CSI BASEBALL CELEBRATES NEW YEAR WITH NATIONAL RANKING

The College of Staten Island men’s baseball squad received a promising lift with the New Year, tabbing a No. 50 national ranking from the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s NCAA Division III Pre-Season Poll, announced through www.baseballnews.com.  The CBN national ranking is the first in school history, coming off of the heels of CSI’s 13th CUNYAC Championship and an ECAC Metro NY/NJ Postseason Tournament appearance a year ago, complete with a 31-11 record, the highest win-total in school history.
“Its a complete honor to be ranked.  It shows that the hard work that we are putting in is paying off,” says Head Coach Michael Mauro, who is coming off back-to-back CUNYAC Coach of the Year honors.
Ohio’s Heidelberg University topped the CBN rankings with 263 points, coming off of a 42-8 campaign a year ago.  The preseason poll also features its share of area baseball programs, and a trio of teams that will be highlights on the CSI schedule this year.  The Dolphins open the home portion of their schedule against SUNY-Cortland on March 4.  The Red Dragons were runner-ups to the NCAA Division III National Championship a year ago, and are ranked No. 2 in the CBN poll.  The Dolphins also face No. 4 Kean University in early-April, and will close their regular season in May with a trip to No. 21 Salisbury University.
“Our goal at CSI is to earn a spot in the NCAA Regionals and beyond, and playing those teams will only help us take the next step,” Mauro said. 
Graduating only a trio of seniors last year, the Dolphins are still primed for a quality run, led by ABCA/Rawlings First-Team All-American Pat Gale.  The southpaw hurler was among the national leaders in wins, ERA, and strikeouts, while boasting a .418 average at the dish.  Complete with returning pitchers Nick Tingos, Jeff Pontebbi, Casey Mulligan and Richard Anderson, and .300+ hitters Ryan Nemoyten, Cory Sullivan, Henry Roman, Joe Cassano and Sal Todaro, the Dolphins are understandably excited.
“If there is ever a team that can compete against the top quality schools this is it,” said Mauro, who is also quick to note a handful of recruits who will only help bolster the program.
Despite the national recognition and being tabbed as early-season favorites in the CUNY Athletic Conference, the skipper knows there is still plenty of work to do.
“We have a long way to go,” he said.  “Being number fifty is great, but it gives us something to push forward to because we want to go even higher.”
First pitch for CSI will be on Wednesday, March 2, when the team travels to Hoboken, New Jersey, to face the Stevens Institute of Technology.  Keep up with www.baseballnews.com and www.csidolphins.com for the latest CBN poll information.

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