Sam Houston State Repeats as Southland Baseball Preseason Favorite

first_imgFRISCO, Texas – Two-time defending Southland Conference regular-season champion Sam Houston State was selected as the preseason favorite for the third-straight year as voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors. The Bearkats earned 17 first-place votes to top the preseason poll, the league announced Thursday. Pl. School (First-place votes) Total 6. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 146 McNeese was named the No. 3 seed in the Nashville Regional, hosted by eventual College World Series champion Vanderbilt. The Cowboys dropped a pair of one-run decisions to No. 2 seed Indiana State and No. 4 seed Ohio State, bringing an end to their 35-26 season. Central Arkansas and McNeese led the way with five preseason all-league selections each, including three returning members of the 2019 Southland Conference All-Tournament Team in Nate Fisbeck and Jake Dickerson of the Cowboys and the Bears’ Beau Orlando. McNeese topped UCA 4-2 in the title game to secure the Pokes’ first Southland tournament title and NCAA Regional appearance since 2003. 5. Northwestern State 193 13. Houston Baptist 49 The 2020 season begins Friday, Feb. 14, with 15 games, starting when Houston Baptist visits No. 3 Texas Tech at 1 p.m. 1. Sam Houston State (17) 276 12. Lamar 87 4. Southeastern Louisiana (3) 243 Northwestern State is picked to finish fifth with 193 points while Texas A&M-Corpus Christi rounds out the top six with 146 points. UIW (144), Nicholls (108), New Orleans (101), Abilene Christian (98), Stephen F. Austin (92), Lamar (87) and Houston Baptist (49) were voted No. 7-13. 8. Nicholls 108center_img Sam Houston State posted a 20-10 mark in league play last season to claim their sixth regular-season crown in the last eight years. A third-straight title in 2020 would mark the sixth time in the league’s history that a team has won three-straight championships and make the Bearkats the first program to achieve the feat twice. 2. Central Arkansas (5) 247 3. McNeese (1) 244 Just four points separates the No. 2-4 teams in the preseason poll as Central Arkansas picked up five first-place votes and 247 total points, followed by reigning tournament champion McNeese with a single first-place nod and 244 points. Southeastern Louisiana came in just one point behind the Cowboys and earned three first-place votes. Both the Bears and the Lions are coming off 19-11 Southland records, while McNeese finished 16-14 in league play in 2019. 2020 Southland Conference Baseball Preseason Poll 10. Abilene Christian 98 Southland preseason polls are voted on by each program’s head coach and sports information director. Individuals rank the conference’s other 12 teams in predicted order of regular season finish, with first-place votes worth 12 points, second-place votes worth 11 points and so on to one point for 12th place. 9. New Orleans 101 11. Stephen F. Austin 92 The team garnered three preseason all-conference honorees, led by reigning Southland Conference Hitter of the Year Colton Cowser. The sophomore outfielder posted the Southland’s top batting average in conference play (.388) in his rookie season and tied for the league lead in extra-base hits in both overall and conference-only games. Senior catcher Gavin Johnson joined Cowser on the top squad, and junior outfielder Jack Rogers landed on the second team. 7. UIW 144last_img read more