HAVERFORD, Pa. – The defending Centennial Conference champion Haverford College baseball team was picked second in the Centennial Conference preseason coaches poll, the conference office announced on Wednesday afternoon. Haverford received 74 total points, including four first place tallies.
Johns Hopkins came in first with 77 points and five first-place votes while Gettysburg was third with 52 points. Franklin & Marshall finished fourth with 50 points while Muhlenberg rounded out the top five with 49 points including one first place tally. Washington College (47 points), Dickinson (36), Ursinus (30), McDaniel (18) and Swarthmore (17) finished sixth through tenth.
Last season, the team's 28 victories were the second most in program history behind the 2011 team which finished 32-10 overall. The Fords have made the Centennial Conference Tournament in each of the past nine seasons and 11 of the past 12 years overall.
Head Coach Dave Beccaria has established a tradition of winning during his tenure, compiling an overall record of 351-251-3. Those 351 victories rank as the most by a single manager in program history. Including his three Centennial Conference Championships, the Fords have played for the conference title seven times during his tenure. Six of those conference championship appearances have come in the past seven seasons on the diamond.
Haverford College baseball junior pticher Justin Herring was named to the 2017 D3Baseball.com Preseason All-American Team, garnering honorable mention honors. Herring posted the fifth best ERA in the Centennial Conference with a 1.58 mark. Herring's 67 strikeouts were good for fifth in the Centennial Conference. The Douglasville, Pa. product sported a perfect 7-0 record, which was good for third in the conference.
The Fords return seven of their 10 players who started at least 20 games in 2016 as a part of the everyday lineup. That list includes four all-conference players who still have at least two more seasons with the Fords (Sam Partee, first-team All-CC; Ethan Lee-Tyson, second-team All-CC; Ben Furlong HM All-CC, and Spencer Sohmer, Honorable Mention All-CC).
Haverford will open the 2017 campaign against John Carroll on Sunday, March 5 in Ft. Myers, Fla. First pitch of the doubleheader is slated for noon as part of the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic.