RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Following a week which saw it go on the road to defeat the nation's top-ranked team, Felician University has garnered a No. 3 ranking in the current National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Division II East Region Poll, according to balloting released today.
Felician (7-5) went 2-1 last week, including a Mar. 7 victory at No. 1 Nova Southeastern University and a regional win over Caldwell University. The Golden Falcons rise two spots from the No. 5 ranking they held last week. They have a 4-3 record against fellow members of the East.
Felician is one of two Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) members to be ranked this week. Wilmington (Del.) University (6-5) is in the No. 9 spot. Dominican (N.Y.) College and Nyack College received votes.
Felician is led offensively by senior catcher Matt Kleinstein (Marlboro, N.J./Colts Neck), who is batting .412 and slugging .618 with a home run and seven runs batted in. Senior outfielder Ronnie Grant (Burlington, N.J./Burlington Township) is hitting .410 with 10 runs scored, and junior shortstop Bruce Strickland (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan) is at .400 with 15 runs scored.
Senior right-hander John Holland (Jackson, N.J./Jackson Liberty) is 2-0 with a 0.00 earned-run average to pace the pitching staff. He has allowed four hits and struck out 15 batters in 11 1/3 innings.
The NCBWA D-II East voting panel is comprised of nine regional sports information directors, three each from the CACC, East Coast Conference, and Northeast 10 Conference. There are 33 baseball-playing schools in the region.
Felician, guided by 14th-year head coach Chris Langan of Hazlet, is 0-0 in CACC play. Weather-permitting, the Golden Falcons will play their first CACC contests in a Friday doubleheader against Chestnut Hill College in Norristown, Pa.
NCBWA Division II East Region Poll
March 13, 2017
1. Southern New Hampshire (9) 9-3
2. LIU Post 7-4
3. Felician 7-5
4. St. Thomas Aquinas 6-5
5. New Haven 4-1
6. Le Moyne 8-5
7. Franklin Pierce 6-5
8. Southern Connecticut State 6-3-1
9. Wilmington (Del.) 6-5
10. Bridgeport 2-3
Others receiving votes: Dominican (N.Y.), Queens (N.Y.), Assumption, Nyack.