Letters of Intent
Weevils ranked third in GAC pre-season poll
RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas at Monticello team has been predicted to finish third in the Great American Conference during the 2015 season as voted by the league’s head coaches.
The Weevils are coming off the program’s all-time most successful season with 36 wins last year, runner-up finishes in the GAC regular season and postseason championship tournament, and the program’s first ever NCAA tournament berth.
UAM returns seven starters and 13 lettermen from last year’s squad, including a pair of All-GAC pitchers in junior starter Zach McKnight and senior reliever Jeff Harvill. McKnight ranked in the top 10 in ERA and opponent’s batting average, and Harvill set new career and single-season school records in saves last year with 10.
Other starters returning include junior outfielder Corey Wood (Fredericton, NB), junior shortstop Evan Comeau (Waverley, NS) and junior catcher Travis Steinke (Red Deer, Alta.).
Weevils coach John Harvey is interviewed by Michael Westbrook of the GAC Sports Network who has some nice things to say about the Canucks.
Playing in all 53 games, Comeau had five doubles and 19 RBIs with a .286 average and a .746 OPS.
Wood hit .301 with five doubles, three homers and 15 RBIs, with a .922 OPS in 28 games. Wood and Comeau helped the Maritimes win the inaugural Tournament 12.
Steinke hit .255 with nine doubles, two homers and 19 RBIs in 31 games, while compiling a .741 OPS.
Mitch Dornbult (Surrey, BC) hit .136 with two RBIs in 24 games.
The four Weevils are part of the 15-player Canadian contingent in the conference.
The Weevils have brought in 14 newcomers to the program for 2015. The season begins Feb. 5-8 in Grand Prairie, Tex. with the QuikTrip Division II Classic.
Three-time defending GAC tournament champion, Southern Arkansas, was selected as the preseason favorite with seven of the 11 first-place votes. Last year’s regular season champion and NCAA Regional Tournament host, Arkansas Tech, came in second with the other four first-place votes.
2015 GAC Pre-Season Coaches Poll
(And Canucks on the roster)
1. Southern Arkansas (97 / 7 First Place Votes)
(C-OF Billy Germaine, Aldergrove, BC and OF Byron Reichstein, St. Thomas, Ont.)
2. Arkansas Tech (93 / 4 First Place Votes)
3. Arkansas-Monticello (76)
(INF Evan Comeau, Waverley, NS, 1B Mitch Dornbult, Surrey, BC, C Travis Steinke, Red Deer, Alta. OF-RHP Corey Wood, Fredericton, NB)
5. Harding (60)
T6. East Central (50)
T6. Ouachita Baptist (50)
8. Southeastern Oklahoma State (45)
9. Henderson State (34)
10. Northwestern Oklahoma State (20)
(LHP Brad Drury, Mississauga, Ont., 2B-SS Christian Hammerl, Brampton, Ont., INF Simon Clarke, Kitchener, Ont., INF Jason Freeman, Mississauga, Ont., OF Greg Marco, Waterdown, Ont., RHP Jason Bartlett, Burlington, Ont., INF Josh Caruso, King City, Ont., LHP Mike Figueiredo, Mississauga, Ont., 1B Jeff Martin, Ajax, Ont.)
11. Southern Nazarene (13)