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Bearcats projected to repeat on the diamond

VESTAL, N.Y. - Binghamton baseball has been picked to repeat as America East champions, according to Collegiate Baseball.
In its annual college baseball issue, the newspaper released its projected conference standings and individual accolades, which were based on coaches voting. The Bearcats, who captured the America East title in 2013, were ranked first, ahead of Stony Brook and Maine in the seven-team league. Newcomer UMass Lowell (4th), Albany (5th), Hartford (6th) and UMBC (7th) rounded out the list.

Junior outfielder Jake Thomas was selected as the Projected Player of the Year in the America East. Thomas was a first-team ABCA All-Northeast Region selection in 2013 after finishing No. 2 in the nation in on-base percentage (.517). He led the America East in multiple offensive categories, including batting average (.371) and slugging (.522). Thomas also ranked second in runs (42) and third in RBI (37).

Four other Bearcats were listed in the Other Top Players To Watch category: junior pitchers Jack Rogalla and Mike Urbanski, senior second baseman Daniel Nevares and junior right fielder Zach Blanden. Nevares was a first team all-conference selection in 2013 and Urbanski has drawn interest from MLB scouts after a stellar summer season.

The Bearcats kick off their 2014 season with their first spring practice on Friday. Head coach Tim Sinickis squad opens its 52-game slate February 14 at Duke. Binghamton returns all nine starting field position players and two starting pitchers from a 30-win team that won the conference title and played in the NCAA Regionals for the second time in five years.

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)

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