The USA South Athletic Conference released its 2019 Coaches Preseason Baseball Poll, and Maryville College was tabbed fourth in the league.
The Scots are coming off a 26-13 campaign from last season, as the squad went 10-8 in USA South play.
"To me, it's typically, where you're put, how you finished the year before," Head Coach Cody Church said. "It's irrelevant, I guess you could say. Wherever you're picked, its a motivating tool. It really just matters about where you are in the middle of April, though. We hope that our guys can not look too much into the ranking. Every team in the league is different than they were this past spring, our's included, and we're just excited to fire things up."
Church said he good expectations for the 2019 squad.
"I like our group," he said. "We had a lot of seniors last year, but we bring a lot of key pieces back. We have a good gel of seniors that have been through the program, some transfer guys and some young guys mixed in. We really like our group. They've been working really hard, and they are really hungry, energetic and enthusiasitc. We're just ready to get going. They are getting tired of intrasquading and seeing each other every day. We're just ready to see a team in the other dugout besides ourselves.
Methodist University, under the direction of Head Coach Tom Austin, was atop the 2019 USA South Athletic Conference Preseason Baseball Coaches Poll. The Monarchs are the defending USA South regular season champions after producing a 14-3 Conference record. It was the program's 19th regular season conference title and the second in the past four seasons. Currently, the Monarchs are "Receiving Votes" in prominent national preseason polls.
Methodist collected six first place votes to go along with 137 points to place first in the poll. LaGrange College, the two-time defending USA South Tournament champions, and Piedmont College finished in a tie for second place with 130 points each as the Panthers garnered four first place votes while the Lions grabbed the final three first place votes.
The USA South welcomed Brevard College and Pfeiffer University last season. These two institutions are currently reclassifying from NCAA Division II status but this year are included in the preseason poll and eligible for regular season championship honors. Brevard and Pfeiffer still will not be eligible for USA South or NCAA Tournament play until full DIII membership is established.
The 2019 USA South Baseball Tournament will be played April 25-28 at LaGrange's Phil Williamson Stadium at Cleaveland Field in LaGrange, Georgia as a part of the USA South Spring Sports Festival, hosted by the City of LaGrange and Troup County. The top-eight teams following regular season play will advance to the double-elimination tournament.
|2019 USA South Coaches Preseason Baseball Poll|
|Rank||Institution (1st Place Votes)||Pts.|
|*Ineligible for USA South Tournament (Div. III Reclassifying Member)
^Defending Regular Season Champion
#Defending Tournament Champion