Lakeland tabbed ninth in preseason NAC coaches' poll
Athletics - posted on 2/18/2009
The Lakeland baseball team has been picked to finish ninth in the Northern Athletics Conference by the league's coaches, as the preseason poll was released late Tuesday by the conference.
The Muskies totaled 42 points, finishing in a tie for ninth place in the poll with MSOE.
Last season, Lakeland finished with a 6-16 mark in conference play and a 9-27 overall record.
Five seniors return to play for the Muskies, including pitchers Jake Van Camp (Green Bay) and Mike Phillips (Green Bay), infielders Alex Grant (Libertyville, Ill.) and Travis Chell (Grantsburg), and outfielder Zach Hilbert (Green Bay).
Van Camp and Phillips combined for 18 appearances last season, including seven starts.
Junior outfielder Jacob Heinemeyer (Shiocton) and sophomore catcher Dave Novak (Algoma) return as two of the Muskies' top hitters. Heinemeyer hit .309 with team-highs of 42 hits and 13 stolen bases, while Novak hit .365 with 16 RBIs in 24 starts.
Thirteen sophomores and 11 freshmen will vie for playing time under third-year coach Chris Thousand.
Benedictine and Rockford, last year's NAC co-champions, were separated by a handful of votes in the poll. The Eagles were selected first with 126 points, followed by the Regents, last year's league tournament champions, with 121.
The NAC Tournament champion will automatically qualify for a bid to the 2009 NCAA Division III Baseball Championship Tournament.
For the complete NAC Baseball Coaches' Preseason Poll, see below. First place votes are in parenthesis.
2009 NAC Baseball Coaches' Preseason Poll
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
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