6/3 seeds, as well as the number 5/4 seeds. Those two winners will join the top-two seeds in the four-team, double-elimination portion of the tournament, May 6-8, at the highest-seeded team with a lighted facility. The winner of the conference title secures the Skyline's automatic bid into the 2016 NCAA Division III Championship.
2016 Skyline Conference Baseball Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Old Westbury - 63 (7)
2. St. Joseph's-Long Island - 56 (1)
3. Farmingdale State - 51 (1)
4. Maritime - 39
5. St. Joseph's-Brooklyn - 37
6. Mount Saint Mary - 29
7. Purchase - 22
8. Mount Saint Vincent - 19
9. Yeshiva - 8
(First-place votes in parenthesis)