Jan. 5, 2009

Courtesy of Cortland State

CORTLAND, N.Y. - The SUNY Cortland baseball team is ranked first nationally in Division III in Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s Division III preseason poll.

Cortland finished 42-5 last season, including a school-record 38-game winning streak. The Red Dragons made their ninth NCAA Division III World Series appearance, all since 1995, and finished tied for seventh nationally. Cortland's string of 16 consecutive NCAA Division III tournament berths is the longest active streak nationally.

Under the guidance of 10th-year head coach Joe Brown, the Red Dragons will open their season Feb. 20 at 11th-ranked Salisbury University. Cortland will face 22nd-ranked RPI and 26th-ranked Webster University (Mo.) during a trip to Winter Haven, Fla., and will play twice in April against 29th-ranked Ithaca.

In all, Cortland is scheduled to play 10 games versus 2008 NCAA qualifiers - two each versus Ithaca and Keystone (Pa.) and once each against Messiah (Pa.), Webster, RPI, Montclair St. (N.J.), Farmingdale and Salisbury.

Brown has a career record of 331-88-1, all at Cortland, and is the NCAA Division III leader among all active coaches with at least five years experience with a .789 winning percentage.