UMPI Baseball #5 in Pre-season Poll

UMPI Baseball #5 in Pre-season Poll

Presque Isle, ME

Husson was unanimously selected by the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) head baseball coaches to finish at the top of the conference. The Eagles received all five first-place votes for a total of 25 points. Northern Vermont-Lyndon earned 18 points and second place, while Thomas and UMaine-Farmington tied for third with 12 points apiece, and UMaine-Presque Isle completed the poll with eight points.

Northern Vermont-Lyndon and UMaine-Farmington entered the 2018 NAC championship series with the second and fourth seeds, respectively. Top-seeded Castleton University won the conference tournament and earned the automatic qualifier to the national championship, where they dropped games to Virginia Wesleyan and Rowan in the double-elimination Mid-Atlantic Regional.

NCAA Division III rules stipulate that a conference needs seven members in each team sport to receive an automatic qualifier to the national tournament. The NAC and the City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) announced in July an agreement to align their respective baseball championships, beginning in the 2019 season. Each conference currently has five programs that sponsor baseball, necessitating this creative merger to grow the sport of baseball for the two conferences.

The two-year agreement (2019 & 2020) will see the NAC and CUNYAC complete separate regular-season schedules and determine their individual champions by virtue of each conference's postseason tournament. The winner of each conference tournament will then compete for an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Championship.

The NAC will hold a four-team double-elimination tournament the first weekend of May to determine who will compete against the CUNYAC champion for a bid to the 2019 NCAA Division III Baseball Championship.

The two league champions will meet on the second weekend of May in a best-of-three series. The North Atlantic Conference champion will host the inaugural title game in 2019, while the CUNY Athletic Conference is slated to host in 2020.

The five schools that compose the CUNY Athletic Conference in baseball are Baruch College (New York, N.Y.), City College of New York (New York, N.Y.), John Jay College (New York, N.Y.), Lehman College (Bronx, N.Y.) and College of Staten Island (Staten Island, N.Y.).

Early season games are underway, and conference matchups begin March 30.