|Jaspers Picked Fourth In MAAC Baseball Preseason Poll|
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - Manhattan was picked to finish fourth in the MAAC according to the 2011 Preseason Baseball Coaches' Poll as revealed by the conference on Wednesday. Jaspers' seniors Chad Salem, Mark Onorati and Mike McCann were each selected on the All-MAAC Preseason Team. Defending MAAC Champion Rider topped the preseason poll with 73 points.
Manhattan returns 19 letterwinners, including seven starters, from last season's team which posted 31 wins and qualified for the program's eighth consecutive MAAC Tournament. Sixth year Jaspers head coach Kevin Leighton is coming off his fifth consecutive 30+ win season.
Salem, a third baseman from Rye, N.Y., is a three time All-MAAC selection. He earned First Team All-MAAC honors and was named to the American Baseball Coaches Association Northeast Region Second Team after leading Manhattan and ranking in the top-5 of the MAAC in RBI (68), runs scored (69), home runs (15), batting average (.383) and slugging percentage (.717). Salem finished first in the conference and 21st in NCAA Division I with a .519 on-base percentage.
Onorati returns to the outfield where he has started all 152 appearances since his arrival in Riverdale. The Williston Park, N.Y. native garnered First Team All-MAAC recognition last season as he led Manhattan and finished third in the conference with a .391 batting average. Onorati yielded just eight strikeouts in 202 at bats, while recording 79 hits to become the first player in program history to post two 70-hit seasons. Onorati also led the Jaspers with 19 doubles, 14 stolen bases, and he was second on the team with 59 runs scored. He blasted seven home runs and registered 51 RBI.
McCann was named to the 2010 All-MAAC Second Team last season starting 50 of 51 appearances in right field. The product of Belle Harbor, N.Y. finished second on the team with 17 doubles, 56 RBI, 119 total bases and .595 slugging percentage. McCann smashed 10 home runs, two triples and hit .340. He scored 54 runs and walked 31 times. McCann was a 2009 All-MAAC First Team honoree.
Manhattan gets the 2011 season underway on Feb. 25th at Western Carolina. The Jaspers first home game at Van Cortlandt Park is scheduled for March 23 against Hofstra.